Y Combinator announces a program for growth stage startups

Y Combinator, the seed accelerator that is known for having companies like AirBnB, Dropbox, Stripe, Instacart, Reddit and many others among its graduates has announced a program for growth-stage startups.

This comes two years after the company launched their Continuity Fund that invests in YC alumni companies as they try to scale. The YC Growth Program is accelerator’s first but they had run a pilot its pilot earlier this year with some of their alumni companies. Launching in April next year, the growth program will be open to YC companies that are at post Series A stage, have 50-100 employees and strong product-market fit.

“If we imagine Y Combinator as the university degree for startups, the Growth Program is grad school. The program is designed for founder-CEOs of post-Series A companies with between 50-100 employees who are in the early stages of company-building. The basis of the program is a 10-week dinner series, with each dinner focused on a specific issue that every startup has to overcome in order to scale successfully,” said the company in a blog post.

YC graduates will be able to apply for the program through a short application and if selected, the participation will be free. The program won’t cost anything to companies apart from their time. YC expects a commitment of 3-4 hours every week and is very strict about the attendance.

The program will be run twice every year with 15 companies in each batch.

To the best of our knowledge, out of more than 1200 YC companies, there are only three from MENA: HoverChat & InstaBug from Egypt & WaystoCap from Morocco. HoverChat seems to be dead. InstaBug is one of the most successful SaaS startups to come out the region and WaystoCap could very well become one of the biggest success stories in ecommerce from the region.

YC Growth Program sounds like something that is perhaps needed by many startups from MENA that are currently in growth stage. But launching and running such a program in a region as fragmented as MENA will not be an easy thing. Not sure if someone from the region will be up for that challenge esp. when the total no. of companies that could benefit from such a program will not even exceed 100.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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