Y Combinator’s 8.25M USD fund proves success but will the model transfer to other industries?

May 24th, 20104:09 am @ f3 fund it

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Y Combinator’s new 8.25 million USD fund shows that it’s funding model is definitely successful, but the question is can it transfer to other industries?

While Y Combinator may be focused on the web (and by we include mobile as the lines are ever more blurry), this new 8.25M fund shows that Y Combinator’s new approach to investment shows merit. The question however is, can those similar practices be transferable to other industries?

Typically an investment of up to $20k ($5,000 + $5,000 per founder) isn’t exactly big bucks and typically won’t provide sufficient capital to hire a team, program whatever, and devise a strong media campaign. What it does is give the founders of said startup enough cash to live for three months and develop the idea while having their hands held by the incubator.

Specialized business training on the go, or more likely during the building stages? Absolutely, look at the successful entrants, all programmers with little to no business experience, but now with successful companies, Reddit, ClickPass, Zenter.

However, this is the web, where businesses are easily and quickly scalable, but how about if we were to apply the same model to clean tech, could a micro investment also work?

Aside from what is undoubtedly the higher cost of a prototype, the model should be transferrable. Why? Because the recipe is the same.

Inexperienced Engineer in Business + Good Scalable Idea + Capable Mentoring = Higher probability of success

The only difference then is, how much money will a non-web company need, and what is the exit?

First off, we are definitely looking at larger figures of 50-100k+ per clean tech project total seed investment – longer lead times, longer, development times, and longer to market times. Not to mention of course that sales and profit generating activities typically will require more effort but should those same hand holding techniques be applied to a different tech sector we could very well see a paradigm shift in the way we go from prototype to market, and more so how early stage non web companies get financed.

Would be interesting to see if anyone will pick up on such a model in the coming 3 years.