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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.

Sneha Banerjee

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

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


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