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Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, visits WashU

Entrepreneur, programmer, venture capitalist, author and blogger Sam Altman visited Washington University in St. Louis Feb. 11.

Dave Messina and Sam Altman

WashU alum Dave Messina, COO of Cofactor Genomics, joined Altman for a talk and Q&A session on what it’s really like to start a startup.

Throughout his career, Altman has been named Top Investor Under 30 by Forbes, one of the “Best Young Entrepreneurs in Technology” by BusinessWeek, and one of the five most interesting startup founders between 1979 and 2009.

In 2014, he became president of Y Combinator, a role he still holds today. Y Combinator is an exceptionally commercially successful seed-stage accelerator. The total value of all its companies, including stars like Dropbox, Zenefits, Stripe and Airbnb, is more than $65 billion.

In Fall 2015, he taught a class at Stanford University called “How To Start a Startup” that was widely distributed online. He also wrote “Startup Playbook”, a distillation of the advice that Y Combinator gives to its startups 2015.