YCombinator is one of the leading early-stage US investors in Latin America, and has served as a signal for other US investors to start making their first investments in the region. Since accepting its first Latin American founder in 2013, the region’s presence in the accelerator program has significantly increased. The most recent batch had over 15 companies from Latin America.
In this episode, we’ve gathered advice from 8 founders, some we’ve interviewed previously, and some new ones, that have participated in YCombinator. They talk about their experience going through the program and give tips to founders in the interview process, which can also be useful for other accelerators.
We start off with Christian Van der Henst from Platzi who describes YCombinator as the handbook of doing business in Silicon Valley, followed by Deepak Chhugani from Nuvocargo who explains how he thinks entrepreneurs can maximize resources and mentorship from the program.
Next is Emmanuel Oquendo from BrainHi who talks about being the first Puerto Rican startup to get into YCombinator and gives advice for the interview process. He’s followed by João de Paula from Glio who talks about the importance of finding a work-life balance in YCombinator’s fast-paced environment.
Truora’s David Bilbao then explains how Latin Americans should leave storytelling for last and be more concise in their responses during the interview process. Next is Freddy Vega from Platzi who talks about the importance of understanding your metrics, and Marta Forero from Ubits gives tips on how to prepare 15-second responses for the interview.
And finally, Pedro Goes from InEvent gives advice on how to think about what you want to share with the partners at YCombinator.
- [0:00] – Introduction
- [1:45] Christian Van der Henst – Applying for YC
- [3:43] Christian Van der Henst – The value of being with other entrepreneurs
- [4:38] Deepak Chhugani – Explaining your business in one minute or less
- [6:30] Emmanuel Oquendo – First Puerto Rican startup to get into YC
- [7:46] Emmanuel Oquendo – Advice for the interview and the program
- [9:30] João de Paula – Knowing your competitors for the interview
- [12:33] João de Paula – How to position yourself once inside the program
- [14:32] Daniel Bilbao – No BS: answer directly, and then give your story
- [16:58] Freddy Vega – Understand your metrics
- [18:53] Marta Forero – Learning US terms
- [21:04] Marta Forero – Training for 15-second responses
- [23:59] Pedro Goes – Three key points of your company
Links to founders’ full-length episodes:
- Christian Van der Henst: Helping Latin America Learn with Platzi, Ep 52
- Emmanuel Oquendo: How Brainhi Rebounded from Hurricane Maria to Become Puerto Rico’s First YCombinator Company, Ep 68
- João de Paula, Glio: YCombinator’s First Latin American Startup, Ep 85
- Daniel Bilbao, Truora: Fighting Fraud in Latin America, Ep 80
- Marta Forero, UBits: Driving Economic Growth in Latin America via Corporate Education, Ep 74