We want to be sure we’re not discriminating against founders in our funding decisions at YC, so we decided to look at some data.
Based on analyzing a random sample of 5% of YC winter 2015 applicants, 11.8% of the founders who applied were women and around 3% percent of the founders were either Black or Hispanic.
Of the founders we funded in our most recent batch, 11.1% of the founders are women (about 23% of the startups have one or more female founders), 3.7% of the founders are Hispanic, and 4% of the founders are Black.
The good news is that there is no disadvantage to applying to YC as a female or minority founder. The bad news, of course, is that applicant percentages are low relative to the entire population.
We believe the ecosystem can support a lot more startups from many different backgrounds; this will not be a zero-sum game. We will continue and strengthen our outreach efforts. As more good people start startups and apply to YC, more startups will get funded.