This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Adora Cheung was co-founder and CEO of Homejoy, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2010. Before that, she was the lead product manager at Slide where she had the opportunity to learn about startups. She has a bachelor’s in computer science from Clemson University and is an economics Ph.D. dropout at the University of Rochester. Adora founded Homejoy in July 2012 and has successfully grown the Homejoy team from just her and her brother to a team of over 120 employees and platform that serve hundreds of thousands of households in over 30 cities across the US, Canada, UK, and Germany. Currently, Adora is a partner at Y Combinator, She attended Startup Istanbul and explains the Y Combinator and how it works. You can watch the video here
The Y Combinator is an early stage incubator designed for funding startups, the basic funding is $150,000 dollars for each a number of startups, this is in exchange for about %7 of equity of the startups after successfully applying, all the successful applicant startups are taken to Silicon Valley for a 3-month program where they are mentored. In addition to mentorship, the growth of the startups are accelerated and at the end, the startups converge for a demo day, in which hundreds of investors show up, to help the startups raise funds. After the 3-month program, Y Combinator continues to aid the startups until they are either successful or otherwise.
Adora Cheung who is currently a partner with Y Combinator adds that there is no threshold for selecting startups, but it is important for the startups willing to participate to have a good idea and know how to communicate it, Y Combinator has taken startups with no users, and also startups that have millions of users. The Y Combinator accepts startups from all fields, but recently, most applications have been coming from startups in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning probably due to recent trends.
Adora was a part of the Y Combinator program and it led to the founding of her startup Homejoy, she mentions that Y Combinator has always been for startups outside Silicon Valley, saying the Y Combinator does a lot of outreach to founders all over the globe, focusing on startups solving both local and global problems. Applications to the Y Combinator can be done online through the link www.ycombinator.com/apply/, startup teams with successful applications are flown to San Francisco to do a physical interview, upon the success of the interview, applicants are then funded to move to San Francisco.
Adora joined Startup Istanbul to meet founders and talk about their startups, reaching Istanbul, she was able to talk to founders and assess their level of development, making attempts to push them further, she believes that startups fail due to the bad relationships between co-founders, and encourages startups to be persistent and keep striving to succeed.