How horrific is it to realize the tech accelerator manager who sexually assaulted a founder might be the one from your program?

The story is an anonymous account which is about one of the managers of a tech accelerator who sexually assaulted a female founder.  I understand why the anonymity because of the trauma but I can’t help wishing we knew who it was! It’s sickening to think this person is mixing with startup folks and presenting himself as a respectable individual when he really isn’t.

Model View Culture: An Untold Startup Story
A story of sexual assault leading to the downfall of a female founder.

Editors note:
Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented. This includes rape, groping, forced kissing, …

  • Sooo if a guy and a girl get drunk and they end up sleeping together, the guy’s a sexual offender? I’m sick and tired of all this blame the guy BS.

    • Did you READ the article?! She passed out then he assaulted her.

      Unless it all doesn’t matter to you? At least we know where you stand.

            • it is never “consensual” when the other person is passed out, PLUS just by the pure fact that he was in a position of power- it is by definition sexual harassment. They weren’t even just coworkers, he had real power in the situation and should never, ever have touched her.

    • They didn’t “end up” sleeping together and they were sharing an airbnb apartment so she was kind of a sitting duck in the situation once she passed out.

    • You’re an idiot and an ass. If it was a group of guys, nothing would have happened. The only difference in this case is gender. You’re saying she should be punished for the fact that she has a pair of ovaries. If a male had gotten raped, you would have immediately said “That’s wrong”.

    • I’m with you on this. This #metoo is making people go crazy. What is mutual consent one night suddenly becomes “sexual assault” because the lady wants to go back into history and change the narrative.

      These days even a gold old advance is viewed as “assault”.

  • RTFA – They didn’t sleep together: she made it clear his advances were unwanted multiple times, he waited until she passed out then assaulted her.

      • There is no possibility of consent at that point — just regret.

        The girl made a stupid mistake.

        The guy made a criminal mistake.

      • you realize that she says in the post that she was “just trying to keep up with the guys” and ended up drinking too much, right?

        Wake up- it’s a big problem with women trying to “hang” the way men do but then getting sexually assaulted in the process.

        • I feel sorry for this girl, she didn’t deserve to get assaulted. But to say she drunk to much “too keep up with the guys” seems like a little too much. I understand if she’s angry with the guy who attacked her, but to blame it on men for her heavy drinking doesn’t seem too rational to me. I’m a dude, and OK, I’m not a heavy drinker, but I’ve seen girls far more wasted than I’ve ever been on multiple occasions, and I don’t think they did it to keep up with anyone.

          • in that case if one of the ladies kisses a guy and then next morning realizes she isn’t happy about that fact – should she be allowed to scream “assault”

  • “I’m not angry at the people – Peter, even Matt – I’m angry at the system… or lack thereof.”

    The both of them went on a non-official trip together, rented an Airbnb together and she’s surprised he read something into it? She seriously can’t be THAT naive.

    I don’t condone assault but its a he said she said scenario. I once had the hots for a friend who told me flat out she had no interest in me. Yet at a party she got so drunk she was grounding her crotch on my leg. I guess that’s the alcohol talking. And no I didn’t do anything as I basically lost my interest in her after that.

    • Are you totally fucking insane? They were on a business trip, they shared an airbnb rental– literally everyone does that, especially guys.

      Is everyone supposed to read into the fact that if a guy shares rental then he wants to sleep with her?

      And if so, aren’t we isolating female founders so that they can’t be part of the social network that men take for granted.

      Would a guy assume that the other guys they were renting with wanted to fuck them, or be pretty damn surprised if they woke up passed out with their pants around their ankles?

      • This.

        Take out the alcohol and we still have a guy, in a position of power, sexually assaulting a woman.

        Just his continued passes at her, the arrangement of the “business trip,” and his inability to take a hint constitute sexual harassment – a firable offense in most companies.

      • Thank you to the empathic man who posted that tons of founders share living accommodations, and someone having sex with you while you’re unconscious is not an expected result.

        I’m a woman. I’m a founder. I’m a military combat veteran.

