Yesterday, I attended Y Combinator’s Startup School 2016 (SS16).
For the uninitiated, Y Combinator is a startup accelerator started in 2005 by Paul Graham and others. Some of you may know Y Combinator from it’s news site, Hacker News. Startup School is Y Combinator’s annual free one-day conference that gives founders and startup enthusiasts a chance to hear stories and practical advice from other founders and investors.
SS16 was held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, and there were more than 1,500 in attendance! The event was emceed by YC partner and president, Sam Altman. Speakers included: Ooshma Garg, founder of Gobble; Bill Silbermann, founder of Pinterest; Chad Rigetti, founder of Rigetti Computing; Kalam Dennis and Reham Fagiri of AptDeco; Qasar Younis, Kevin Hale, and Paul Buchheit of Y Combinator; Marc Andreessen of a16z; and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Greylock.
Personally, I attended for the opportunity to network and to meet and hear from some of my long-term internet heroes in real life. It was amazing, for example, to see Ooshma Garg light up the room, to feel Sam Altman’s energy, and to experience Chad Rigetti’s, Marc Andreessen’s, and Reid Hoffman’s intellect.
The last talk of the day was a panel with many of the YC partners answering pre-submitted questions from the attendees.
The formal portion of the day ended at about 5:30pm followed by an outdoor reception until 7pm.
If you’re a startup founder or enthusiast and you have the opportunity to attend a Y Combinator Startup School event, I really encourage you to do it. For that matter, why not apply to the next Y Combinator cohort? The deadline to apply is October 4, 2016.