Y Combinator – An Overview From a Female Founder
Doing my usual blog post readings, I came across an interesting post via a Female Founder, who was part of Y – Combinator and its incubator program. For those who are unaware of what Y Combinator is, it is an incubator program that invests in small seed amounts for startups. Started back in 2005, the seed fund has helped kick start a lot of noteworthy companies, such as: Reddit, AirBnB, Twitch.tv, DropBox, and many more. The program evaluates candidate startups, and if chosen, allows them to move to Silicon Valley for 3 months to be incubated. Through their incubation program, the chosen startups get all sorts of great access to advisors, technological advice, and much more – to help them move onto the next stage of their endeavors.
Interestingly enough, I came across a great post by Julia Kurnia, founder of Zidisha. Her company is an organization that “is the first online microlending community that directly connects lenders and entrepreneurs — no matter the distance or disparity between them. We bypass expensive local banks and intermediaries that charge sky-high interest rates and offer a person-to-person platform that lets lenders and entrepreneurs communicate openly and instantly.” – from their website – to learn more about them, click on the link above. Julia’s post, was in response to an article posted via FastCompany (I’ve linked the full article) about how her time at Y-Combinator’s incubation was nothing but a terrible experience, and that the organization did not do much to help a Female Founder, let alone one who had to bring their child as well.
I’ll save the full details for you to read from the FastCompany article above, and instead, summarize what the article was about. The FastCompany article spoke about how Julia had to make difficult decisions as mother, wife and founder. It divulges into how Y-Combinator was not as helpful towards a Female Founder who had to bring their 2 year old child to the incubation program. However, Julia responds beautifully to the post, in her own article she posted via Huffington Post (click link to read her full response). Instead of flat out taking a negative tone against the FastCompany article, she instead responds with her own personal account of her time during her incubation period at YC. She is nothing but humble about her experience, and gives a great detail on HOW Y-Combinator helped her through her stay during the entire 3 month incubation process. Julia explains how as a founder, it was difficult to make certain decisions, especially juggling between family and her life long passion. However, in her response, she goes into detail of how she was able to cope and get her family’s full support, in going after her dream. She notes that her experience from Y-Combinator only helped her grow more as an entrepreneur and as a founder.
When I decided to join YC, one of the attractions was that they respected founders’ independence and refrained from interfering with their living and working decisions. Startup founders tend to dislike hand-holding, and women with kids are no exception. — Julia Kurnia
Julia explains that just because she was a female, she was not discriminated against, and felt no such attitude from anyone at Y-Combinator. Although she had to move to Silicon Valley for 3 months with her then 2 year old son, she received nothing but support from her mentors and advisors at YC. Her post overall gave a great enlightenment on how incubators like Y Combinator can be a great benefit for entrepreneurs and founders. Having the ability to have a hands-on experience with mentors, advisors, and other founders is a great opportunity. Julia is nothing but thankful for her time, and she certainly seems like she learned a great deal. It’s great to read up on other entrepreneurs’s successes and experiences. I wish Julia nothing but continued success for her company!
STKR via http://STKR.us
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