Y Combinator’s (YC) Online Startup School’s first batch has graduated with 1,584 of 2,820 companies completing the programme.
These startups have been chosen from the 13,321 companies that applied to the YC’s 10-week programme.
The programme included one-on-one mentorship sessions with previous YC startup founders, virtual office hours with a group of fellow students and an online lecture series.
“Next time we could do 10,000 startups,” YC President Sam Altman said.
Typically, YC teaches two batches of about 100 startups per year that receive $120,000 in funding, education, and connections in exchange for seven per cent of their equity.
According to Altman, YC was looking for a way “to advise not just a few hundreds of companies a year but a few thousand”.
The 10-week programme requires the startups to watch the lectures, along with attending nine of 10 online group office hours with their peers, and submit updates on their growth and metrics for at least nine of the 10 weeks.
Under the programme, founders would apply, and if admitted, would be assigned a YC alumni as their mentor with a set of 20 other startups as their peer group. YC invests no cash and while taking no equity in the companies. The startups do not have to pay anything to participate.
“The amazing thing is that it worked at all” Altman said of the 7,746 founders who went through the programme. In the end, 1,584 startups passed the course.
“One big and obvious but important difference is how much more internationally focused this is,” he added.
Expanding beyond the US has been a major priority for YC. It organised Startup School events around the world last year, which translated into YC’s winter 2017 batch being its most geographically diverse set of companies yet, hailing from 22 countries.
Still, turning Startup School into a full-fledged online accelerator expands YC’s footprint tremendously.
“If this keeps working I think we can have a significant impact on the financial outcomes of the world” Altman concludes.
Of the startups that graduated from YC’s Startup School, 797 have posted demo videos about their initiatives.
You can watch the videos here.
This article originally appeared on Tech Crunch.
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