The announcement comes after a pilot program where over 650 Black and Latino founders applied, and YC partners met with 50 teams teams in 2 days of office hours.
Michael Seibel, the YC partner leading Open Office Hours, said “Silicon Valley investors often say they don’t have access to founders from underrepresented minorities. But we were able to get over 600 teams to apply to our first Open Office Hours in less than a week. We believe there are a large number of founders from a wide variety of backgrounds who are ready to be funded today.”
The new monthly program will focus its outreach on a different community each month, ranging from under-represented minorities to international founders.
After starting with a general office hours this January, YC will turn its focus to Veterans for the first themed month.
The seed accelerator is partnering with VetTechTrek, an organization that connects military companies to the tech community by leading regular visits to tech startups in Silicon Valley and NY. The February 11th veteran-focused office hours will be part of VetTechTrek’s next San Francisco trek.
The announcement was made by YC Partner Kat Manalac during VetTechTrek’s first VetTechTrek LIVE today, where veterans could log on to online talkshow site Blab and hear from veteran employees at 13 different startups, including Coinable, Plated, and Facebook.
Manalac told veterans that some of the best startups focus on solving personal problems of their founders, or leveraging domain expertise from previous live experiences (like military service).
After the Veteran-themed office hours in February, YC will host international founders in March, female founders in April, and another round of black and latino founders in July.