Is it time for Silicon Valley to start investing in straight white males again?
Would Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos or Meredith Perry of UBeam have been founded if they had had an Y chromosome?
Once again a start up led by a young female founder who went to the right school (but didn’t graduate with the right degree!) is being called a fraud.
Meet Meredith Perry who has recently been unmasked as a Theranos-style fraud.
The way any successful con works is that it gets buy in from the right people. And so it was with Perry.
She got $23 million in funding from investors, including Upfront Venture, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Mark Cuban, according to TechCrunch.
Tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg invited her to speak at the All Things Digital conference in 2011.
Watch Swisher and Mossberg eat it up. (We reached out to Swisher but didn’t get a response when we published.)
She was also invited to an event in 2011 called the Buy Young Initiative — even though she had no product yet.
In 2014 Perry was interviewed discussing her product.
Rebecca Jarvis: And we were talking before and [Perry] said to me, “I’m not an engineer and no one thought this was possible.”
Meredith Perry: Yes
Rebecca Jarvis: So what did you do? How did you make it possible?
Perry: Well, I just asked a number of questions and Googled incessantly until I could figure out a way to wirelessly transmit through the air. So thank you, Google, for making uBeam possible.
UBeam is just vaporware.
No one seems to do any due diligence in Silicon Valley. And it’s easy to see why: it’s the LPs’ money! Do you miss Fucked Company yet?
Yet another example of the Johnson dollar diversity dilemma hypothesis in action. The more diverse a company signals, the less competent their tech.
In the financial markets this behavior makes them shortable; in the illiquid venture backed world it makes them bankruptable.