Tit Stare Developers Apologise For 'Thoughtless' TechCrunch Pitch

Two Australian entrepreneurs behind the now-notorious Tit Stare app have apologised for what they have called a “thoughtless mistake”.

Co-founder Jethro Batts told Business Insider that the duo had been working on a transport-related application for TechCrunch Disrupt’s 24-hour hackathon until early Sunday morning.

They ran into technical difficulties and dropped the idea, deciding instead to develop Tit Stare, which shows pictures of people looking at cleavage.

Tit Stare was presented by Batts and David Boulton at the conference on Sunday and drew a horrified response on social media.

TechCrunch issued a public apology for Tit Stare and an app called Circle Shake on Sunday afternoon, describing them as “misogynistic presentations” and admitting that it had failed to establish clear guidelines and screen for inappropriate content.

Batts described Tit Stare presentation as a joke, adding that the developers did not expect the presentation to go viral. He has been working on a campervan comparison and booking site called Park My Van since January 2011.

The duo travelled to Silicon Valley for TechCrunch Disrupt after winning the AngelHack Hackathon in Sydney with Hate You Cards, a mobile website that invites users to send hate mail to their friends.

Here’s their apology in full:

We wish to apologise for the events that occurred at TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday. There is no doubt we made a thoughtless mistake, and we’re regretful and apologetic for any offence we caused. There are no excuses for our thoughtless behaviour.

If there is anything that we can take away from this experience, it’s that it has highlighted the impact social media can have on the way that women are portrayed and objectified. We are all committed to finding a positive in this situation by highlighting the responsibility that men have in a male dominated industry.

If you watch our presentation, you will clearly see that the content was entirely comedic, and using comedy in regards to a serious topic was a bad judgement call. As aspiring entrepreneurs we came to TechCrunch Disrupt as it is the premier event for tech startups.

Unfortunately, our initial idea did not evolve in time, so we felt our last minute mock-up was our only option to present, and there was never any intention to bring this idea to fruition. Because of this change, TechCrunch was entirely unaware we were pitching a new product.

We were completely unaware when we pitched that the 24-hour hackathon included children, especially a nine-year-old entrepreneur. Had we known earlier, we would absolutely not have presented our pitch.

We are currently working on legitimate startups. These projects include female co-founders and a number of highly talented women in the teams. We are extremely appreciative of the hard work and hustle everyone in the startup community gives, regardless of their gender.

We never had any malicious intent, and we take full responsibility for our thoughtless actions. We apologise for any harm we caused to entrants, the audience, TechCrunch, their sponsors, and most of all to anyone that we personally offended.

It is important for us that people know we are not associated with any continuation of this idea.

Sincerely,

Founders of the now debunked Titstare

Now read: This Startup Wants To Raise $10,000 To Get People Sending Hate You Cards

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