Y Combinator Research

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YCR is a non-profit. Any IP developed will be made available freely to everyone.


We’re not doing this with the goal of helping YC’s startups succeed or adding to our bottom line. At the risk of sounding cliché, this is for the benefit of the world. As we’ve seen throughout history, new technological breakthroughs help all of us. Fundamental research is critical to driving the world forward, and funding for it keeps getting cut.


Happy to see this.

The author of that post and president of Y Combinator, Sam Altman, has written a couple times about technology risks including tech-driven inequality. If the IP policy for YCR is at all motivated by those worries, that’s a great sign. Even if not, it’s a good policy.

It could still help YC startups and add to YC’s bottom line, benignly through YC people having more intimate knowledge of the research, given them/funded companies a competitive advantage. Or less benignly through watching the research pipeline and moving innovation to freedom infringing venues (anyplace with a different policy, such as a YC startup), just as professors can move innovation to a startup or consult with a company in order to not share the take or control with a university technology licensing office. But of course YC Research has a much better starting policy than do post-1980 universities, at least in the U.S.