        If you’re a woman, please do not take this article as an indicator of “what happens” in incubators. But, be wary of men who make disrespectful comments about women or connect a woman’s morality with her sexuality. Don’t room with them. Don’t drink heavily at events with them. Not just to avoid sexual assault, but because some people will use anything against you. Even just holding a beer and standing next to a well regarded man could be misconstrued as you trying to use your gender to get ahead.

        But please do not stop socializing with male founders.

        Entrepreneurs need each other, regardless of gender.

        As a woman, the likely threat to our success in entrepreneurship is being socially isolated, not being raped.

        But do keep your guard up when you’re out. It’s unfair. We shouldn’t have to. But it’s a reality for now. When I was young, I struggled with this. Over time I learned to start with a water/seltzer and lime in the glass (to make it look like alcoholic drink). Or, I’d stick to beer. Or alternative a drink with a water or cranberry juice.

        If you are sexually assaulted, know that it’s 100% possible to 100% recover. Get professional help as soon as possible. It gets more complex the longer you wait.

        Some of the comments here are based on fear of false accusations of rape. False accusations do exist. It’s about 6% of reported cases. That’s a significant figure considering how serious the crime is. False accusations are typically signalled by highly dramatic violence but without physical evidence of struggle and/or the perpetrator not being a known to the victim. The above story does not fit that.

    • It’s a good thing you didn’t. Even though it’s what she asked for, you would’ve been labeled a rapist.

  • All the responses so far have missed the point, it was bad enough that the woman had to go through being sexually assaulted, but because the guy was in a position of power in regards to her start up, she was decimated in the aftermath.

  • It seems our problem as readers is the same as the writer’s problem as a victim. We disagree as to whether and how to assign blame for something. Our natural tendency once our discomfort is challenged is to take sides and then dig our heels in until our positions become extreme.

    In reality, this is a SUPER touchy subject. Lots of shit goes down when young adults drink to excess. Lots of stupid shit that people say and do. Lots of irresponsible shit. And yes, sometimes criminal shit. But in cases where judgment becomes so insanely and irresponsibly blurred, it is true that one party may interpret something as criminal behavior while the other person doesn’t.

    Courts have an extremely difficult time assigning blame in situations like this. So should we. Gobs of factors play into it. We can sit outside in judgment all we want, and we can dig in our heels professing one side to be right and the other side to be wrong, but the fact of the matter is that this shit treads in the horrible, awkward, painful, confusing, gut-wrenching fuzzy zone.

    The truth is that I think she was probably raped and that the guy is a probably a mentally weak asshole who should get kicked in the balls super hard sometime. We know he groped her. She knows she was touched well beyond her comfort zone and without her permission. We don’t know whether and what further happened – and it would seem she doesn’t either since she didn’t report it either way.

    So the truth at that point is that she could have reviewed the facts of what happened on the morning she woke up and firmly determined that she would chalk it up to super poor judgment on both of their parts. She could have suffered deep regret from her super poor judgment and hope that he would suffer deep regret from his super poor judgment. She could have figured out how to move on from the situation in a way that doesn’t over inflate the horrific discomfort of the situation by turning into a sense of victimization that goes well beyond what she actually felt in the moment.

    The truth is that she found herself unable to reconcile a horrifically uncomfortable situation and so she gradually moved further and further down the path toward the rape sign. He found himself unwilling to reconcile a horrifically uncomfortable situation and so he gradually moved further and further down the path toward the “drunk shit happens” sign. In my mind, neither of them is right. They both fell victim to labels that society has created and an unwillingness on society’s part to let any of this shit sit in the gray zone.

    From my perspective, it is society’s very strong demand that we steadfastly take sides in matters that are this f’ed up that’s really to blame. We castigate the opposing side in a manner that goes well beyond what the situation calls for. She insists on becoming more of a victim and he insists on becoming more of an innocent.

    We can’t know what’s right or wrong. We weren’t there. As somebody accurately reported, this is one perspective. The guy could probably write his own account that would credibly make him seem decidedly less guilty. And he might even completely and wholeheartedly believe every word he wrote. Let’s back off from this war mentality and use it to recognize the astounding need for everyone to follow a professional code of conduct in professional situations – no matter how friendly they might become.

