Y Combinator, the US-based startup accelerator, has allegedly kicked out an American entrepreneur and another founder for speaking out against misogyny and members' efforts to jump the COVID-19 vaccine queue. Paul Biggar, a Y Combinator graduate, said he was expelled for his tweet in March but Prolific co-founder and CEO Katia Damer was kicked out for a LinkedIn post last month. Biggar said he had tweeted about two founders describing in Y Combinator's internal forums how they had jumped vaccine queues and shared tips for other founders to do the same.
“Lol just got kicked out of @ycombinator,” tweeted Biggar on June 5..
In another message posted immediately after, he wrote “for this tweet” and shared the message he had tweeted in March that, according to him, led to his expulsion.
“For the second time, a @ycombinator founder has posted to the internal YC forum about how they lied to skip the vaccine queue in Oakland, with instructions for other founders to do the same,” he said.
lol just got kicked out of @ycombinator— Paul Biggar (@paulbiggar) June 4, 2021
for this tweethttps://t.co/EkpHkXtVVa— Paul Biggar (@paulbiggar) June 4, 2021
In another tweet, Biggar drew attention to Damer's expulsion and shared her post where she had mentioned that “YC's founders are misogynist.”
Soon after, Damer replied to the tweet, claiming Y Combinator had kicked her out. "OK, I'll come out publicly: 2 weeks ago, YC kicked me out as well because I dared to criticize their beloved founders," she added.
Since Biggar first tweeted about the whole incident, a number of people have come out in support of both the entrepreneurs.
One user, Mark Nadal, said it was sad to see Y Combinator “lose its way.”
I've interviewed at a bunch of places, including YC, and they were the most unprofessional. Sad to see it lose its way. Did it ever have it, tho?— Mark Nadal (@marknadal) June 4, 2021
Members of a tribe that pose a threat to fellow members must be expelled to protect the group. Group Dynamics are beautiful and brutal part of human behavior.— Danny M (@danm2021) June 4, 2021
If denouncing something that is morally corrupt breaks the code of conduct, what does it tell us of that code?— manuele ᐝ (@mjsarfatti) June 4, 2021
However, some also said that it's typically best to talk to the person to get their side of the story correctly and give them a chance to correct themselves. “Immediately jumping to a public Twitter denunciation doesn't seem to accomplish much besides virtue signaling,” said user Jeff Whitlock .
Immediately jumping to a public Twitter denunciation doesn't seem to accomplish much besides virtue signaling.— Jeff Whitlock (@JeffreyWhitlock) June 5, 2021
In this specific instance, the individual called out feels like Paul's story is a miscategorization of what happened.
Biggar is an established Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He is the founder and former CEO of CircleCI. The software engineer then founded the company Dark that offers a new way of building server-less backends.