This month, the famed Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator put out a call for companies working to "help people live healthier for longer". If you're a scientist or entrepreneur who wants to increase human longevity and "healthspan", Y Combinator will give you up to $US1 million ($1.3 million) to do it.
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Amidst last year's US presidential election, Silicon Valley was publicly at odds with Peter Thiel's support for Donald Trump. But that wasn't enough to convince people like Y Combinator's president Sam Altman to stop working with Thiel. Now, in what has to be one of the stealthiest announcements ever, the partnership between Y Combinator and Thiel has come to an end.
Sam Altman, the 31-year-old president of the wildly successful startup accelerator Y Combinator, published an essay on Monday in which he attempted to address the mounting concerns over his company's ties to Silicon Valley billionaire and Donald Trump delegate Peter Thiel. The company's relationship with Thiel, who serves as an unpaid part-time partner and recently donated $US1.25 ($2) million in support of Trump, has already led the pro-diversity group Project Include to disavow Y Combinator. Yet Altman insists that any action against Thiel (such as firing him from the company) would be "a dangerous path to start down."
Yesterday, venture capitalist and Y Combinator president Sam Altman whined on Twitter about getting booted from the Ritz bar in London for wearing sneakers. The tweet devolved into a dreadful discussion about whether any city that bans sneakers in upscale places can really be serious about startups. Really.