    • the difference is….she suffered PTSD and extreme trauma due to what happened. Did he get PTSD for sleeping with her? NO. Did he suffer emotionally from that trauma? NO. Her whole life was destroyed, which usually doesn’t happen when you sleep with someone that you are consensually having sex with.

  • I think the only thing standing in the way of women equality is women themselves. I honestly don’t know a single guy who has any problem with hiring women, paying women the same, funding women, or viewing women as their equals.

    But there’s a minority of women who will always feel more comfortable playing the victim, and blaming their failure, losing a job, not getting an investment, or whatever normal thing that happens to them on the fact they are women and, therefore, impeded by men to succeed. What’s worse, this same minority has no problem in throwing any guy under the bus and scream “rape” at the minor advance or regret over a night they drunk too much. Like this girl.

    I’m not saying rape doesn’t exist. It’s just that it’s kind of disrespectful to actual rape victims to claim you were attacked when it clearly wasn’t the case. Oh, and btw, being raped is no shame, but is as serious accusation, and if you are going to make it, at least have the decency to say your name.

    • she was raped. rape is when you can’t consent to having sex. The problem is people like you that don’t clearly understand the lines of consent. She wouldn’t even kiss this guy and passed out on the couch, do you think after that she magically got turned on and tried to have sex with him?

      If consent to you means ‘awake and not fighting back’ then you should see a therapist asap.

    • If you don’t know a guy who wouldn’t fund a women- let me introduce you to the “investor” who just made a confession that he doesn’t invest in women.

      There is bias against women, it’s time that all the men “out to change the world” accept that this industry is one of the most sexist and racist of all.

  • Moderators are deleting posts on this site, wow! Any opinion that doesn’t include believing a RANDOM blog post with a one sided story gets deleted on, I bet the blog post was written by the owner of this site to draw in more users.


    • I’m one of the founders and I do moderate. I’ve been very up front about it. Not about being one-sided though, it’s about having human decency. We delete comments that are overtly trollish. It’s the only rule on this site and it’s stated everywhere.

      This site is intended to be supportive, not tear people apart. If that’s not ok with you, you’re free to leave.

      Also, for the record, only about 60% of the stories/confessions/questions submitted ever get published.

      • Wow! I feel privileged then! I submitted questions on two different occasions and both times I was published. Thanks for that =)

  • It’s funny how she blames men for the way she handled things after the incident. As if being a woman in a “man’s world” meant she had to live with rape on a daily basis. As a man I feel a little insulted to be quite honest.

    • A 1997 report by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, which defines rape as forced penetration by the offender,[194] found that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male, and that nearly 99% of rapists are male.[195] Data on the prevalence of rape vary greatly depending on what definition of rape is used. According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1 in 6 U.S. women and 1 in 33 U.S. men has experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime

  • I’m a female founder and these comments destroy me. A woman can not give consent if she is that intoxicated. There are no blurred lines here. the guy admitted what he did was wrong. How is this still a debate?

    As someone who has experienced sexual assault and the resulting affects of PTSD I know there would be no way for me to continue to build my company under that type of traumatic stress. My biggest fear of joining an accelerator is for this to happen, but it’s an issue i wrestle with every day because an accelerator might really help my startup grow. If an accelerator is filled with the gentlemen who have posted the above comments about how this was her fault or she is ‘playing the victim’ then why would I ever put myself at this kind of risk?

    I don’t know where I fit in this community anymore. I love startupsanonymous and have gotten a lot of great advice. The comments made above have ruined my entire day because they are hurtful for all of the women who experience this type of extreme violation. I’m so sad this community is a place for this type of misogynist dialogue instead of a place to really support each other.

    • The fact that you even fear that you are going to be raped just by joining an accelerator shows how immature you are.

      411: rape, while real, is quite marginal. And it’s not like you are joining the military, where the power structure may favor such conducts, you are joining a freaking accelerator, where people are thinking of building their companies, not in raping you!

      • joining an accelerator can be very intense and scary to a woman. They are like nerdy frat houses. Anywhere a woman goes in the tech industry she needs to be on guard because she is always dramatically outnumbered. And there are lots of creepy guys.

        Women founders have to think hard about what it means to have live with a group of men 24/7, to travel with men, and it can be a really isolating experience.

        • Since when did accelerators force people to live together?

