Is it worth accepting an investment from YCombinator if you have an established network in the valley?
Yes. Plenty of the companies in our batch at YC already had well established networks, and they still benefited enormously from the advice and introductions YC could offer.
(I was asked in a comment to specify some concrete benefits, so here some of them are...)
- You become part of the YC network. You can contact any YC company (in your batch or alumni) for advice, support or potential business development relationships. In turn, you do the same for other YC companies.
- Your batch become your support network. Doing a startup is ferociously hard, and you encounter things you don’t know how to do every single day. Having a bunch of other companies around going through the same process makes solving problems much, much easier—one of your fellow companies probably figured out the thing you’re currently scratching your head over a few weeks ago.
- You get to spend 3 months focusing on your startup and nothing but your startup. YC is the ultimate excuse to ignore friends, family and other commitments and focus on just one thing for 12 solid weeks with no distractions.
- You learn how to be a startup, including how to talk to and raise money from investors.
- You get awesome advice from the YC partners (that’s not just PG—the other partners are amazing too)
- You get intros.
- You get to spend a full week refining your pitch for demo day in front of PG and the other YC partners.
- Demo day! You get to pitch to most of the top class investors in the valley.
- Being able to say “we did YC” really helps with getting investor meetings, press interviews and so on.