A list of 145 prominent entrepreneurs, executives, and investors in the tech industry have signed an open letter to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, slamming him for a political platform they say would squelch innovation.

The self-described "inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, researchers, and business leaders working in the technology sector" write in the letter published on Huffington Post, "We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline."

They go on to criticize his plans to block immigration and "shut down" parts of the internet. They say his disregard for U.S. legal and political institutions threatens to discourage entrepreneurship, and that he "risks distorting markets, reducing exports, and slowing job creation."

"We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation."

The names on the list represent a lot of money and power. Among them are:

  • Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield
  • Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla
  • Twitter co-founder and Medium CEO Evan Williams
  • Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman
  • Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee
  • Box CEO Aaron Levie
  • Greylock Partners partner John Lilly
  • Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz
  • Code for America founder Jen Pahlka
  • Lowercase Capital founder Chris Sacca
  • Homebrew VC partner Hunter Walk
  • Kleiner Perkins partner Arielle Zuckerberg

Conspicuously absent from the list is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has openly spoken against Trump's proposal to deport all undocumented immigrants from the United States. Both Zuckerberg's former co-founder Moskovitz, who now heads up workplace productivity software Asana, and the Facebook CEO's sister Arielle are on the list.

Nor are Tesla founder Elon Musk, Facebook investor Sean Parker, or Apple CEO Tim Cook. All three were present at a closed-door meeting in March where business and political leaders reportedly strategized how to keep Trump from reaching the White House.  

Numerous venture capitalists known for libertarian views that tend to bend conservative are also missing: Marc Andreessen, Paul Graham, Keith Rabois, and Peter Thiel. One of these missing VCs--Thiel--hardly needs an explanation of why he's not on such a list. Thiel is slated to speak openly of his endorsement of Trump at the GOP Convention next week.

Published on: Jul 14, 2016