For some members of their community at City Hall, Run the house addressed allegations of harassment and assault was revealed by Vox Investigation earlier this week. The startup, which is backed by A16z and Lightship as well as a group of leading investors, said an independent investigation is underway.
“We’ll let the investigation speak for itself, but we’re confident it will show that we’re not retaliating against women,” the co-founders said, specifically referring to the Launch House incident highlighted in the Vox article. allegedly, taking revenge. against a woman who had previously been sexually assaulted there. Launch House has denied any retaliation against Vox and reiterated that denial in a meeting today.
The startup also promised that they are building an industry-leading safety and security program for the co-living experience, which will be shared in detail with another community “very soon.”
The town meeting lasted less than 15 minutes and was hosted by the co-founders Brett Goldstein and: Michael Hook. There was no live Q&A and the chat was not active. Sources said some people who took to Twitter to oppose Launch House were not given a chance to meet.
The preliminary meeting was supposed to take place on Thursday. The co-founders said some members asked why the meeting was moved to the end of the week on Friday afternoon, to which Hook replied, “Honestly, you’re right. We dropped the ball, reacting to it quite quickly [and] with enough compassion. And it doesn’t reflect the values that we’ve built this community on since day one and that we care about.”
“Put simply, we should have met with all of you earlier than today,” Hook added, later adding: “What I can say now is that we are ready to talk and we have a plan.”
The conversation focused on three topics: what Launch House says it has done in the past, what it will do in the future, and how it plans to rebuild trust with female founders of their groups. During the meeting, the co-founders said that the content of the meeting was developed in response to questions submitted by the community over the past week.
“We’re sorry for all of you who were affected,” Goldstein continued. “As we talked at the beginning, at any time someone does not feel safe. That is absolutely not okay and not something we can afford. As for the specifics of what happened, we want to wait until the investigation is complete before saying more.”
Hook added. “We are not closing at all. We move forward together as a community.”
Founded in 2020, Launch House began as a fresh take on traditional hack houses. Entrepreneurs were invited to live in rented houses or buildings for four weeks. The in-person residencies are seen as immigration events to the broader Launch House community, which includes digital and physical events, services that help scale startups, and internal social networks. The co-founders scaled the startup through multiple venture capital raises, and announced a $10 million venture fund to support LH members.
TechCrunch reached out to Launch House for further comment on the town hall, but had not heard back as of press time.
Current and former Launch House employees can contact Natasha Mascarenhas by email email@example.com or at Signal, a secure encrypted messaging app, at 925 271 0912.