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Silicon Valley's elite startup generator is shaking up how it runs things

Sam Altman Y CombinatorGetty ImagesY Combinator’s Sam Altman

Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator has reached its Alphabet moment.

Last August, Google had become way more than a hub for internet searching so it changed its corporate structure. Google stayed Google, but its other side projects, like life sciences and cars, were spun out into their own sections under a parent company, Alphabet.

Y Combinator has reached the same inflection point.

When Y Combinator president Sam Altman took over leading the prestigious startup accelerator, it was primarily only that: a training ground for startups that happened to have a popular tech discussion site, Hacker News, attached.

But over the past year, Altman has been expanding Y Combinator’s scope.

The accelerator announced in October it was creating a venture capital fund, the YC Continuity Fund, so it could continue funding startups. Outside of the main accelerator program, it also created a new YC Fellowship slot for smaller teams with even earlier stage startups.

Then there’s YC Research, a new non-profit research lab announced in October, to work on projects that may require a longer time horizon than the typical accelerator. Not to mention, you still have to run Hacker News.

With Y Combinator now being more than its “core program” and spread out into five major groups, Altman has assigned new managing partners for each. For now, Altman will run the research lab himself until they find someone new, but otherwise each new partner is a deputy of sorts as Altman continues to oversee.

Paul Buchheit, the man who created Gmail, will now run the core accelerator with Altman still advising the startups. Kevin Hale, creator of one Y Combinator’s earliest funded startups Wufuu, now leads the fellowship program. For the full list of who now runs what, read Altman’s post.

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