Y Combinator’s year of changes continues: It has just announced another round of leadership appointments, including new partner Kat Manalac, who was previously the accelerator’s director of outreach, and new part-time partners Yuri Sagalov, Patrick Collison, and Elizabeth Iorns, all of whom are Y Combinator alumni.
Y Combinator has been making a series of leadership reshuffles in the past few months, including the addition of Justin Kan and Aaron Harris as partners shortly before the Winter 2014 Demo Day, and more surprisingly, Sam Altman is taking over as president of the program as ex-president Paul Graham takes a back seat.
Interestingly, these new appointments seem to be mirroring the recent trends in the Y Combinator startups themselves. Two of this latest group are women, and Y Combinator has been a vocal advocate of getting more women into entrepreneurship — it recently even hosted its first Women Founders Conference, led by YC partner Jessica Levingston.
Sagalov and Iorns both have expertise in two growing categories of YC startups — enterprise and life sciences respectively. Their appointments are likely intended to help the startups in those categories as well as to help the accelerator better judge such companies when they apply.
“Yuri will be especially helpful to enterprise companies we fund, which is not an area we’ve historically had much expertise in,” said Altman in the official blog post.
“[Elizabeth] has a Ph.D. in cancer biology and knows a great deal about life sciences, which is very helpful given that we’re starting to get a lot of interesting biotechnology companies applying that we’re currently unqualified to judge,” he added.
Y Combinator’s Winter 2014 batch had at least four startups related to health to some degree or another.
And lastly, there is Collison, cofounder of Stripe and Auctomatic prior to that. Auctomatic, founded in 2007, offered tools for eBay “power sellers,” and was purchased by Communicate.com in 2008.
Stripe was part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2010 batch, and has since achieved fairly good success, including $120 million in funding.
“[Patrick] knows a lot about every part of running a startup, but he thinks about hiring and company culture better than anyone else I know,” said Altman.
Since Graham took on more of an advisory role, he and Altman have been adding a lot of Y Combinator alumni to the leadership team, likely as an attempt to ensure that the program remains as close to its roots as possible despite Graham’s slow stepping away.
“It’s impossible to predict the future perfectly, but I hope to leave completely. The only YC thing I’m going to do is office hours with the startups,” Graham said in a Hacker News post last month.
Y Combinator is a venture fund which focuses on seed investments to startup companies. It offers financing as well as business consulting along with other opportunities to 2-4 person companies looking to take an idea to a product. Y Co... read more »
Stripe is a simple, developer-friendly way to accept payments online. We believe that enabling transactions on the web is a problem rooted in code, not finance, and we want to help put more websites in business.... read more »
Paul Graham is a partner at Y Combinator. He is also the author of On Lisp (1993), ANSI Common Lisp (1995), and Hackers & Painters (2004). In 1995, he and Robert Morris started Viaweb, the first ASP, which in 1998 became Yahoo! Store. ... read more »
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