How to get into Y-Combinator as a solo founder

April 14, 2022

My friend Jules went through YC as a solo founder during a recent batch!!! He shared some tips on getting in as a solo founder with my community Founders Cafe.

Here's what I learned:

  • You don't need a co-founder to get in YC - If you're technical, YC just wants to know you can do sales. If you have enough MRR / paying customers, you're SET!!! If you're non-technical, YC just wants to know you can build MVPs in addition to doing sales. If you can get paying customers who use your shitty prototypes (which u can build using no-code, contractors, etc.), you're SET!! In this case, Jules proved he could succeed as a non-technical solo founder by having (1) paying customers using his (2) shit MVP.
  • DO NOT FORCE GETTING A CO-FOUNDER During YC, Jules ended up getting a co-founder because YC wanted him to and he got fucked over >_> The CTO was chill in the beginning, but after a while, he did not pull his weight and ruined relations with Jules. If he had just hired an engineer with the money, he could have gotten the job done without dealing with all this madness. 66% of startups die because of Co-founder conflict. His was one of them.
  • Fundraise from other firms Jules ended up fundraising 1 million from other firms too. Another member Amile in Founders Cafe got rejected from YC, but ended up completing their round from other firms too. There's a ton of options out there :O :O So even if u don't get in YC, fuck em! Get money from other people who believe in you and achieve your goals.

LMK if you have any questions!! Btw Jules is hella active in Founders Cafe if you want to co-work with him and other solo founders from Stanford, YC, Google, & more.

** Names anonymizedfor privacy / prevent spam

Maddie Wang founders of founders cafe solo founder
Maddie Wang
Gay / Solo-Founder / Stanford Dropout

I'm building Founders Cafe because as a solo founder, it can be very isolating. Last year, I lost 4 co-founders and a best friend on a previous startup.

Previously built a Minecraft Server ($61k), Amazon Store ($120k), and Queer Chart, where I met my girlfriend & close friends.

If you're interested in joining the Founders Cafe, let's talk and if it's a good fit, down to invite you!
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