After a downpour of donations, the American Civil Liberties Union is joining the 2017 winter class of Y Combinator, one of the most reputable startup incubators in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. As examples, Y Combinator spawned the likes of Uber and Dropbox.
To be clear, this is not the first non-profit that joins a startup incubator. Y Combinator pioneered this concept in 2013 with Watsi, a “small team in San Francisco on a mission to provide healthcare for every person in the world.” In these cases, the VCs make a donation instead of buying a stake. ACLU will access the mentoring sessions, network and resources from Y Combinator.
There is no information on ACLU’s possible roadmap at the incubator. Techcrunch’s educated guesses suggest Y Combinator can help “attract talent, make investments in technological infrastructure and market itself to grow its donor base and influence.”
A page on Y Combinator’s website features areas of interest including diversity, underserved communities, food and farming, and “improving democracy”.