Simon Willison’s Weblog

Benefits and disadvantages of cashflow positive startups joining an accelerator program?

My answer to Benefits and disadvantages of cashflow positive startups joining an accelerator program? on Quora

I can only answer from the perspective of having been through YC two years ago. Is the majority of the time spent in mentoring/meetings or working on their products?

YC has a very low time commitment. There is a dinner once a week (which takes up the evening from 6pm onwards), and any other sessions are 20-30 minute slots you book yourself with the YC partners and advisors. My experience was that most teams have 2-3 of these a week.

The rest of your time, you spend on your startup. We tend to tell people that we got a full year’s worth of work done in three months, on three week’s worth of sleep!

YC offers a fantastic opportunity to block out a three month chunk of time during which you avoid ALL other commitments—you move out to the Bay Area, hole up in an apartment somewhere (ideally in Mountain View, which is not exactly the world’s most exciting place to live) and take advantage of the ultimate excuse to spend three months ignoring your friends and family.

Is it possible for a founder to manage their team remotely and work long hours?

Yes, absolutely. Quite a few of the teams in my YC batch had larger teams “back home” (some of them in other countries) who they were co-ordinating with.

Does having a accelerator associated to your startup significantly help with media coverage for your product?

Just “coming out” as a YC company is virtually a guaranteed story in TechCrunch or another similar publication—this is why YC companies are advised not to reveal that they are participating until the moment when they want to land a good press push. I don’t think the same is necessarily true for other accelerators though.

You may find What Happens At Y Combinator by Paul Graham useful. It was this essay that convinced us to apply for the program.

This is Benefits and disadvantages of cashflow positive startups joining an accelerator program? by Simon Willison, posted on 26th August 2013.

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