Aaron Harris

Aaron is a Partner at YC. He was cofounder of Tutorspree, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2011. Before Tutorspree he worked at Bridgewater Associates, where he managed product and operations for an analytics group. He has an AB in History and Literature from Harvard.


Process and Leverage in Fundraising

In running our Series A program, we uncovered a way to materially influence the leverage a founder has in any round: process. Process is important because it gives founders the best opportunity to create a market for startups that favors the founders in the most important aspect of raising money: getting the right investor.

The YC Seed Deck Template

I’ve written about pitching before, and realized that what we were missing is a clear template of how founders should lay out their story through slides. This deck is a template for how I think companies should build seed decks.

Big Deals

There are few things more dangerous to startups than Big Deals. Founders lie to themselves by believing that catching a single Big Deal will automatically create a huge company. I’ve seen this belief kill a large number of startups.

YC’s Series A Diligence Checklist

When we launched our Series A program a few months ago, we decided that what we learn along the way shouldn’t just be kept inside of YC. We’re going to publish tools and learnings from the program that should help every company create better outcomes. This is the first tool. It’s simple, but effective.

Why Toys?

Some of the biggest technology companies look like toys in the beginning. From a classical business building perspective, this shouldn’t happen. Toys are for fun. Businesses, especially huge ones, are for making money. Toys are small and of limited use. Large companies contain multitudes and perform a huge array of functions.

YC Series A Program

In the last year, YC companies have raised over $550mm across 62 Series As. Near as we can tell, that’s the highest number in any portfolio anywhere in venture investing. We expect that number to go up each year as we fund more companies.

Mistakes in Time

I often think about things I want to learn and the reasons I cannot do so. I come up with plenty of excuses, from not having a practical need for learning that thing to not being smart enough to learn it. My biggest excuse, though, is that I simply don’t have the time.

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