What’s Y Combinator, and why should we care?
Back in 2005, Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Since then 700 startup companies have been funded. Today those companies represent a combined valuation of over $30 billion. One could argue they are the most prestigious startup accelerator in the world. For ten years, year after year, they have help make massive impact in the world via tech entrepreneurship. Here is a sampling of their portfolio:
Michael Seibel is their first black partner…ever.
Not only that, but Seibel’s story is one that our youth can connect to. He’s black, he’s taken at least two companies to a successful exit, is himself a graduate of Y Combinator, and been tasked with reaching out to blacks and Hispanics who are underrepresented in Y Combinator and more broadly in Silicon Valley. In addition, one of the companies he co-founded, Twitch Entertainment, recently was sold to Amazon for $970 million. It’s probable your kids know of Twitch.tv, and are already casting on the platform, or know someone who does.
Did we mention he’s only 32 years old.
Here’s his bio taken directly from his website:
Hello, my name is Michael Seibel. I am 31 years old and have lived and worked in the Bay Area for the past 8 years. Currently I work at Y Combinator as a full-time partner.
Previously, I was a co-founder and CEO of Justin.tv from 2007 – 2011 and the co-founder and CEO of Socialcam in 2012. During 2012, Socialcam participated in Y Combinator, raised angel financing from a group of amazing investors, and sold to Autodesk Inc. for $60m. Needless to say – it was a busy year. In 2014 Justin.tv became Twitch Interactive and under the leadership of Emmett Shear and Kevin Lin sold to Amazon for $970m.
Before getting into tech, I spent a year as the finance director for a US Senate campaign and before that I graduated from Yale University with a bachelors degree in political science. Today I spend the large majority of my free time cooking, reading, traveling and going for long drives. I live in San Francisco, CA with my amazing fiancé Sarah.
The Bottom Line:
Most of our cadets are avid gamers, and they are very familiar with Twitch. To find out that Seibel, a black man, was a Twitch co-founder and CEO is an amazing story for them to hear, not to mention his new position at YC. I applaud Y Combinator for this first step. I’m rooting for him to succeed, and to prove the naysayers wrong. When he does, we all win.