Startup School Week 9 Recap – Carolynn Levy on Modern Startup Financing and Jared Friedman’s Advice for Hard-tech and Biotech Founders

We’ve cut down the ninth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast.

First, a lecture from Carolynn Levy. Carolynn is a partner at YC. Her lecture covers modern startup financing.

Then a lecture from Jared Friedman. Jared is also a partner at YC. His lecture focuses on advice for hard-tech and biotech founders.


00:00 – Intro

00:33 – Carolynn Levy – Modern Startup Financing

1:33 – The basics: form a corporation, need money to grow?, sell a part of the company

2:58 – Fundraising terms

3:58 – What has changed: structure, access, focus

5:10 – What hasn’t changed: preferred stock financing, valuation and dilution, communication

6:42 – Old way of raising early money: Series A preferred stock financing

8:33 – What was broken?

9:33 – The transition: bridge loan financings

10:46 – Realization: convertible promissory notes are a better way to fund early stage startups

12:01 – Modernization of the convertible – SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity)

14:03 – When do priced rounds happen?

15:12 – Is modern early stage financing perfected?

18:01 – Takeaways

19:30 – Jared Friedman – Advice for Hard-tech and Biotech Founders

20:25 – What is a hard-tech company?

21:35 – Why start a hard-tech company?

25:06 – YC is the largest bio and hard-tech seed investor in the world

25:49 – How much of YC’s advice applies to hard-tech founders?

26:33 – How do you make progress when you have a “heavy MVP”?

31:49 – How do you prove people will want your product, if you haven’t built it yet?

32:57 – Letter of Intent

34:10 – Fundraising for hard-tech and biotech companies

36:15 – Final thought


Google Play


A transcript is on the way.

Via Y Combinator.