How to put together a strong Y Combinator application

Free and useful resources for putting together a strong YC application

Paystack CEO at the YC Lagos Meetup
Shola Akinlade (Paystack CEO) addressing guests at the YC Lagos Meetup

Y Combinator accepts some of the best founders from across the world into their accelerator program, and funds them through their early stages. Every year, for the past two years, Paystack has hosted the Y Combinator Lagos Meetup - an event where YC alumni share tips on how to put together strong YC applications with prospective YC applicants.

⚡️ Resources from the YC Lagos Meetup

Here’s a roundup of some of the most useful tips, and discussions from the last meetup that you’ll find useful:

🔥 Additional Resources for Prospective Applicants

  • Advice for African founders applying to Y Combinator, from African YC alums - Link to videos
  • Paystack’s very own Y Combinator application with useful commentary included - Link to the YC application
  • YC’s collection of Frequently Asked Questions from YC applicants - Link to blogpost
  • A YC blog post highlighting the common misconceptions about applying to YC - Link to the article
  • Hackernoon’s collection of 60 sample YC applications, videos, interviews, and application advice - Link to the collection

🤝 Building relationships with Developers 

Y Combinator recommends that founders have at least one technical co-founder (read YC CEO, Michael Seibel’s tweets about this). At the last Lagos YC Meetup, several people expressed how hard it is for them to find technical people to work with, so we put together a list of a few places to meet and build relationships with good developers in Nigeria:

  • Devcenter - an active online community of developers
  • ForLoop is a network of in-person developer meetups. You can reach out to them via their website
  • Google Developer Group is one of Nigeria's oldest developer communities. You can contact them via their website
  • Payslack - an online community of developers in the Paystack Slack network

✍🏾 Applying to YC

Y Combinator receives applications into their program twice a year. They run the first batch from January through March, and the second one from June through August. To apply to Y Combinator, you just fill out an application form.

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