You can never force an angel to like you, but if you have an angel that does not get any money from your pitch, it means that the only way he/she will make anything is if he/she invests. So they will be itching to invest with someone. Again, this will not make them invest unless they like you, but at least you know they are looking to give their money to someone.
If you start paying to pitch you may easily get into a situation where the "angels" are not really looking to invest at all.
It's so cliche, but he seems genuinely sincere in fighting for the the next generation of entrepreneurs. I'm behind him 100% on this, and can't wait to see where it goes.
C'mon, be serious. Get yourself a better account name.
I'm a swombat!
- The guy grinds axes. Is he right? Is he wrong? It doesn't matter, he's going to be as loud and obnoxious as possible.
- He likes to talk about himself. I really don't need paragraphs about how he grew up in a loud, opinionated environment. (I was able to discern this on my own pretty quickly).
- He's an opportunist. I mean, the bar is really low here: should startups pay for ear time? Of course not. This is even less debatable than the brouhaha last week regarding Revolutionary Angel's competition [ http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=861767 ].
My impression is the slimy feeling you get when someone goes "out of their way" to help you, only to screw you later. I don't know how or when that might happen in this circumstance, but the whole post feels self-serving. (Maybe its an east coast spidey sense)
It might have something to do with this:
d) We are demanding that angel groups waive all fees starting today
e) We are going to crush any group that doesn’t comply with our demands
f) There is no negotiation
Or maybe he thinks Mahalo is not what it's cracked up to be and he is grooming himself to become an industry guru/consultant/visionary?
Mahalo 2.0 which came out in June gave us a major boost because we started giving ~40% of the revenue from topic pages to our page managers. This resulted in a LOT more page being created.
Mahalo 3.0 will be out on December 1st and it will do a better job of explaining what Mahalo is. We got a little drunk on the Korean Web design of www.naver.com and it confused folks. That was my bad... M3 will be MUCH more obvious as to what we're about (search, content and Q&A all on one page).
I doubt he run Mahalo in long term, he will want to get it established and flip it in the next 5 years, if not sooner, and I've heard him mention on the show that he is envious of $100m buyouts for companies and he wants that for Mahalo.
I think he building connections for his next ventures and company. He is aware of a lot early stage companies, he can invest at very favorable rates and then give the company a much better chance of success by introducing it to key VCs that he knows - which could make some very good investments for himself.
If we do that we'll have a really nice business, and to be honest I'm not interested in flipping this one. Like Evan Williams with Twitter, I'm long on this startup after having sold my last one quickly.
No regrets selling Weblogs, Inc. after only 18 months. In fact, it was an amazing deal that set me up to raise $20M to build something on the scale of About.com (top 20 site), eHow (top 30), Yahoo Answers (top 20) or perhaps even Wikipedia (top 10!).
I think we have a good chance to grow as large as About.com or eHow... getting to Wikipedia level, well, that's a little out of my control, but I'm going to try really hard.
In terms of being a VC I've thought about it, but for now I'm just going to do 2-4 small invetments (25-50k) a year. So far I've done two this year: www.challengepost.com and www.gdgt.com. Both of which are really great ideas with big potential. I love the entrepreneurs behind each of these... hopefully I can find a couple of these a year.
all the best, @jason
A lot of really good sales people don't make it obvious they are selling, Jason seems to make it a bit obvious in an un-ashamed way (which make me think he is more interested in getting the word out then pushing things on people).
His enthusiasm is infectious though, its really cool assuming he is sincere (and I am pretty sure he is).
Kudos for outing these "epic bastards" - IF it's true.. certainly hard to believe anyone that gullible hasn't already sent his $$ to the widow of a recently ousted African minister...
I've also got someone from inside on of the angel groups who has defected and has told me flat out that these are money making scams.
The Keiretsu Forum says they charge "only $1,500" but I'm told from insiders they make you pitch all four chapters... so it's really $6,000!
The best way to stop this is to a) not pitch at them, b) spread the word and c) for angel investors to boycott them.
I'm going to start an open angel forum if these guys don't drop their fees.
Here in Chicago, DePaul University puts on an annual event that cost $80 to attend to "Meet the Angels". Too bad none of these "angels" actually do any deals, so it's a total sham. I'm sure they're laughing all the way to the bank.
edit: make that $1500, they give applicants 50% off
We were offered a free demopit ticket as the '51st' company as well.
On top of that the amounts of money seem to differ by at least an order of magnitude.
Can anybody confirm Keiretsu does charge?
All of these angel groups are pretty much a total joke.
By the way, here is a very similar discussion on this topic a few months ago:
I'm not a big fan of Ayn Rand, but there's a great passage in "Atlas Shrugged" about how once you destroy markets, it becomes all about influence and insiders and "who knows who." This is just a new market mechanism that subverts the insiderish nature of the angel community.
It doesn't mean it will work, but it's a reaction to scarcity controlled by influence, and is just creating a market mechanism where one is needed.
a. "connections" are a scarce commodity, and probably the primary thing that a startup needs.
b. A market mechanism is replacing influencers. That's most likely a good thing.
and an additional remark - the first people who do this are obviously going to price high. The prices will get driven down by the same supply/demand mechanism that created the market in the first place.
I'd like to see more of this - if you've made it then help others starting out. Surely there's a load of that type out there!?
Bottom line is, if you pay to pitch an investor, you are are identifying yourself as a desperate, naive, uninformed person, and possibly greedy person (read on). You will be fleeced, some might say you deserve to be fleeced.
These "pay to pitch" scams work on the same kind of people as those Nigerian email scams (or other "get rich quick" scams). The reason both of them exist is because there are enough twits out there that click or pay or whatever. And, so, the rest have to hear about it and get spammed by it.
However, given how Jason feels that startups should NEVER have to pay to be in a room full of investors... then why charge $1500 per ticket for Techcrunch?!
Surely all the budding entrepreneurs should get into Techcrunch for FREE!!!
After all that $1500 could go along way toward their start-up right?
but they chose to give it to Techcrunch in order to network (i.e, in the case of Techcrunch people see value in giving a large chunk of money to be in a room with lots of investors and well networked people)
If you pay for TC50 you are paying for the conference room hire, network facilities, promotion and organizing which are expensive.
If you are referring to Mike and Jason as investors, then I don't think either invest heavily in companies and I don't think they invest in TC50 companies. There are, I assume, investors at the event and watching the streams who do not get paid to watch and probably even pay to be part of the event. Those people are genuinely interested in making investments on their own merits.
An investor, as far as I am concerned, is interested in seeing the best companies and any barrier that stops them seeing companies, like paying, does not help.
I note that, Y Combinator even pays expenses to companies that come to pitch to them - that is the way it should be done.