Here's What Indian Entrepreneurs Should Know Before Y Combinator's Next Trip To India Aaron Harris, Partner at Y Combinator's views on the Indian startup ecosystem

By Sneha Banerjee

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Y Combinator website

Y Combinator is hailed as the most powerful startup accelerator globally and companies helmed by YC are a testament to the same. Some of the most successful stories such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit and more have been honed by YC partners.

A couple of Indian startups have also made it to the YC alum list. ClearTax, Razorpay, co-working space Innov8, self-drive car rental app JustRide and Meesho, an app for sellers on Facebook and WhatsApp, have made it to the accelerator's program during different batches.

In an email interaction with Entrepreneur India, YC Partner Aaron Harris discussed about the potential of Indian startups and what the Mountain View-based accelerator is planning to look out for in its forthcoming trip.

"We're always looking for companies where we believe that the founders + the idea could be a multibillion dollar company. That's no different in India, though the problems that founders are attacking in India are often different than those in the US market," Aaron said.

Started in 2005 by Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Robert Morris and Trevor Blackwell, the powerhouse accelerator selects two batches of startups every year. These startups receive seed money and mentoring in return for about 7 percent in equity.

View on Indian entrepreneurs

I think Indian founders are great. They have an incredibly large and fast growing market to attack, and very few constraints on what's possible. That's an incredible place to be. The founders we've backed are taking full advantage of those circumstances to try to build absolutely huge companies.

How to get a pitch right?

Be concise and clear about what you actually do, not about what you could theoretically do in the future. There seems to be a high correlation between a founder's ability to communicate, and their ability to build and lead great teams. Founders often want to make what they are working on seem bigger than it is, where what's most important is showing that they are working on and how they're going to keep doing it.

What are the potential sectors Indian entrepreneurs should really try and explore?

There's almost too many to name. There are so many big challenges in everything from fintech, to transportation, to commerce. I think Indian startups have only started scratching the surface of what they're going to do. I'm excited to see what's next.

The accelerator is scheduled to visit India later this month and conduct YC office hours in Delhi and Bangalore.

Wavy Line
Sneha Banerjee

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

She used to write for Entrepreneur India from Bangalore and other cities in South India. 

Related Topics


4 Lessons from the GOAT MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni is by far one of the most influential sportspersons and captains. He has been a role model for many in sports, professionalism, personality, leadership and more. His journey is nothing short of inspiring as he hailed from a middle-class family and worked his way to the top. There are several lessons to take away from his journey.

Money & Finance

How Much Cash Do You Need for Your Business's Safety Net?

A healthy business has a healthy cash flow, but what do you do when you hit a dry spot?

Starting a Business

How Dairy Farming Made Me a Better Tech Entrepreneur

Here's how working on a dairy farm contributed to my success as a technology entrepreneur.


How Early-Stage Investors Decide Whether to Invest in a Startup

Having a validated product or service and demonstrating market traction are essential for attracting early-stage investors. Startups are more likely to attract investment interest if they can demonstrate early consumer adoption, revenue growth, or partnerships with significant players in the industry.


Surprise Attack: Ashneer Grover Returns To Television With Roadies

Ashneer Grover, the former managing director and co-founder of BharatPe, caused quite the stir among his fans over the weekend when the promo video of Roadies 19 was released.


You Have to Lead Yourself Before You Can Lead Others — How to Master the Art of Self-Leadership

As entrepreneurs, we can get lost in the demands of the business and need to remember to take care of ourselves. However, self-care is crucial in self-leadership. When business leaders don't practice self-care, they become overwhelmed and burnt out, which means a decrease in productivity, creativity, and overall happiness.