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.


Toy Markets

Many of the largest companies in the world started in markets so small they looked like toys. Over time, each of these companies grew their markets or created new ones to dominate. Founders in toy markets who want to raise money need to find the right investors, and tell those investors the right story.

What to Do with Too Much Advice

There are now hundreds, probably thousands, of people with at least some experience in startups. Most of these people are willing to help/advise some number of the people who ask. This is a blessing and a curse.

Introducing YC Series A Batches

We launched a Series A program 6 months ago, but we started prototyping the program 6 months before that with a few companies. In that year, we’ve learned a huge amount about what works and what doesn’t work when raising an A. We’re now ready to launch the next phase of the program: working with companies that are ready for a Series A in batches, just like regular YC.

When to Raise a Series A

One of the hardest questions to answer when considering an A is “when is my company ready?” I’ve been returning to this problem nearly every day since we started the Series A program and I’ve started to build a framework for how to solve it.

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.

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