Entrepreneurs: Don’t Pay To Pitch

Jason Calacanis put up a hilarious and serious-as-a-heart-attack post on Friday railing against investors who charge startups for the privilege of pitching them.

Jason is mobilizing his net.troops. He wants the practice to stop, and …

… if this is not done immediately, my group of startup CEOs and angel investors will begin targeting specific groups for elimination. We will launch competing, fee-free events directly opposite your events. We will encourage angels investors, service providers and startups to boycott your events. You may even find our street teams outside your events handing out flyers. This isn’t a joke and this is a threat: stop charging startup companies to present or we will do everything we can to put you out of business with a competing, free option.

Check out the list of investors on Jason’s post who charge for pitching. Folks are adding to it, but hopefully it’ll stay short.

I’d love to hear from groups that charge fees to present. What are the arguments? Presumably you guys have logical reasons for this (though perhaps misguided)?

I’ve worked with hundreds of startup CEOs over the years, and I always advise them that the minute a potential investor asks for money in order to hear you out, you should slot them to the very bottom of your list (at best).

I had a conversation with Charlie O’Donnell last week over breakfast about this. He also had an interesting thought about mobilizing the community to boycott investors who require pay-to-play. Smells like a meme developing…


  1. Dan

    Completely agree. The practice has no merit and is simply ludicrous. Sounds to me like a bunch of wanna-be’s with no cash whatsoever trying to play in the game.

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