ポール・グレアム「Y CombinatorのFAQ」を翻訳しました。


元題は Frequently Asked Questions で、原文は以下です。


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Y CombinatorのFAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Y Combinatorは何をしているのですか?
What Happens at Y Combinator?


How can we get funding for our startup?

Apply online for our next funding cycle. We fund startups twice a year.

ベンチャーを起業してしばらく経ちます。私たちもY Combinatorに応募できますか?
We've already been working on our startup for a while. Is Y Combinator appropriate for us?

We've funded a lot of startups like that. In fact, we especially like them. We can probably help any startup that hasn't already raised a series A round from VCs.

Don't incorporate, though, if you can avoid it. It's easier to start with our paperwork than to transfer an existing LLC or S-Corp to a C-Corp.

We've already taken some funding. Can we still apply?

Sure. We've funded many startups that have.

We don't want funding, but will you give us advice?

Unfortunately we can't. We've invested in so many companies that helping them takes up all our time. But we've collected some general advice in our library.

Can you recommend other investors who might be interested in our idea?

When you refer someone to an investor, you're also recommending them, and you can't recommend people you don't know. If you're looking for investors, your best bet is to find friends of friends who've started or worked for startups, and ask for intros to their investors.

How much do you invest?

Usually $11,000 + $3000 per founder. So $17,000 for two founders, $20,000 for three or more. Occasionally we invest more. The goal is usually to give you enough money to build an impressive prototype or version 1, which you can then use to get further funding.

Y Combinatorが得るものは?
What does Y Combinator get out of this?

Stock in the startup, from 2-10% of it. Usually 6 or 7%.

We don't really need the money. Does it still make sense to apply?

Half (maybe more) of the startups we fund don't need the money. And in fact the money is a only a small part of what YC does. The money we invest works more like financial aid in college: it ensures that the people who do need money can cover their living expenses while YC is happening.

What if we're doing something expensive?

We'll still fund you, but instead of trying to build something launchable in three months, the goal becomes to build an impressive proof of concept to take to later stage investors to raise more money.

Do we need to write a business plan?

Not for us. We make funding decisions based on our application form and personal interviews. We love demos, but we never read business plans.

Can a single person apply for funding?

Yes, but the odds of being accepted are lower. A startup is too much work for one person.

ベンチャー向きのすごいアイデアがあるんですが、私には技術がありません。それでも資金を提供していただけますか? 自分のアイデアを実装するプログラマを見つけるのを手伝っていただけないでしょうか?
I have a great idea for a startup, but I'm not technical. Will you still fund me? Can you help me find programmers to implement my idea?

We'll consider funding you, but your chances are about ten times better if you find yourself a technical cofounder.

It's much better if you find one yourself through friends of friends than if we introduce you to someone. Teams thrown together for the purpose of starting a startup usually fall apart under stress. You need some kind of personal connection.

Can we do it without moving to where you are?

Sorry, no. We tried this once, and by Demo Day that startup was way behind the rest. What we do, we have to do in person. We would not be doing a startup a favor by not making them move.

You can leave one founder at home, but the rest, including the CEO, have to live in the Bay Area during the 3 month funding cycle.

Do we have to start a company in the US for you to invest in us?

そのとおりだが、それは普通、問題にならない。外国人がアメリカで起業するのは難しくない (アメリカに住み続けるよりはずっと簡単だ)。それに投資家や買収者はアメリカ企業のほうを好む。
Yes, but that's usually not a problem. It's easy for foreign nationals to start US companies (much easier than remaining here physically), and investors and acquirers prefer them.

Do we have to be US citizens?

No, as long as you can get here for at least three months. We've funded many startups founded by non-citizens.

Can you get us visas?

No, sorry, we don't do that. You'll have to figure out visas for yourself. If you know people from previous YC-funded companies who came from outside the US, we suggest you ask them for advice. They understand the options better than we do.

Our group has two ideas. Can we submit two applications?

Ok. Just submit them from the YC accounts of different founders.

Do you only fund startups that write software?

We'll consider startups in any field, but odds are better for startups writing software, because that's what we understand.

秘密保持契約にサインしていただけますか? アイデアを盗まれたくないんです。
Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won't steal my idea?

No, we won't sign an NDA. No venture firm would at this stage. The informal commitment to secrecy on our application form is more than any VC would make.

In this connection you may want to read the first section of How to Start a Startup on the value of mere ideas.

Will you fund multiple startups working on the same idea?

Yes. If you fund as many companies as we do it's unavoidable you'll end up with some overlap. Even if you tried not to accept competing companies, you'd still get overlap because startups' ideas morph so much. The way we deal with it is that when two startups are working on related stuff, we don't talk to one about what the other's doing.

In practice it has not turned out to be a problem, because most big markets have room for several slightly different solutions, and it's unlikely that two startups would do precisely the same thing.

Why didn't you accept our application?

Strange as it may sound, the better your application was, the less likely there is to be an answer to this question. So don't take it personally. The fact is, even the best investors are quite bad at picking winners. VC firms consider themselves to be doing well if 4 out of 10 companies they fund succeed.

Y Combinatorはインキュベーターなんですか?
Is Y Combinator an incubator?

No. The defining quality of incubators seems to be that companies work out of the investor's space. We think that's a bad idea; it makes founders feel like employees.

What's the average age of people you fund?

About 26. A lot of people think it's younger because the press especially like to write about young founders.

自分の街にY Combinator的なものを作るのを手伝っていただけませんか?
Will you help us set up something like Y Combinator in our town?

Y Combinatorは、すでにあなたの街にある。つまりY Combinatorだ。シード・ファンディング・ビジネスはローカルなものではなく、全国的なものだ。
There already is a Y Combinator in your town: Y Combinator. The seed funding business is national, not regional.

私たちの国にY Combinator的なものを作るのを手伝っていただけないでしょうか?
Will you help us set up something like Y Combinator in our country?

実際のところ、シード・ファンディング・ビジネスは国際的とさえ言えるのかもしれない。興味はあるが、残念ながら答えは「いいえ」だ。Y Combinator的なものを作りたがっている人へのアドバイスはできない。私たちが資金を提供したベンチャーが最優先だし、次はマスコミと投資家だ。それ以外の時間などぜんぜんない。
Actually, the seed funding business may even be international. We'll see. But no, unfortunately, we can't give advice to people who want to set up new things modelled on Y Combinator. The startups we've funded get first claim on our time; next come press and investors; and after those there is no time left.

なんで「Y Combinator」って名前にしたんですか?
Why did you choose the name "Y Combinator?"

Y combinatorはコンピュータ・サイエンスで最もクールな概念の1つだ。またY combinatorは私たちの仕事の比喩でもある。Y combinatorはプログラムを動かすプログラムだし、私たちは、企業を始めるのを支援する企業だからだ。
The Y combinator is one of the coolest ideas in computer science. It's also a metaphor for what we do. It's a program that runs programs; we're a company that helps start companies.

Are you hiring?

We aren't, but companies we've funded are.

Are you looking for investors?

Y Combinator自体は投資家を募集していないが、私たちが資金を提供した企業への投資家は歓迎する。ベンチャーの最新バージョンを投資家に示すデモ・デーを年に2回(3月と8月)、開催している。
We're not looking for investors in Y Combinator itself, but you're welcome to invest in the companies we fund. We have Demo Days twice a year (in March and August) at which the latest batch of startups present to investors.