For now, Silicon Valley's most popular tech incubator Y Combinator is putting a cap on the number of applicants it accepts for the 2013 class. Founder Paul Graham, known to many as the startup guru, said that YC simply grew too fast. In a blog post, he wrote of the cut in class size:
"The reason we accepted fewer applications was that in summer 2012 we grew too fast. We had 66 companies in winter 2012, and that was fine, but for some reason more things than usual broke when we jumped from 66 to 84. Things are always breaking at YC, because our strategy is to find bottlenecks by hitting them. That may sound irresponsible, but in practice it's the way most complex systems get optimized. We're still a bit mystified about what happened. Why was 66 ok and 84 not? Is there some kind of hard limit somewhere between those two numbers? Or will we be able to morph YC to get past that bottleneck as we always have in the past?"
It was also recently reported that YC would slash the amount of funding it awarded to startups who graduated from the program. Startups were originally given $150,000, but now will only receive $80,000.
But Graham assures the cap on class size is not set in stone. "We don't plan to stay at 50, or whatever exact number of startups this batch ends up having. We've never had a predetermined batch size; that's just the number we ended up with when we tightened our filters as much as we could," he said.