Apparently, our work to weed out unscrupulous venture events is not done. Today, I learned that Boston entrepreneurs will be the next victims to be fleeced out of their cash in order to have the opportunity to pitch to VCs.
To quote my partner Seth:
THERE IS NO CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD PAY TO PITCH THEIR BUSINESS TO PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS.
PERIOD. END OF STORY.
It’s not just Seth. Much of the credit goes to Jason Calacanis for leading the charge against such practices. But while Jason was instrumental in dissolving a few pay-for-pitch groups, it seems like this one has managed to survive. (Hopefully not for long).
Name: Young Startup Ventures
Date and Location: April 21st, at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Boston, MA.
Cost to Pitch: $4,500. (Attendance only is a hefty $1295 unless you early register for $895)
Now unlike some other events like this, there are a list of credible VCs attending and it is being held at Microsoft. This makes it all the more worse. I bet that some are unaware of the payment mechanism.
Just for toppers, this group offered one company that I know a featured “Top 20 innovators spot” if they paid their bounty. So these con artists are also trying to con the VCs on what the best companies are by who pays. Nice work. This just makes the whole thing dirtier than it already was.
Overheard from one VC planning to attend is that he wouldn’t fund a company that pays for access like this, as it shows they aren’t that smart. Question why the VC is attending, I don’t know. But I bet it’s not a unique viewpoint.
I’d encourage both entrepreneurs and VCs to boycott this event. There is plenty of money around the table here to have an event that doesn’t steal from founders. Most all credible VCs I know are happy to take an email from you and discuss your venture. You showing up at an event like this isn’t necessary.