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Sqoot: We Screwed Up, Hackathon May Not Go On

Budweiser

The cofounders of daily deals aggregator Sqoot have issued a full apology on their blog for a lame joke that made its way into the description of a Boston hackathon and offended the Internet. The joke and subsequent backlash that cost the organizers of the Boston API Jam four sponsors at last count may mean the organizers have to reschedule or cancel the event. “As we decide whether to continue with the event, or reschedule for another time, we will focus efforts on making sure that our event marketing is inclusive to all. We will do better,” Sqoot writes. Read More

Tweet the Public

Sexist Jokes: A Great Way to Lose Your Hackathon Sponsorships

Mr. Yehia. (Twitter)

Remember Mo Yehia, founder of the improbably-named Sqoot.com, the self-identified “anti-preneur” who scribbled some of his thoughts on Startupland in last week’s Betabeat? Mr. Yehia got a boost of publicity for his op-ed, but he and his cofounder got way more attention out of a faux pas today that caused them to receive many angry Twitter messages.

The pair included a tonally-incorrect joke in a call for an event called the Boston API Jam, and a source tells us the joke cost the Sqooters at least two sponsors. While most of the event perks were inoffensive, if a bit bro-y—real food instead of pizza, a day’s gym pass, massages—one so-called “perk” got them in trouble. “Women: Need another beer? Let one of our friendly (female) event staff get that for you.” Read More

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Startup

New York Tech, as Seen by an Antipreneur

Mr. Yehia. (Twitter)

Mo Yehia is co-founder of Sqoot, a daily deal API that helps publishers monetize. He’s lesser known for stints at Sparkle Buggy Car Wash, Cracker Barrel, and Lehman Brothers. He’s kind of a big deal.

It finally hit me: “I drive a Beemer but make less than a McDonald’s manager (hourly), my hair is thinning, sunlight hurts my eyes, and my Mom says I’ve become an asshole.” It was time to leave. I grew a pair and left my job on Wall Street, scared shitless of what was to come. I moved as far from New York City as possible and spent the next year unlearning everything it taught me. I was so brainwashed by my Vineyard Vines-wearing peers (when is a sperm whale on your belt ever OK?), that I didn’t know what I wanted anymore or where to start. From the outside looking in, entrepreneurship was as foreign as Japanese.

Through a series of random, cosmic events (and mind-boggling hustle), I met Andrew Warner in Buenos Aires, Avand Amiri in Boulder, Chris Stanchak in Philly, and Aniq Rahman in New York City. I wanted to be like them. So, for the next six months, I drank the proverbial Kool-Aid and marinated in just about everything startup. I moved back to New York, finagled my way into the tech scene, shook hands, kissed babies, and promptly began a strict three-pronged regiment to combat my hair loss.

It took six years for the novelty of Wall Street to wear off, and six weeks for the uncertainty of startup life to wear on. Without further adieu: a rant on the transition into and observations of NYC tech. Warning, this is my first post, anywhere, ever. Read More