20VC: Behind the Scenes at Y Combinator: The Interview Process | What the Best & Worst Do in the Program | Do the Best All Raise Pre-Demo Day & YC’s Fundraising Advice to Startups | Why the Value is in Application Layer AI with Tom Blomfield

Posted on 13th May 2024 by Harry

Tom Blomfield is a Group Partner at YC. Before YC, Tom founded two unicorns in the UK. He was co-founder of Monzo (most recently valued at $5BN), one of the first challenger banks in the UK. Monzo raised more than £1bn and counts 15% of the UK population as customers. Before Monzo, Tom founded GoCardless (YC S11), an online payments processor, most recently valued at $2.1BN.

In Today’s Episode with Tom Blomfield We Discuss:

1. From Founding Two Unicorns to YC Partner:

  • Does Tom believe that all great founders show signs of exceptionalism early?
  • What does Tom know now that he wishes he had known when he started his first company?
  • Why did Tom decide now was the right time to switch from founder to investor with YC?

2. The YC Application Process: How it Works:

  • How do the YC partners select which companies are accepted vs rejected?
  • What specifically does Tom look for in the problem the company is looking to solve?
  • In the interview, what are the signals of the highest quality founders?
  • What questions does Tom always want to ask in YC interviews with founders?

3. The YC Batch: How it Works:

  • How do the YC partners work with the 25 companies in their batch? What is the interaction?
  • What are the single biggest mistakes companies make while in YC?
  • What are the biggest pieces of advice YC gives founders on fundraising approaching demo day?
  • How do the best YC founders fundraise and use demo day? How do the most nervous fundraise?
  • How are YC partners measured in terms of their success and effectiveness?

4. AI: Consumer vs Enterprise/ Infrastructure vs Application Layer:

  • Does Tom believe there is money to be made investing in infrastructure layer models today?
  • Why is the commoditization of foundation models the best outcome for society?
  • Why is Tom most excited about the application layer for the next wave of AI?
  • What are the most exciting opportunities in consumer AI that are wide open today?

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