Prestigious startup accelerator Y Combinator has apologized to entrepreneurs who were left scratching their heads when they received notices that they had been accepted into its Startup School only to learn a few hours later they had been rejected.
The problem? A software glitch caused all 15,000 applicants to receive acceptance emails, rather than just the typical 3,000. Initially, those accepted began sharing their elation on Twitter. When Y Combinator officials discovered the error, they began disinviting thousands of those applicants.
But the ensuing outcry led Y Combinator to change course again, because any problem in Silicon Valley is really a chance to innovate!
“We messed up and sent acceptance emails to many Startup School applicants who we didn’t previously have a place for,” the firm wrote in a blog post. “We’ve decided to use this error as an opportunity to try something new: we’re going to let in every company that applied to Startup School.”
I got an email saying I was not accepted to Y Combinator's Startup School — then I got one saying I did. I feel real bad for people who are in the reverse situation, but I'm also PUMPED TO GET IN~
— how did this get her eim not good with comput (@manfrin) August 21, 2018
Of course, what these startups will get out of the program will be interesting to see. As Y Combinator noted in an email sent to these startups, they would “get access to all the course materials, the private community forum (advisors and YC partners will also participate), and you’ll be able to use the company update feature so that you’ll also be eligible for one of the hundred $10k equity-free grants.”
The most important thing is that you will have a group of fellow founders to connect with so you can support one another. Unfortunately, we’re still constrained by number of advisors who volunteered to lead each group, which means your group won’t have an advisor. But having peers in a batch is what founders tell us is truly special about YC. We’re going to give you instructions on how to organize the group yourself and get nearly the same experience.
So, always look on the bright side of life! And good luck!