frequently asked questions

Is there a cost to the program?
Startup School is completely free. All you need is a device with access to the internet.
Is there a limit to the number of founders who can participate in the program?
We do not have a limit on the number of participants.
How many hours should I expect to put into this?
For founders in Startup School, there is a minimum commitment of 3 hours a week: 2 hours of lecture and one group session.
How does this relate to Y Combinator? Does it replace YC? Will it improve my chances of getting into YC?
Startup School was created as a resource for anyone considering starting their own company; it is not meant to replace YC. While being part of Startup School does not directly improve your chances of getting into YC, the progress you make throughout the course doesn’t hurt! Simply put, we want startups to be better startups.
Who is eligible for the program?

Startup School is open to all founders currently working on a startup, or founders about to start one to go through the course.

If you’re not currently working on a startup, you are more than welcome to audit the course and have full access to all of the content.

If I’m doing a startup, why should I bother with this? What do I get out of it?
If you’re doing a startup, this program will help provide insight on running your company through exposure to best practices, helpful resources, and actionable advice. In addition to the lecture material, you will have access to moderators, YC partners, and become a part of an international community of founders. You’ll also have the chance to receive $15,000 in funding after completion of the program.
How do we get the $15,000 in funding? How much equity will you take?

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you can apply for the $15,000 in funding. The funding is completely equity-free.

Companies must participate and complete the course to be eligible for the grant; this requirement means that companies must complete 8 out of 10 weekly company updates as dictated by the course, and attend and participate in 8 out of 10 weekly group sessions. Additionally, to be eligible companies must apply to Y Combinator's core program by completing the application on our website, located at www.ycombinator.com. Applicants who are accepted to the core program will not be eligible for the $15K grant. What it means to be a “promising” company is based on a significant number of variables. In addition to your engagement in the course, the criteria which we use to determine what companies will receive the grant is as follows: 1) whether a company has revenue, or has prospects for revenue in the near term; 2) whether a company's business is growing as measured by increase in users, increase in revenues, progress in bookings, or improvement in company objectives; 3) whether the company's business is scalable; 4) whether there is a reasonable path for the company's business to become a billion-dollar company; and 5) the feasibility of implementing the company’s proposed business objectives. Each of the criteria is weighted equally.

What are the requirements to complete and pass the course? Are there exams and homework?
There are no exams. The only requirements to pass the course is to submit your weekly updates and attend group sessions.
If I’m working with other people, who should participate?
We recommend inviting your co-founders to participate with you. Designate one founder as your representative for group sessions.
Who is teaching the lectures?
The lectures will be taught by a combination of YC partners and a great group of entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
Where will the lectures be filmed?
The lectures will be filmed in San Francisco at YC.
What happens at the end of the course?
Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate of completion for your startup, and a chance to receive $15,000 in equity-free funding.