In July 2021, we launched FAVE-YC to help ambitious and mission-driven African founders get into Y Combinator. FAVE-YC 1.0 supported selected founders with thorough application reviews, mock interview sessions, business model reviews and recommendations to YC. A big thank you to our FAVE-YC 1.0 Advisory Squad: Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (YC S16), Wil Eyi (YC S20) and Uzoma Ayogu (YC S17).
In all, of the 29 applicants we accepted and supported, 13 got an interview invitation and 4 companies were accepted into YC!! That’s an acceptance rate of over 13%. To put this in context, YC’s acceptance rate per batch is between 2-3%. This means that startups who work with FAVE YC are >4 times more likely to get into YC.
“The suggestions we received from the FAVE-YC process helped us tell our story more succinctly and with more clarity. The team generously dedicated time to provide us candid feedback that helped us get accepted to the batch” – Anonymous (Commerce Startup).
“FAVE-YC really helped us put the YC application questions in perspective: the process was sharp, focused, and forced us to ask ourselves salient questions about how best we’d like to describe our company, and the problem we were solving. Going through the mock interviews made us ready for the actual interview and I’d 100% recommend it to anyone interested in applying for YC.” – Anonymous (Fintech Startup).
“Iyin’s podcast on nailing the application was really helpful and I am really grateful for the interview prep session because that helped me to fine-tune the opening statement. Now, it’s surreal that we are a YC company!!!” – Anonymous (Fintech Startup).
YC recently announced a new deal which has set mouths agog. Just in case you were living under a rock, YC now funds founders with a grand total of $500K – $125K at 7% (up from 25K at 6%) and $325K on an uncapped SAFE with MFN (up from $100K at $10m post-money valuation cap). Suffice to say. The YC deal is the best thing that could happen to a startup, especially from Africa, where $500K (≈N280m) can go a very long way.
Last year, African startups raised over $4.5 billion from local and global investors. Top tier investment funds like Tiger Global count YC alumni from Africa as 5 out of their 7 investments on the continent. With increased interest in Africa from other global investment funds, YC is going to become an even more important stop on every founder’s journey from zero to unicorn.
This is why at the Fund for Africa’s Future, we believe we have a responsibility to double down on the work we began with FAVE-YC last year as we back founders who are solving hard problems in our market. While many things about our approach to this program will not change, FAVE-YC 2.0 will be much better thanks to the addition of a few more YC Alumni as advisors and an opportunity for companies who apply to the program to raise funding from Future Africa whether they get into YC or not.
If you’re looking to apply and get accepted into the 2022 summer batch of the best accelerator in the world, we’re excited to help you through the process and provide you with all the advice, resources and networks to support your application. You may read the program phases below, go through this application guide and apply here.
PS: A call for YC Alum to join the Advisory Squad.
FAVE-YC could never be successful without YC Alumni who generously put in the time to review applications, share resources, and offer invaluable advice. If you’d like to join our advisory squad for FAVE-YC 2.0 and help the most promising startups from Africa get into YC, please fill this form. Our team will be in touch to share the next steps and provide information about participation benefits, including an opportunity to co-invest and share in carry profits on investments we make.
Here’s a walkthrough of the FAVE-YC 2.0 program phases:
Phase One: Apply to FAVE-YC.
We’ll need you to apply to join the FAVE-YC program. We’ve, however, made the process very simple for you. You only need to share your YC application answers with us here.
P.S. To apply, you need to be a post-launch startup. The deadline for applications is Monday, February 28th, 2022. Also, before you apply, it would be beneficial that you go through this guide.
Phase Two: Application Review
When we review your application, we will be looking out to see that you:
- are solving a big (popular / growing / urgent / expensive/ frequent) problem
- have unique insights into a solution that addresses the problem identified
- have an unfair advantage in executing the proposed solution (e.g. founder-market fit/domain expertise).
As we will be looking to co-invest in companies that are selected for FAVE-YC, we’ll also evaluate how well you fit into our investment philosophy. You can read more about our TD3 evaluation investment criteria here.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Phase Three: Invitation to Join FAVE-YC
If you evaluate greatly against the above criteria, we will invite you to join the FAVE-YC program. However, If we can’t invite you to join FAVE-YC, we will point you to other valuable resources to help with your Y Combinator application.
Phase Four: In-Depth Application Review / Revision and Brainstorming Session
Once accepted, we’ll invite you to a one-on-one brainstorming session with our thoughtfully selected YC Alumni Squad (including Iyinoluwa Aboyeji who co-founded Flutterwave, one of YC’s top 100 companies – currently valued at > $1 billion). They will help you better craft your startup’s story and tell why the problem you are solving matters. Generally, you’ll get their feedback on your business and get to discuss your business and strategy in detail.
Phase Five: Future Africa Investment
If you choose to be considered for a Future Africa investment at the point of applying to FAVE-YC and you meet our investment criteria, we will offer you up to $50K at the FAVE-YC investment terms. Our investment decision will be made prior to your acceptance by YC.
Phase Six: Recommendation of your startup to YC
Once your application is submitted to Y combinator, our advisory squad will specially recommend you to Y Combinator.
Phase Seven – Interview with YC Partners
If you get invited to interview with YC partners, we will conduct mock interviews for you. By now, you’d be fully set up with everything you need to have a high chance of getting accepted.
Phase Eight – Get Accepted Into YC
While we can’t guarantee acceptance into the YC accelerator program, we are confident that every startup that follows through with the FAVE – YC program will emerge “investment-ready”.
Phase Nine – The Acceleration Program + Demo Day
You participate in the 3-month YC acceleration program, which culminates in a Demo Day where a specially selected audience of investors and press get exposure to your startup. Again, we’d be here, supporting you through this phase. We will actively, strategically and aggressively market your startup to investors ahead of your demo day, increasing your chances of actually raising follow-on funding and significantly increasing your company’s valuation.
Phase Infinity – Lifetime Support
YC brings their years of expertise and robust network to support your startup to success. We provide localised support/expertise, access to a solid local and africa-wide network, regulatory mediation and help with other issues that only operators in Africa can understand. You get the best of both worlds! You not only join the YC alumni community, but you also become a Future Africa portfolio company.
Start your application here.