Y Combinator Launches Female Founder Stories

December 1, 2014

12:30 pm

If you missed the announcement Wednesday in a pre-Thanksgiving haze, make sure you check out Y Combinator’s Female Founder Stories, a collection of 40 interviews with Y Combinator alumni on their entrepreneurial journey.

Those interviews include Jessica Mah, founder of inDinero; Susan Johnson, founder of Women.com; and The Muse cofounders Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavoulacos.

To kick off the series, founding partner Jessica Livingston wrote a post called “What We Learned from 40 Female YC Founders.” Some of the lessons she shared included:

  • Many women wish they had learned to program earlier. The problem here is not just raising awareness for programming education but also making it seem accessible and welcoming for women, no matter their age.
  • Not all women think being a woman is a disadvantage. Some founders saw it as an advantage or a small bump on the hard road to startup success.

Livingston says that Y Combinator, which funded 19% female founders in 2014, has been supportive of women since it launched a startup accelerator in 2005.

To the extent there was one partner in charge of YC’s environment, it was me, and as a woman myself I would not have tolerated anything else,” she wrote. “Some would claim it’s closer to the truth to say that [the four female partners] run the place.”

The Female Founder Stories, along with Y Combinator’s Female Founders Conference on February 21, are designed to showcase successful women in tech – and hopefully inspire others to take the plunge.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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