Y Combinator Fellowship

*** UPDATE for 2016 – This program is no longer 100% equity free, but it’s close. The investment for this program is in the form of a convertible note. The terms state that YC takes 1.5% if the company 1) has an IPO or 2) has a funding event or acquisition that values the company at $100M or higher. So, unless your company has a HUGE exit or IPO, this program will be equity free. ***

Award Amount

$20,000 USD


San Francisco, CA, USA (remote participation is possible)


8 weeks


  • $20,000 USD per team
  • Direct access to YC partners for office hours
  • Introductions to YC graduates in a network of over 2000 founders
  • YC resources such as AWS and Microsoft credits
  • An all day kickoff conference in Mountain View at the start of the program

Who Can Apply

  • This program is meant for founders who haven’t raised money from investors or participated in an accelerator
  • Teams can’t have previously taken money from investors (certain equity free grants are ok)

Selection Criteria

  • Idea and prototype stage companies
  • Ideal team of 2-3 co-founders, but will also consider solo founders
  • Traction and revenue NOT required
  • Expected that most Fellowship applications will be for software projects or have software component
  • Ideas that have potential to become a very significant company

Application Process

  • Written application
  • In person or video interview with YC partners


  • Your team is NOT required to live in San Francisco, and CAN work remotely
  • Founders must be willing to work on their ideas full-time
  • Investment is in the form of a convertible note


YCombinator Fellowship