Is 17 too young to apply to Y Combinator or any other incubator program


We are team of two 17 year old students with an "idea". Is it possible to even be considered for Y Combinator etc. We realize we dont have much credentials in terms of experience and education but do you think they would consider us?


Getting Started Funding

asked Sep 9 '11 at 07:45
23 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans

5 Answers


Check their terms. Unless they have an actual restriction against founders under the age of 18, why not apply? I honestly wouldn't even worry about whether or not they'll consider you.

Applying for just about any incubator program can be a great way to round out your idea, make sure you've covered your bases, and to just learn about the process in general.

Don't get your hopes up--credentials and track record can be just as important, if not more than, the idea itself. Just don't think you're walking away empty-handed even if you're not selected.

answered Sep 9 '11 at 07:57
1,156 points
  • +1 Great advice. Talk to Y Combinator and do it anyway to flesh out your idea. – Susan Jones 12 years ago
  • +1 for the "just do it". There are lots of Y Combinators around, some will take you others won't – Robin Vessey 12 years ago


The biggest roadblock I believe you'd face is that you are legally a minor (under US law, I suppose other countries might vary by a few years). This would limit your ability to enter into binding contracts, funding arrangements, etc.

answered Sep 9 '11 at 14:36
41 points


The most recent TechStars Boulder class included 2 co-foudners ages 16 and 17.

If you have the right talent, drive, team, and possibly idea, then age should not be a problem.

answered Sep 16 '11 at 00:43
Steve Reaser
21 points
  • Thanks for that info, its really interesting to see this! – User13214 12 years ago


I know for a fact that the Founder Institute (I am involved with the French chapter) will ignore your age and focus on your raw capacity as an entrepreneur to decide whether you will be a good entrepreneur or not. So you can pass the online test and see how well you do.

answered Sep 9 '11 at 12:46
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points
  • I'm curious, do you know if the same applies to the US based Founder Institute? In the US you must be at least 18 to enter into a legally binding contract. I wonder what kind of impact this would have. – Zuly Gonzalez 12 years ago


Bare in mind, that if you do get funding from Y Combinator you'll need to adhere to their rules - including

If we invest in you, your group is expected to move to the Bay Area for January through March 2012. (You can of course leave afterward if you want, but it's a good place for a startup to be.)

answered Sep 15 '11 at 21:59
Marco Ceppi
126 points
  • We have both thought about it and if the opportunity came up who wouldnt move! – User13214 12 years ago
  • I certainly wouldn't. However, you'll have to make sure you content with things like education laws, parental permission, etc. If you have the ability to - then more power to you! – Marco Ceppi 12 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Getting Started Funding