The Front Door

We Need A YC for Everything

This is Problem #3 on my list of The World’s Biggest Problems.

The front doors into the most exclusive industries are hidden.

For example, how do you break into Hollywood?

  • The short answer is you need to know somebody.

Hollywood is full of gatekeepers – producers, directors, agents.

  • If you don’t already know one of them, you’re not getting in the front door.
  • Those who do break through without connections take a grueling path to success, facing rejection and harassment.

Silicon Valley used to work the same way.

  • Founders had to know VCs through a past exit or their HBS/GSB class to raise venture capital.
    • Even if you did get funded, they’d replace you as CEO with one of their MBA buddies.

Y Combinator created a new front door for venture capital.

  • This massively increases the pool of potential startup founders.
    • Anyone in the world can apply to YC, and they’re just one 1-hour application + one 10-minute interview away from access to the best network in startups.
  • YC gives power to founders through transparency and collective bargaining.
    • VCs know if they harass one YC founder, the whole YC network will find out.
    • YC now sets financing terms (e.g. SAFEs) and defines what founder-friendly really means.

Getting accepted into Rock Health (2012) and Y Combinator (W15) changed my life.

  • I had already co-founded one small business (Avomeen) but I had no startup network in 2012.
  • Rock Health gave Labdoor the first $100K and office space we needed to move to San Francisco.
  • Y Combinator gave us the network and credibility to raise a $1.5M Seed and $4M Series A.
The nondescript entrance to the world’s greatest startup accelerator, Y Combinator.

Who is building new front doors to other exclusive industries?

  • Let’s call this “YC for X”, where X is any important field:

When we increase access for elite individuals to exclusive industries, everyone wins.

  • How many lost Einsteins (and Jobs, Obamas, Buffetts, etc.) are blocked by gatekeepers?

We can open access for all to elite industries.

Who all is building YC for everything?

  • Please DM or email me if you’re working on one of these ideas!

Access (The Front Door) is #3 on my list of The World’s Biggest Problems.

  • This idea is a work-in-progress. If you’d like to riff on it, hit me up @neilthanedar on Twitter.

Published by Neil Thanedar

Neil Thanedar is an entrepreneur, investor, scientist, altruist, and author. He is the founder & CEO of Utopic, his startup studio. He is also the founder & chairman of Air to All, a 501(c)3 nonprofit medical device startup, and Labdoor, a consumer watchdog with $7M+ in funding and 20M+ users. He previously co-founded Avomeen Analytical Services, a product development and testing lab acquired for $30M+ in 2016. He has worked with community organizations since 2007 and political campaigns since 2016 to fight for better education and economic opportunities in Michigan.