The Startup Whisperer
- Thursday, February 23, 2012
- By Rachel Metz
By offering young company founders advice and about $17,500 each, Paul Graham is reshaping the landscape of the tech business.
On a recent afternoon, the offices of Y Combinator pulsed with confidence. Crowded around long white tables were the mostly young, mostly male, founders of two dozen startups all hoping to become the next successful website or tech company.
Flitting around the room in Birkenstock sandals was Paul Graham, 47, the creator of Y Combinator, a twice-a-year program that invests small amounts of funding in startups and offers them industry contacts and three months of guidance in exchange for a stake. During office hours founders can sign up to chat one on one with Graham, who may be the country's most sought-after startup guru and is the leader of what participants fondly call a technology "cult."
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