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Paul Graham Announces Conference for Women Founders

The ever controversial Paul Graham suggested that Y Combinator host a female founders conference, which will take place in March.
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Could a women's conference put Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham back in good graces with some of his critics?  

Silicon Valley-based seed accelerator Y Combinator announced Tuesday a female founders conference which will take place in March. Y Combinator's founding partner Jessica Livingston wrote in a blog post that the event will feature talks from both YC alumni and other accomplished women founders.

TechCrunch reported that the idea for the conference was conceived by Graham, who suggested the idea to Livingston in early December. This, coincidentally, was weeks before Graham was thrown into damage control mode over some not-so-tactful remarks he made - particularly those suggesting that it's too late to get many adult women interested in programming

Though Graham earnestly tried to clarify his statements, some think he further demonstrated a lack of understanding of the issue. For example, in a recent blog post he suggested that there are few organizations that have done more to help female founders than Y Combinator. Inc.'s Kimberly Weisul pointed out the problem with that statement. 

"Graham is hugely influential and plugged in, and he wants to see more female founders running great companies. The heads of the other organizations mentioned [here]? The same. And it sounds as if they don't work together. Might not even know each other."

Perhaps the upcoming conference, which could serve as a great venue for networking, will change that. According to the blog post Graham is not scheduled to speak, but Livingston will be there along with Founder of VMware Diane Greene and Founder of Eventbrite Julia Hartz. 

Women can apply to attend the conference, which will take place March 1 in Mountain View.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the timeframe when Graham proposed the women founders' conference. It was in early December.

Last updated: Jan 21, 2014

LAURA MONTINI | Staff Writer

Laura Montini is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco.




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