Y Combinator today announced that it will include nonprofit organizations in every “batch” of startups allowed into its accelerator program.
Besides the halo effect associated with donating tens of thousands of dollars to a nonprofit organization, Y Combinator doesn’t get much out of the arrangement.
Graham says in a blog post that any funds that the accelerator offers to nonprofit organizations will be a “charitable donation” and that Y Combinator “won’t have any financial interest in these organizations.”
The organizations, on the other hand, receive some startup cash, mentorship, and an opportunity to pitch potential investors-slash-donators during Y Combinator’s (in)famous demo days.
Y Combinator is one of the few — or perhaps the only — accelerators that produces companies investors are willing to invest in. Being near so many open checkbooks and bored reporters eager to write about a company that isn’t yet another photo-sharing, box-stuffing, or buzzword-laden startup that will sell to Yahoo when its seed funding runs out would likely benefit these nonprofit organizations.
Today’s announcement comes almost one year after Watsi, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform which allows contributors to fund “low-cost, high-impact medical care for people in need,” was accepted into the program and raised a $1.2 million “philanthropic seed round.”
Watsi has been featured by NPR, BBC News, and NBC, among many other outlets. Since its launch some 670 medical procedures have been fully funded through the Watsi platform. Trying to find another organization which is able to use technology to help as many people in another way is laudable.
[Image via Watsi on Facebook]