Now one prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist is taking aim at Graham's own start-up program.
During his TechCrunch Disrupt talk on Wednesday, Vinod Khosla, founder of venture capital firm Khosla Ventures, criticized Y Combinator and similar accelerators for causing excessive valuations in the companies they mentor.
When companies leave Y Combinator, they have "so much hype that they get valuations [that] no one who will help the team are going to pay," Khosla said.
Khosla said he wasn't criticizing Y Combinator companies per se, just their inflated evaluations. Having such high valuations at such an early stage can repel VCs from investing in a start-up, he said.
Khosla's remarks came hours before before Disrupt announced the winner of its Startup Battlefield competition--which, it turned out, was Y Combinator-backed company YourMechanic, a web-service that connects car owners with local auto mechanics. In addition to the coveted Disrupt Cup, YourMechanic received $50,000.
JOHN MCDERMOTT is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on AOL.com. He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for Inc.com. @J_M_McDermott