Lately I’ve been reading The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross. A future post will be a book review but I want to touch on a topic within the book first: Y Combinator and TechStars are very different. In fact, I know several people that have gone through each program, and their feedback and insight into the respective programs corroborates the differences.
Here’s information on each program:
- 60+ startups per class
- Single city location (Mountain View)
- No shared office space
- No third-party mentors
- ~$18k investment for ~6% of common stock
- $150k convertible debt with no cap
- Strong independent team orientation
- 10 – 15 startups per class
- Multiple cities (Boulder, NYC, Boston, and Seattle along with affiliates)
- Shared office space
- Third-party mentors
- ~$20k investment for ~6% of common stock
- $100k convertible debt with $3MM cap
- Strong fraternity/group orientation
Now, it isn’t that one is better than the other, only that they are very different. Y Combinator is more like grad students doing independent research projects and TechStars is more like a fraternity with everyone working on different projects in the house.
What else? What are some other ways that Y Combinator and TechStars are very different?