Funding 120k is good for early startups, but I think YC could have far more reach and impact if it had an option to provide less capital to a greater number of startups. The purpose being to allow founders to support themselves and fully focus on their startup without having to worry about daily jobs.
I see two major benefits:
1) YC would have greater and broader impact since for the same amount of seed would be possible to found 12-15 more companies that are ready to move from the idea to execution stage.
2) (this touches me personally) For non US founders, we have to worry about rent, food etc. I believe that if founders had the oportunity to fully focus on their startups for 3 months without a daily job, it would have tremendous impact for the early startups, and as a nice side effect YC could have another pool of really good candidates/ideas. At the end of the 3 months the founders would have had a chance to demonstrate themselves, their execution level, etc., at a very low cost.
I truly believe the ROI on something like this would be considerable.
I know that capital is not the only (and arguably not even the most important) advantage of been admitted to YC, but personally speaking, if I had this option 3 years ago I'd have pursued it no questions asked. I feel that there might be other founders that would be in the same boat.
Do you have any thoughts on this?