I know a lot you have read the articles in response to Greg’s Facebook post regarding the homeless issue in San Francisco. I’d like to first respond by saying that those opinions do not reflect those of AngelHack or the opinions of any other AngelHack employee.
Furthermore, Greg stepped down as CEO of AngelHack in October 2013 to pursue other business ventures. A formal announcement of his resignation was planned for this month following the finale of our 2013 hackathon series. However, in light of recent events, we have decided to disclose early that there has been a change and that Greg is no longer CEO nor has he taken an active role in the company since October.
AngelHack is an organization comprised of compassionate employees and Ambassadors from all around the world. Our collective mission as an organization is to empower developers and the entrepreneurial community. Most of our employees, including myself, have taken part in many non-profit initiatives that serve underprivileged communities and we are committed to doing so in the future.
Since this morning I’ve been inundated with calls from reporters, emails from colleagues, etc. all of whom have differing opinions on how to address this “PR issue”. I personally find opportunity in this unfortunate event and call upon our community to greet the elephant in the room.
I’ve been living in the San Francisco Bay Area since I was 4 years old, I’ve been witness to the birth of the tech community all around us. And, I have seen how over the years many members of our community have fallen on hard times. Long before the Twitter & LinkedIn buildings, long before NOMA, San Francisco has been a prime location for the homeless.
Sadly, it is a problem that only now gets a rare and unwelcome spotlight in mainstream news and media through occurrences similar to those of Gopman and Biddle. What’s even more disheartening is that this spotlight is shining on the wrong people and attention is cast on the unfortunate and off-color comments, rather than the people who suffer not only the harsh conditions of being homeless, but also suffer the scrutiny from those who are less than empathetic.
If the presence of the homeless and poverty bothers us (which it should because no human being should have to live in poverty) then we should do something about it.
I would like to call on my community of investors, entrepreneurs, developers to ban together to meet the issue with a solution. AngelHack events curate the world’s most talented developers and progressive thinkers and we challenge these folks to create solutions for real-world problems in less than 48 hours. I’ve seen people create flying drones that can identify missing people, robots that administer medicine to the elderly and apps that get left-over food from events to homeless shelters, so why can’t we take a crack at solving this issue with technology?
I welcome anyone with ideas on how we can collectively use our knowledge and resources to work toward a brighter future. AngelHack is already working on partnerships to help us create solutions to this issue as well as supporting entrepreneurs that create a positive social impact. If you’re an entrepreneur, an investor, developer, a non-profit or simply someone who wants to see a change in our beloved San Francisco then please contact me at email@example.com.
While I wish I were introducing myself to you under different circumstances and I was using this opportunity to tell you about all of the amazing things our company will be doing this coming year, I would rather take this opportunity to humbly introduce myself, Sabeen Ali, CEO and President of AngelHack.
I ask you to not take the words of one man to sum-up a courageous team of progressive, compassionate people trying to use technology to make the world a better place, rather to use those words to help us build a platform to promote the needs of the undeserved and underprivileged.
Best Regards, Sabeen Ali