Wednesday 20 February 2019

'Stand the f*** up!' - Well-known startup funder's explosive outburst about Trump victory at Web Summit

Dave McClure's explosive outburst at Web Summit
Dave McClure's explosive outburst at Web Summit
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

There were extraordinary scenes at the Web Summit in Lisbon on Wednesday as some tech executives reacted explosively to the election of Donald Trump.

Dave McClure, who is one the industry's best known startup funders through his 500 Startups organisation, led the way with an emotional outburst at the conference's main stage in front of 7,000 people.

As's exclusive video shows, Mr McClure turned to the crowd and challenged them to "stand the f*** up", adding that "this sh*t will not stand".

"If you're not pi***d right now, what is f***ing wrong with you? What is wrong with you?" shouted Mr McClure.

When the moderator, CNN's Laurie Segall, tried to steer the stage session back to a technology topic, Mr McClure reacted angrily.

"What do you mean bring it back to technology? This is the whole of f***ing humanity!"

500 Startups is a business accelerator organisation that helps young tech firms get off the ground. Mr McClure also appeared at the 2015 Web Summit in Dublin.

When Ms Segall tried again to bring the conversation back to a technology theme, Mr McClure responded angrily on what he saw as the tech and communication industry's role in helping to elect Mr Trump.

"I'm sad, I'm ashamed, I'm angry," he said. "Technology has a role in that we provide communication platforms. And we're allowing sh*t to happen, just like cable news networks and just like talk radio. It's a propaganda medium and if people aren't aware of the sh*t that they're being told, if they're not understanding that people are trying to sue them to get into f***ing office, then yes, a**holes like Trump are gonna take office.

"And it's our duty and our responsibility as entrepreneurs and citizens of the f***ing world to make sure that sh*t does not happen. This sh*t will not stand and you gotta fight for your rights."

Mr McClure then turned again to the Web Summit audience angrily.

"Stand the f**k up! Stand up! Stand the f**k up! Stand up and make a goddamn difference!"

Elsewhere at the Web Summit, a number of tech executives privately expressed dismay at Mr Trump's election to

Shervin Pishevar, cofounder of Sherpa Capital and a major early investor in Uber, suggested that liberal-leaning California might break away from the US.

"If Trump wins I am announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation," he said as news of Mr Trump's victory started to filter through.

"We can re-enter the union after California becomes a nation. As the sixth largest economy in the world, the economic engine of the nation and provider of a large percentage of the federal budget, California carries a lot of weight."

The only high profile tech investor to publicly back Mr Trump, Peter Thiel, struck a more cautious note. "We’re going to need all hands on deck,” he said. “He has an awesomely difficult task, since it is long past time for us to face up to our country’s problems.”

The Web Summit continues through Thursday.

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