WINNING Y COMBINATOR: Read the successful applications that hot startups used to win spots in the accelerator that launched Airbnb and Dropbox

Yunha Kim Simple Habit

Summary List Placement

There’s still time to apply to Y Combinator.

Since the accelerator opened its doors in 2005, more than 2,500 startups have gone through the program.

Many of those startups have since achieved tremendous success. Think Airbnb, Dropbox, Instacart, Coinbase, and Brex. 

The admissions process at Y Combinator is very selective: About 1.5% of the companies that apply make it in. Once they do, those companies receive seed funding, plus advice from seasoned founders. The program culminates in a Demo Day, when founders get to pitch investors on their business. This year, the accelerator is holding demo day online on March 23.

The deadline to participate in Y Combinator’s summer 2021 batch is March 19. To convince the admissions committee that you deserve a spot in the program, you’ll have to craft an impressive pitch.

Insider has talked to several founders who have done just that — and we’ve shared the original applications that got them in.

Below, we’ve listed those applications, which you can use as inspiration when you’re writing your own.

Goodly: Read the application form that got a company with $0 in the bank into the selective startup accelerator that launched Airbnb and Dropbox

InEvent: The startup accelerator that launched Airbnb and Dropbox rejected 3 founders in 2015 — so they rewrote their application and tried again. Read the form that finally won them a spot last year.

Simple Habit: Read the application form that got the ‘Spotify for meditation’ into the selective startup accelerator that launched Airbnb and Dropbox

Prolific: Less than 2% of applicants get accepted to Y Combinator, the startup accelerator that launched Airbnb and Dropbox. Read the application that helped 2 scientists who bootstrapped their business get in.

Are you a startup founder who’s participated in Y Combinator and wants to share your story? Contact Insider correspondent Shana Lebowitz at slebowitz@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: A former Y Combinator partner says a founder’s answer to this one question on the tech accelerator’s application strongly predicts their startup success

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