I’m excited to announce a new experiment we’re going to try: YC Bio. YC Bio is a new way for us 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). The first area we’re going to focus on is healthspan and age-related disease—we think there’s an enormous opportunity to help people live healthier for longer, and that it could be one of the best ways to address our healthcare crisis.

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 (which is $120,000 invested for 7% ownership) we’ll offer these companies any amount between $500k and $1 million for 10-20% ownership, scaling linearly.

We’ll also offer the companies a deal for lab space through a partner. In addition, we’ll have a number of other special deals for YC bio companies, and access to a wide range of experts.

There will be a specific RFS in our application system for companies to indicate they’re interested in this system. Other bio companies are of course welcome to apply for the standard YC program.

You can email us at ycbio@ycombinator.com with any questions.