For some, the road to developing their startup is a natural one. Some entrepreneurs are born to manage the resources, technology, infrastructure, costs, and all of the roadblocks that come with their first startup. But for the majority of people there are unexpected pitfalls and roadblocks that go well beyond just getting funding. Even great startups can fall completely apart just when everything looks good. Thankfully, there’s a school for that.
Longtime seed funding organization Y Combinator has, in its time, contributed to more than 1,400 startups since 2005. As such their goal is to get startups “through the first phase.” They heavily stress support for their startups beyond seed funding. The likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Twitch, and Reddit owe their origins to this group. So it came as no surprise in 2014 when they went so far as to offer a startup class at Stanford University on the early parts of developing a startup.
Even though the course only covers “30% of the way there“ according to Sam Altman President of Y Combinator “Hopefully it’ll still be really helpful.” Altman is currently one of the lead speakers for this startup class and after its debut put the lecture series on youtube and Itunes Connect.
However, recently Altman took his course one step further and announced this week that Y Combinator would be offering “a free 10-week massively open online course” on their website at StartupSchool.org. The idea was to overcome one of the larger, longer-standing criticisms of accessibility to advisors for feedback beyond Stanford attendees. As such people who sign up before the launch date of April 5th, 2017 will be able to participate as a Spectator or a Startup Founder.
Spectators will have access to all 10 lectures and class office hours made available at the site. Startup Founders will have access to the same but also be assigned to a group of students and an Advisor who are “members of the Y Combinator alumni community who are currently running their own startup” according to the site. Also, they are allowed weekly video sessions with their advisor as well as e-mail and a group chat room. At this level, Startup Founders are expected to make weekly updates on their startup and attend office hours to pass course evaluation.
While Y Combinator maintains that attending the class will not serve as a shortcut to getting into their seed funding or replacement thereof, they do consent that the coursework provided by the classes would force startups to offer more information for selection and thus improve their odds.