Simon Willison’s Weblog

Should you apply to Y Combinator if your initial users are not in the US?

My answer to Should you apply to Y Combinator if your initial users are not in the US? on Quora

Yes, for a few of reasons:

  1. Getting traction anywhere is a great sign that you can Build Something People Want, which is YC’s slogan. Having users who don’t fit in to the tech-heavy early adopter niche is an even more positive sign.
  2. YC are always experimenting with different combinations of startup concepts, markets and founders. If you are significantly different from other groups they have funded before that might actually help you in the application process.
  3. EVERY startup should fill out the YC application form, even if they have no intention if applying (you don’t have to submit it, you could even just print it out and answer the questions privately). It’s a very well designed application form, and answering the questions on it will teach you a lot of useful things about your startup and your team.
One more point: YC doesn’t require you to move to Silicon Valley permanently, aside from the 3 months of core YC activity. There are plenty of YC companies that end up outside of the Bay Area—our company is based in London (with several other YC companies), there are plenty in New York and I believe there are quite a few in other countries as well.

This is Should you apply to Y Combinator if your initial users are not in the US? by Simon Willison, posted on 21st July 2013.

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