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1. Would / will you ever consider opening an East Coast branch? I understand all the "stuff" about why SV is great for startups, but there will always be people who can't /won't get up and travel completely to the other side of the country for an extended period of time. And while the EC might not be the startup hotbed that SV area is, it's quite clear that there is a LOT of startup activity and some great startups being formed out here. Wouldn't you want to tap into some of that?

2. In regards to YC Research, can you tell us anything more about the (general) topic area(s) you will be interested in? And maybe expand a little bit more on what kind of mechanisms might be put in place to facilitate working with outside researchers (hopefully including independent researchers and / or other startups).




1. Never say never, but no current plans (and honestly, it might make more sense to do something outside the US next). The hardest part would be convincing some of our partners to move out there, or finding new ones we could train out here first.

2. Not ready to talk about specific areas, but I promise they are interesting ones :)

It will be super super easy for our researchers to collaborate with outsider researchers because of our IP stance!


Once you go outside of the US, it makes sense to go to the country with easiest immigration policy, so that you can work with all the smart people who can't get to the US.


Canada perhaps (specifically Kitchener-Waterloo)?


Vancouver might be better. It has less of a tech sector, but frankly nowhere in Canada has enough of a tech sector to matter much; however Vancouver has the important advantages of being much closer to the bay area (2.5 hours flying time to SFO, 7 flights/day each way), being large enough to have a tech boom without completely unbalancing its economy, and actually being somewhere people want to live.


I beg to differ. On the issue of tech sector, U Waterloo obviously puts out many great students. UBC isn't really known for it's tech streams. In addition, there's likely many smart tech people from RIM looking for jobs in the KW area.

As for the issue of where people want to live. Vancouver is likely even more costly to live than SV. KW (and southern Ontario in general) is a great place with warm weather 6 months per year and access to the 3rd largest city in North America.

In my opinion, KW would make a better YC V2 location.


On the issue of tech sector, U Waterloo obviously puts out many great students.

I absolutely agree. But YC doesn't need to be where the university is. I mean, people apply to YC from all over the world, not just from the bay area.

Vancouver is likely even more costly to live than SV.

Relative to average income, yes. But that's just because Vancouver doesn't have much in the way of high-wage industries. In an absolute sense, Vancouver is much cheaper than SV.

KW (and southern Ontario in general) is a great place with warm weather 6 months per year and access to the 3rd largest city in North America.

Assuming you mean Toronto, it's only 3rd if you take "North America" to mean Canada+USA and take "largest" to mean "population within city limits"... a definition which says that Vancouver is smaller than Winnipeg, and San Francisco is smaller than Jacksonville. Based on metropolitan populations Toronto ranks 8th, between Washington DC and Houston.

But I would say that Toronto would be my second choice out of Canadian cities. The size definitely helps; I don't think it compensates for being three time zones away and twice as hard to reach from SFO though.


+1

My team is moving to Vancouver in 2 weeks for the reasons you've listed. So pumped for cheap roundtrips to the Bay.


UBC isn't really known for it's tech streams.

No? Amazon, Google, and Microsoft hire aggressively out of UBC.

Waterloo is an awful place. Asking people to move there is a hard sell. At least people would enjoy Vancouver.


What about the ole Silicon Valley North? :) Although not much has happened in Ottawa since the bubble with the exception of Shopify.


And same timezone as SF.


I agree with 1. Especially in countries that don't have anything like this available.

I can speak from Cuba, since I am originally from there. Cuba has been closed for 50 years to America, but that is changing now. There are really smart people, that just don't have the necessary access to capital or good advice.

Creating a branch of YC there would have a tremendous impact for local economy and people in addition of being a great business venture in a market that has been closed for half a century and is finally open. It's also worth mentioning that given the current economic situation, funding a startup in Cuba would only take a small fraction of what it takes to fund it in the US, with a lot of potential ROI since almost every industry can be disrupted significantly.


Carlos, how good is the internet in Cuba? if you were going to develop a web app, do cuban developers have better access to it now?


Like I said before, Cuba has been closed to a number of things for 50 years, including internet. However, things are starting to change for good, including internet access.