          Traveling together does not have to mean sharing a bed, a room, or even a 2-bed apartment. If you can’t sit next to a guy on a bus or a plane without feeling ‘isolated’ then you have a much bigger problem about how you interact with society in general. Think someone’s creepy? Then don’t travel with them. That won’t be the hardest decision you make as an entrepreneur.

          It’s people saying nonsense like this about how scary it is that puts women off applying to accelerators. (By the way I’m a woman, and I’ve been through an accelerator program.)

        • As a brick-and-mortar business who recently submerged themselves into the Bay area tech and began a startup, and coming from a family who runs and operates several brick-and-mortars businesses.

          I quickly realized I’d rather deal with the women then these guys who run Silicon Valley any day. I’ve always been easily approachable and have good friendships. Coming to the Bay area from a small town in a state of BFE I realize players here in the tech scene are not to different from say the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ guy. I see a lack of genuine care in the opposite sex sometimes, whereas so much talk of ‘innovation’ I just want to shake some people and say ‘why don’t you innovate your caveman-like personas.’

          I got to go to several private events lately and I have an ‘adviser’ who leaves his wife home alone while he parties out every night and go-go-goes. My husband is a developer with his own deck of cards, but I had to run circles around his head early-on in our marriage to extinguish such unemphatic tones he tried to set with me. I think some people in this world are sorta on the spectrum or living in glass houses. A true disconnect with empathy which is sooo funny because don’t people realize the decisions we make are hugely impacted by our emotions. ‘What’s your passion?’ I hear.. Well, sorry guys many Silicon Valley men lack passion. If Prince were a full stack developer instead of musician the tech world would instead worship us and see the problem with a lot of their products.

  • Sorry to post on a very old thread but many of the men that posted above have a visceral hatred of women. What you’re expressing tells me that some of you don’t understand how different the female experience is. During my career, I’ve been propositioned, fondled, underpaid, wildly underpaid, insulted, and disregarded. Only once did I cry foul and it was because what the man said about me to another man was so intimate and so vulgar that I couldn’t let it pass.

    On another occasion, a man that had fondled me finally fondled the wrong woman, she reported him. We found out that at least 20 of us had been grabbed at one time or another and he was let go. For every one that is caught there are at least 10 that didn’t, I promise you that.

    I’m so tired. I’m tired of the men that say there is a thing called female privilege. Are you out of your mind? I’ve spent my whole life treading water, trying to get the same treatment you get just for showing up. Sometimes I think a male colleague values me, then he grabs my ass, or wonders if I’d like to…. You can’t imagine how exhausting it is to listen to people of privilege, and men are that, explain how we just have to toughen up and quit whining.

    Inequality has been very generous to some people. So consider this, in what year did you get the right to vote? I don’t mean what year did you turn 18, but in what year did the US decide you were deserving? African-American men got it in 1869, women got it in 1920, Native-Americans not until 1924. Now think about the continuum of rights and where you fall on it. If you never had to ride that train you cannot possibly understand what it feels like to hear someone make light of what you’ve experienced.

  • Sorry to post on old thread too. I think I know both these founders and have heard both sides of this. Talk about throwing someone under the bus. They both partied together, got crazy drunk and then when they woke up, neither really knew what happened. He took the blame, and tried to apologize and she kept exaggerating the story (likely to take the attention away from the fact her startup was failing). It wasn’t even a work trip – they used to spend a lot of time together, he was scheduled for a trip and she insisted that she wanted to come too, even booking the AirBNB. I’m all for equality in this industry and addressing bad behavior, but when someone tries to ruin the other person’s career for their own gain that person should be driven out of the industry.

    • How could it be for her own gain? Afterwards, she wanted to leave the accelerator totally. What was she going to do, pitch “Hey my mentor raped me” on demo day and get all the votes?????

      She was decimated professionally. She didn’t win $10mil in a lawsuit, or even try that course.

      And how do two people have consensual sex after one pushed the other off of them? So what they spent time together…I spend with mentors. I bet you spend a lot of time with your cofounders , share accommodations, and alcohol is frequently involved. How does that mean you want to sleep with them?

      I am half convinced you are the perpetrator. Your statements shows a total lack of empathy and understanding of human psychology.

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