Y Combinator’s Sam Altman Got Kicked Out of The Ritz London For Wearing Sneakers

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.


h/t: Business Insider
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