Jessica Livingston and her husband, Paul Graham, started the renowned startup accelerator Y Combinator. With the recent stories of angel investor Pavel Curda and his “I will not leave without sex” texts and other stories of female founders getting massaged or sexually harassed, it’s no surprise that most women now think that every guy in the tech/investment industry has an amped up ego and an uncontrollable thirst for all women.
Livingston’s latest story is proof of this. While meeting Re/code’s Nellie Bowles for a meeting at The Wine Room in Palo Alto, Livingston was approached by a man. Bowles wrote about the encounter.
“He asked what she was doing there all on her own, and whether she was there maybe for a Match.com date. Livingston said that she worked in tech and was meeting a reporter. He said he was an investor. She said she was, too, that she cofounded Y Combinator. He asked if maybe she had some startups in her portfolio that other investors had overlooked and asked for her contact to set something up.”
This guy’s creepiness made Livingston uncomfortable, but she wasn’t sure if she was actually getting hit on. She asked Bowles right after:
“I’m not crazy, right?” He was hitting on me? He was offering to invest in our weaker companies as a way to get me on a date, right? Did that just happen?”
What happened at The Wine Room left Livingston thoroughly creeped out so she wrote a memo on YC’s blog before Demo Day on sexual harassment.
“Y Combinator has a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate sexual or romantic behavior from investors toward founders. Even one inappropriate incident is too many.”
What do you think: was he a desperate and thirsty misogynist or just an awkward Silicon Valley investor geek?
Featured image via Flickr, by Nando Fejer