Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pop Quiz: How Many of Y Combinator's Latest Start-Ups Got Funding from Boston VCs?

I was chatting this afternoon with Y Combinator co-founder and big thinker Paul Graham this afternoon, for my Sunday Globe column.

Y Combinator runs two three-month-long workshops each year for start-ups, one in Palo Alto in the winter and one in Cambridge in the summer. The firm also makes small investments, usually less than $20K, in the start-ups that it selects for these workshops. At the end of each workshop, they hold a Demo Day, where the entrepreneurs show their prototypes to a group of VCs and established entrepreneurs.

I'd been hearing rumors this fall that Y Combinator might stop doing its summer Cambridge workshop. But Graham told me that isn't happening. Rather, this year, they took the Cambridge class of start-ups to do a second demo session in Silicon Valley, a few days after they'd presented locally. (Interestingly, they don't ship the Palo Alto entrepreneurs out east for a second show-and-tell day.) That seemed to solve a problem Graham had noticed, which was that the East Coast group weren't getting as much funding action as the Palo Alto crew.

So what were the results of this first-year experiment with taking the East Coast cohort for a West Coast field trip? Graham says that not one of the 19 start-ups from the summer workshop has yet been funded by an investor in the Northeast. But about half got funding from an investor in Silicon Valley.

What's the meaning of that? You be the judge...

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Blogger Pito said...

You do need to factor in the eventual success or lack thereof of the investment before drawing a conclusion.

Perhaps valley investors are just more promiscuous....

November 20, 2007 7:12 PM  

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