Y Combinator was a heretic among venture capitalists when it backed its first eight companies in 2005. Co-founder Paul Graham later wrote that his philosophy was that “investors should be making more, smaller investments, they should be funding hackers instead of suits, and they should be willing to fund younger founders.”

Heresies piled up from there. Graham, along with his wife and co-founder Jessica Livingston, accepted applications from anyone, not just via personal introductions, as almost all venture capitalists do today. They chose inexperienced college students over startup veterans. The “batches” of startups were given small investments and expected to work wherever they could find near Harvard University, where YC was born.

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Assistant Professor of Management
Accelerator Programs
Early Stage Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Organizational Learning
Strategic Management