Y Combinator

Y Combinator Warns Investors: Sexually Harass Founders, We ‘Will Not Continue to Work With You’

We approve.
Ms. Livingston. (Wikipedia)

Ms. Livingston. (Wikipedia)

With Y Combinator’s biannual Demo Day coming up on August 19, the startup accelerator has a pressing matter on its mind: preventing sexual harassment between investors and founders.

In a blog post titled “A Reminder to Investors” published earlier this afternoon, founding partner Jessica Livingston warned that “inappropriate sexual or romantic behavior from investors toward founders” would lead to Y Combinator “not [continuing] to work with you.”

Here’s Ms. Livingston’s post, in full:

Sam [Altman] wrote about this in his recent blog post, but I’ve found that important and seemingly obvious things often bear repeating. So with Demo Day approaching, I’d like to make the following point explicit:

Y Combinator has a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate sexual or romantic behavior from investors toward founders.

Don’t even think about doing it. I will find out. Y Combinator will not continue to work with you.

News also travels fast around the YC community. Past and future YC alumni will likely find out about your actions and find them equally unacceptable.

Nearly all the investors we know are completely upstanding and professional, but even one inappropriate incident is too many.

Betabeat reached out to Y Combinator to find out if sexual harassment has been a prevalent issue at past Demo Days, and whether the accelerator is taking any specific measures, besides this blog post, to prevent it from happening on August 19. We will update this post if and when we hear back.

For now, we applaud Ms. Livingston’s zero-tolerance stance against this despicable type of behavior.

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com