Prominent Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator today announced a new program called the YC Fellowship that’s aimed at giving a little bit of money to the youngest startups.

The new program will give out advice to participating startups and $12,000 in grants — although regular venture investments could become the standard in the future, Y Combinator president Sam Altman wrote in a blog post on the news.

The program is structured as a short eight-week program that won’t be tethered to Silicon Valley.

This is a new way for Y Combinator to establish relationships with the earliest-stage startups and essentially challenge the many other accelerators out there for founders to choose from.

“Unlike companies that YC funds, YC Fellows won’t have to move to the Bay Area (though we strongly encourage they do). For this experiment, we’re willing to try office hours over video chat,” Altman wrote.

In order to qualify, startups must be willing to accept the grants as their first money, according to Altman’s post.

The deadline for the first fellowship is — get ready! — July 27. You can apply here.

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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 compani... All Y Combinator news »

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