Y Combinator is officially adding three new team members to its roster this morning. Gustaf Alstromer, formerly product leader of Airbnb’s growth team, is joining YC as a partner. Meanwhile Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky is taking a visiting partner role and Jocelyn Robancho is coming on board to assist with organizing YC’s #startup batches.
Though Alstromer and Migicovsky each have their own areas of domain expertise, both told me that their new roles will demand a generalist approach. Each will prioritize assisting with diligence and mentorship while maintaining the flexibility to take on projects of interest.
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“While I’m interested in helping during the three month YC program, I also want to talk to YC hardware startups at other stages,” Migicovsky told me in an interview. “What could the YC network do to support these companies?”
Even as a generalist, having an extra hardware expert on staff should yield additional benefits for YC-backed hardware companies. Luke Iseman previously held a “Director of Hardware” role at Y Combinator throughout 2015 and 2016. He left in October of last year to pursue his latest startup, Boxouse — that startup ended up a part of the subsequent YC batch.
As a visiting partner, Migicovsky has not committed to staying at YC past the completion of its next batch, although there is precedent for visiting partners transitioning into longer-term partner positions. Alstromer was a visiting partner during the last batch and decided to join full-time this summer.
Alstromer is interested both in scaling startups and scaling YC. He is thinking about creative ways to reach larger audiences — something YC has been pouring a lot of resources into with its Startup School MOOC.
Both Alstromer and Migicovsky have experience investing in startups as angels but neither has worked in a structured investing and mentorship role before. But having both been through Y Combinator as founders, they will be extra relatable to new founders and bring the lessons of their successes and failures full circle.