A few years back, only people from universities or other "privileged" entities, had access to it. Recently there have been changes that allow other sectors of the population to get internet access.

Is there broadband? No. Is it in every home or mobile device? No. But that is where the country that has been closed for 50 years to technology is headed finally.

This on its own constitutes a great business opportunity for any company that leverages that change, for instance.

"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been" - Wayne Gretzky (i heard it from S.Jobs first).


ahem Wayne Gretzsky ahem ... not Jobs


Perhaps Boston (it made sense at one point right?)


I'm going to suggest Long Beach, NY as a possible east-coast outpost. Lived there for a couple years, it feels like it could support a young startup scene (I've worked for startups for at least 10 years). Artsy surfer town, great boardwalk with inspiring beach (actually the entire south shore of Long Island is just one spectacular beach after another), nice nightlife, 45 minute train ride to Manhattan.

Long Beach seems to be starting to embrace the idea with things like its Bridgeworks project http://liherald.com/stories/New-startup-incubator-coming-to-...

I kind of want to start a company myself, there...


1. Europe? :)


I know YC was actively exploring a set-up in India sometime early this year. Not sure what the current status is.


Hope YC India is real some day!


By the way, you don't have to wait for someone else to do it for you. The whole point of the startup ethos is that you don't need permission to start. No YC where you are? Pool like-minded local entrepreneurs and make your own. It won't be as good at first, but so what? You'd be surprised how much you can achieve.


About point 1.: What about Nordic countries like Norway or Sweden? :) About point 2.: Hope it is something related to genomics, renewable energies and cancer research


> it might make more sense to do something outside the US next

I hope it's not UK. Both UK and France, as well as a few Nordic countries are starting to become very anti-privacy/anti-security. I don't think it would be "safe" to start there in the long term.

Go Switzerland or Germany.


Or the Netherlands?


South America?


China. And do hardware startups.


Especially in Boston. Boston has a TON of startups in the area.


This was 2007, but Paul Graham describes Boston VCs as being slow to act, so they stopped doing Demo Day out there.

http://www.paulgraham.com/startuphubs.html


TechStars hasn't had a problem. Boston cohorts have raised ~$400 million in VC so far: http://www.techstars.com/companies/


YC used to be in Boston for half of the year:

http://old.ycombinator.com/ycca.html


True, but from what I know, it's much more of an old-boys network rather than any kind of stranger to stranger demo based conversion. People trying to make it that way tend to flop here, as there aren't many venues.


+1 - I'm a person living in San Francisco who would only be interested in doing Y Combinator if it was in any location other than the Bay Area.


I'm from Brazil, my startup has 60 employees, and I would gladly stay in SV for 3 months if approved... If nothing else, it acts as a filter of "will power" and dedication for the selected startups... They give you the money and they are flexible (I've read a story of a guy who took the red eye flight every week to attend dinners because he couldn't stay away from his company all week).

It's also a much richer experience for the startups. If you want to be a top of the class founder, you better visit the "startup founder meca" to learn from the best... If they opened a branch in São Paulo, I wouldn't care to attend...


If nothing else, it acts as a filter of "will power" and dedication for the selected startups...

I keep hearing that, and I have never agreed with that sentiment and doubt I ever will. There are lots of good reasons for people to not want to go to SV for 3 months that in no way reflect on their commitment / will.


There is always a way... I have a wife, 4 dogs and a 60 employee company to take care of, in another continent, and would definitely take the opportunity without blinking...

The fact is: if you want to be on the world's best startup acelerator, you need to live 3 months in SV. Mostly because they can reproduce the experience anywhere else. But they a flexible in all possible ways... (your company can be based anywhere)

More severe commitments are required if you want to excel in other areas as well: if you want to play on the best soccer teams in the world you need to move to Europe; If you want to be a top actor you need to go to LA; If you want to be an MIT Engineer you need to live 5 years there; If you want to be the world's best tango dancer you need to move to Argentina...

But I'm sure that, wherever you are, there must be decent enough startup accelerators nearby. (There are a bunch in my country even).


Or Portland. There are lots of tech companies and startups here, as well. Obviously, not at the same scale as SV. But something like YC would be great, up here.


Or in the midwest (Chicago)?




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