A Statistical Portrait of a Y Combinator Batch

We surveyed our Summer 2012 Y Combinator batch about their companies, and pasted the survey results into Statwing. Here’s a sampling of what we found:

The median YC founder is 27, but there’s a pretty wide distribution of values.

Each datapoint in this histogram is one founder.


Most startups in our batch have two or three founders, but a surprising number only have one.

Each datapoint is one company.


Companies working on primarily social products tend to be younger than other companies.

Datapoints here were for the rounded average age of that company’s founders; for example, the Statwing datapoint was 27.


There’s some other good stuff in this dataset.

  • The median startup has spent six months working on their current idea (so, three before YC started). It’s an interesting looking distribution of values.
  • We were surprised how many employees/contractors a lot of YC companies have already.
  • There’s a pretty clear relationship between whether a startup is working on mobile and how long they’ve spent on the product to date.

Explore these findings in Statwing—no data analysis chops necessary :) .

Lastly, a big hearty Thank you to all our batchmates, both for answering our survey and for all the other help you’ve given us this summer. We are very lucky to know you.


Methodology Notes:

  • You won’t find that first chart in the dataset we linked to. That chart counted each founder as one datapoint, where all other analyses counted each company as one datapoint
  • We collected most of this data in person at YC dinners on 8/7. The rest we gathered over the next week.
  • We categorized companies as mobile or social based on our own assessments. These days just about everyone has some mobile or social components, so we categorized based on whether those components were critical to the business or not.
  • Number of employees/contractors were measured on an FTE basis.
  • We counted a startup as “launched” if they were available to the public to use, whether or not they’d been written about publicly.

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