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Person | Profile

Jessica Livingston

Founder, Y Combinator | California, San Francisco

Connected to: Apoorva Mehta, Alexis Ohanian, Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Sam Altman

Jessica Livingston is an author and founding partner of the famed Bay Area startup seed accelerator Y Combinator. She also organizes Startup School—an annual startup conference—and is the author of Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days, a collection of interviews with successful startup founders. Livingston, who studied English at Bucknell University, began her career in finance, ultimately working as the VP of marketing at the now-defunct investment bank Adams Harkness. In 2005, Livingston cofounded Y Combinator in part with Paul Graham, the Silicon Valley-based computer scientist and Livingston's spouse since 2008. Since its founding, Y Combinator has helped launch hundreds of companies, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Instacart, and Reddit. In 2014, Livingston was behind the launch of YC Female Founder Stories, a website dedicated to interviews with Y Combinator’s female alumnae on their experiences in the male-dominated startup universe. But Livingston isn't just interested in helping other entrepreneurs kickstart their own ventures. In late 2015, she was among Silicon Valley bigwigs such as Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, and Y Combinator president Sam Altman backing OpenAI, a nonprofit company aimed at the safe development of artificial general intelligence.