One of America’s richest and most famous tech venture capitalists was kicked out of a bar for wearing “sports shoes.”
That man, Sam Altman, happens to be the president of Y Combinator, the seed accelerator responsible for funding unicorn startups including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe and Zenefits. He tweeted yesterday that he was being turned down at a bar in the Ritz for wearing teal blue sneakers.
The Ritz London, an upscale hotel, is known for its strict and formal dress code. The dress code of the five-star luxury hotel states:
“Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie … trainers and sportswear are not permitted in any of the hotel or Club’s restaurants or bars.”
According to Fast Company, last year the total value of Y Combinator-backed startups was approximately $50 billion. Their investment portfolio is likely worth more than $1 billion.
Altman was chosen to be part of the first Y Combinator class in 2005 and was named president in February 2014. He became an instant tech celebrity and reportedly received 400 meeting requests a week from founders and investors.
Paul Graham, Y Combinator’s founder, tweeted in response to the incident.
Though it is uncertain whether Graham, who happens to be English, was serious or not, his tweet sparked a serious debate about the tech progress and culture of London.
Altman on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be too offended by being turned down.