- Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not private) YouTube video introducing the founder(s).
- Who writes code, or does other technical work on your product? Was any of it done by a non-founder?
- How long have the founders known one another and how did you meet? Have any of the founders not met in person?
- Please tell us about an interesting project, preferably outside of class or work, that two or more of you created together.
- Please tell us in one or two sentences about something impressive that each founder has built or achieved.
- Please tell us about the time you most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage.
- How far along are you?
- How long have each of you been working on this? How much of that has been full-time?
- When will you have a prototype or beta?
- How many active users or customers do you have? How many are paying? Who is paying you the most, and how much do they pay you?
- We're interested in your revenue over the last several months. (Not cumulative and not GMV).
- Anything else you would like us to know regarding your revenue or growth rate?
- If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change? If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?
- If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, "accelerator" or "pre-accelerator" program, please tell us about it.
- Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?
- What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?
- Who are your competitors? What do you understand about your business that they don't?
- How do or will you make money? How much could you make?
- How do users find your product? How did you get the users you have now? If you run paid ads, what is your cost of acquisition?
- Have you formed ANY legal entity yet?
- Please list all legal entities you have and in what state or country each was formed (e.g. Delaware C Corp, Mexican SAPI, Singapore Pvt Ltd, etc.).
- Please describe the breakdown of the equity ownership in percentages among the founders, employees and any other stockholders. If there are multiple founders, be sure to give the equity ownership of each founder and founder title (e.g. CEO).
- Have you taken any investment yet?
- How much money do you spend per month?
- How much money does your company have in the bank now?
- How long is your runway?
- Is there anything else we should know about your company?
Virtually YCombinator Application
Virtually successful YCombinator application from 2020 summer batch (YC S20).
If you have a demo, what's the url?More responses
Describe what your company does in 50 characters or less.More responses
A virtual classroom builder
What is your company going to make? Please describe your product and what it does or will do.More responses
We’re building tools to power online trade schools. With our software, anyone can build a “Lambda School for X” business. Primarily, we bring together the most important components of any modern online school: admissions, live conferencing, payment processing, student/community management, and income share agreement tracking.
Where do you live now, and where would the company be based after YC?More responses
New York, NY / New York, NY
Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not private) YouTube video introducing the founder(s).More responses
Who writes code, or does other technical work on your product? Was any of it done by a non-founder?More responses
I was a previous Software Engineer at Facebook and write all our code.
How far along are you?More responses
We built and launched this software in mid-November of last year. Since then, we’ve become the host for five online training programs. In total, these programs have generated $1,570 in revenue with over 200 student participants. The recent COVID-19 virus has created a surge of interest for this product and led to a large amount of interest from instructors and professors looking to build their virtual classroom. We’re doing our best to onboard them onto our software.
How long have each of you been working on this? How much of that has been full-time?More responses
I’ve been full-time since leaving my software engineering role at Facebook in March of 2019. Since then, the company direction has changed 2–3 times after valuable insight from customers until eventually settling on this iteration in mid-November, 2019.
How many active users or customers do you have? How many are paying? Who is paying you the most, and how much do they pay you?More responses
Yes, five different training programs are using Virtually as their primary hosting platform. In total, over 200 students have participated in these online training programs. These programs are largely being led by online creators with large online followings.
How much revenue?More responses
Yes, we’ve generated $1,540 in income from these programs.
If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change? If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?More responses
We’ve applied before with different iterations of the same company. Our biggest learning has been that just selling online courses doesn’t cut it for most content creators. In order to attract high-ticket customers, online educators must turn to provide premium options to their students which includes real-time support either in 1-on-1 or group setting rather than just pre-recorded video. On the consumer side, we learned that for consumers to pay high-ticket prices ($1,000+) for any online educational program, it has to have very high ROI, often meaning transformational for their life and/or career. We’ve decided to double down on empowering career education, specifically mid-career education.
If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, "accelerator" or "pre-accelerator" program, please tell us about it.More responses
Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?More responses
For the past year, I’ve built intimate relationships with 30+ influential content creators and online educators. From them, I’ve learned the pains of building an internet business. We originally built this software to power our own training programs, but over time we had clients reach out and ask if they could use it to host their own classes/memberships. As such, we’ve generalized the software so that it can be used by any individual/organization.
What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?More responses
We take the engineering out of building an online trade school so educators can focus teaching their craft. Our tool streamlines the administrative side of running an online trade school by creating an all-in-one solution for admissions, payment processing, live conferencing, and student management. Content creators are hacking together a few different tools to replicate this experience on their own: Zoom, Calendly, Facebook groups, Google forms, etc.. Companies like Lambda School, Flockjay, and Jumpcut are building these tools from scratch which requires a tremendous amount of engineering effort. Soon anybody and any organization, not just venture-backed startups, will be able to start risk-free online trade school. Yay!
What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don't get?More responses
A few things really: 1/ Online trade schools are the future. Online courses are a generally ineffective medium for job training as only 13% of those bought are ever finished. For career-changing education, students need a project-based environment with direct access to the instructor and peers (for accountability and social pressure). 2/ Mid-career education and job retraining will continue to become increasingly important. Only 27% of college graduates land a job related to their major. This along with a host of other factors is leading to record job dissatisfaction rates; however, students aren’t willing to enroll in expensive 2–4 year-long programs to fix this problem. They want a more lightweight solution that helps them pick up new skills without the high cost of traditional universities. 3/ Income Share Agreements are essential for any mid-career educational programs to work. Unlike undergraduate programs, which can be financed through the support of your parents and/or student loans, the risk of transitioning to a new career after undergrad is drastically higher. ISA’s help de-risk this transition by requiring students to only pay the institution back if they are successful.
Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?More responses
We’re not seeing majors players in this space, but companies that are most equipped to take on this space: * Mighty Networks * Teachable * Lambda School We fear Teachable the most due to their access to a rich pool of online creators. It’s important to note here that online courses don’t cut it for career-changing education.
How do or will you make money? How much could you make?More responses
It’s free to accept the first ten students. From there, we charge $25 / month for every additional cohort of ten students. There are about 5.3 million active online educators, creators, and organizations that we think could leverage this technology to create virtual classrooms. If we, specifically, target online mid-career education, our total addressable market is $6.36 billion with room to grow if we expand to enterprise or government training opportunities.
How will you get users? If your idea is the type that faces a chicken-and-egg problem in the sense that it won't be attractive to users till it has a lot of users (e.g. a marketplace, a dating site, an ad network), how will you overcome that?More responses
Most of our initial users have come from my pre-existing relationships with creators. We’ve generally found that content creators are vocal about the software that they enjoy using and for that reason we expect they will be our biggest engine for growth.
If you had any other ideas you considered applying with, please list them. One may be something we've been waiting for. Often when we fund people it's to do something they list here and not in the main application.More responses
Please tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered.More responses
What convinced you to apply to Y Combinator? Did someone encourage you to apply? Have you been to any YC events?More responses
We want to access the mentorship and network that comes with Y Combinator brand as we think it would greatly accelerate our trajectory to become a massive technology company. I won the YCombinator hackathon in 2018 (Astral Trade); also have attended Startup School the past three years and have experienced, first-hand, the value in the YCombinator community.
How did you hear about Y Combinator?More responses
YCombinator hackathon + Startup School + YC Podcast