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Justin Kan accepts Y Combinator Fellowship pitches over Snapchat

TechCrunch TechCrunch 11/05/2016 Fitz Tepper

One of the latest Snapchat trends (at least in our little tech bubble) is venture capitalists using the social media platform as a way to dish out advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

People like Mark SusterGary Vaynerchuk, and Justin Kan preach on topics ranging from how to ask for an email intro to the importance of physical activity for startup founders.

But here’s the thing – no matter how good the advice is, it eventually gets boring to watch the same person talk into the camera each day for a seemingly endless amount of 10 second snaps. Plus, even if you’re taking notes it’s not exactly an interactive experience.

So Justin Kan, partner (and now spokesperson) at YC, has decided to spice things up by using his Snapchat to hold a pitch competition, with the winner getting to interview for the YC Fellowship.

As a refresher, YC Fellowship is an attempt by the startup accelerator to return to its roots by funding at the idea stage with a small investment of $20,000.

Entrepreneurs can apply here for the chance to pitch, and if selected will be able to log in and “takeover” Kan’s Snapchat for an hour between May 23rd and 26th. The startups can do anything they want in that hour to sell viewers (and YC) on their idea, so expect some pretty creative stuff.

At the end, Kan will let viewers vote by screenshot to tell YC which ideas they liked best. The winner will then get the chance to interview directly with the YC team.

Why go through the process of a final interview and not just fund the winner, especially since participating startups will be vetted before being chose to pitch on Snapchat? Kan said that they wanted to give winners the chance to meet the fellowship team in an interview first, since they will be working closely with the team if they are given funding.

While we won’t know if the experiment will turn out successful for YC until after the pitches are over, the week-long event will definitely give the startup community an interesting glimpse at how early-stage startups pitch accelerators like YC.

The pitches will start on May 23rd and can be viewed on Kan’s snapchat.

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