Sam Altman wrote recently, “”I’m excited to announce a new experiment we’re going to try: YC Bio.” YC Bio is a new way for Y Combinator to fund early-stage life science companies that are still in the lab phase.
“Because biology is such a large field, we’re going to try concentrating on one sub-area at a time (we’ve found the companies working in similar areas get a lot of value from being around each other),” Altman wrote. The first area they will be focusing on is healthspan and age-related disease—given the sizeable opportunity to help people live healthier for longer, and that it could be one of the best ways to address the ongoing healthcare crisis in the US.
“We’ve been funding bio companies for a little while now, and we’ve learned a bit about what works and doesn’t. We will try to design the program in light of what we’ve learned, and almost certainly we’ll make a lot of changes as we go along.”
This will be a special track like YC AI—the companies will go through the regular YC batch, but there will be a few differences. Instead of the standard deal for YC companies, $120,000 invested for 7 percent ownership, companies will be offered any amount between $500,000 and $1 million for 10 to 20 percent ownership, scaling linearly.
“We’ll also offer the companies free lab space”, says Altman despite admitting that they are still looking for one lab space partner. “In addition, we’ll have a number of other special deals for YC bio companies, and access to a wide range of experts.”