After the interview, of course, they follow up with the exact same sort of line:
"As you know, we can't invite everyone. However, I'm happy to say that it seems XXX is doing great things in an exciting space and you've been selected for XXX, the later stage startup track at XXX."
Followed by this...
"Your code will reduce the cost from €12,950 to €1,950. As discussed the package includes 3 attendee tickets, plus a complimentary exhibition stand for one of the three days."
Afterwards, if you interact with them in any way, expect to get 5-15 average spam mails a week with "Guess who's going to be at our conference!" If you unsubscribe from the list, it seems like they just invent another conference to spam you with.
Not surprisingly, their "exhibitor" costs rival some of the largest and most successful industry conference costs, even though, in the case of the one I inquired about, it it was the first event that they had put on in that track. Afterwards, of course, "oh, but you qualify for our start-up track which lets you stand in this hall for one day for $5,000!"
Agree with earlier poster to avoid.
This is the kind of wording that drives me insane. If I'm paying for a thing, then anything that comes with that thing is by definition NOT complimentary.
He once threatened to sue someone for organising an event during the same week as DWS, claiming that they were riding on his coattails.
Avoid like the plague!
Same startups, same VCs, same bloggers, etc, repeating the same stuff they said in a similar conference the week before i.e. loads of words are spoken, but no real content. Add to that the junk food they served, no seating (seriously, no seating through out the event for all the attendees), loud fans made it impossible to have a proper conversation, remote and random location, expensive, etc... and now the pay-to-pitch schemes. I felt treated like cattle. Stay away from these events.
The only tech event I strongly recommend attending is LAUNCH Festival by Jason Calacanis.
Agreed. It's very well done. Also note that Jason has been very critical of the "pay to pitch" phenomenon: http://www.businessinsider.com/my-latest-war-angels-who-char...
They're often tire-kickers who will waste a lot of your time doing "diligence" and trying to negotiate absurd notes with excessive warrant gearing/premiums. As you talk with them, you'll come to find they have never put in more than $50K and have only done one or two investments.
I don't think you'd do the same for, for example, RSI. "Hey, we survived a couple of years with a bad keyboard desk combination. Typing on that was a full time job for someone; they got RSI. But it kept us going".
Hence my anger at the parasites who waste the time we already don't have.
I don't think it's okay to allow people to burnout; and if their job is causing burnout something about the job needs to change.
It's odd that you call for people to discuss their mental health problems while simultaneously using deeply stigmatising language.
Lots of people burn out on lots of things. Its not always a complete mental meltdown. Sometimes its just "I can't do this any more; lets find a new way"
Jason Calacanis went after their horrible tactics 5 years ago, and was very vocal about it. This is the first I've heard of them in 3-4 years, so I just assumed they had closed up shop.
Only one link among many.
"Many years ago as a young entrepreneur I had a lunch meeting with an investor, at the end of which I tried to pay. He stopped me and said "any investor who lets you pay for lunch isn't a real investor".
I sat in on a K forum, considering pitching them. When they told me they wanted $3000K for me to "join their community" and pitch I almost fell over."
I like how most people are directors or presidents of Keiretsu Forum and TWO people are staff employees.
I've found it helpful to purposely target the smaller, industry-specific or location-specific conferences.
While you don't necessarily meet the "super angels" or luminary press figures, I almost always come away glad that I went.
Two recent examples was pitching our location startup at the Telecom Council's "Connected Car" start-up:
I think registration was $200 and it was maybe 300 people deeply connected into the telecom and auto industries.
Or the App Developer's Alliance in Los Angeles (regionally important to us):
Again, great people, lots of indie devs, etc.
I could walk away from both being materially glad that we attended, and with a list of people that I connected with face-to-face and look forward to doing business with.
How much value is being generated by the founder(s) being at events like this?
I have long ago stopped applying for awards rort.. took away so much of my time..
I can see how there would be a huge amount of opportunities there for startups. There is a vast amount of money people, lots of technical talent and lots of ideas all brought together for a few days and I think that if you're socially savvy you could make a lot from it.
What I did not like is how the organisers conduct themselves. Their approach to getting speakers is, I believe, totally offensive. I understand that they're running a business but they spam and bait-and-switch like no company I can recall in recent memory. I believe, or read somewhere, that their hiring practices for their volunteers/staff are pretty awful also.
I suppose it is what you make of it. Would I go to it again as an attendee? If the tickets were given to me and I was in or around Dublin at the time, certainly. Would I pay to attend myself? Probably not. If I were running a startup and wanted to get it in front of people, and to meet people who might be interested in it? I'd probably pay €1500 for the opportunity. It's not very expensive compared to the opportunities it may present. Worst case scenario is you have a few fun days in an interesting city.
We at Codacy decided to attend the Web Summit last year and invested the amount they asked us to put in (I can't recall how much but was the standard for the BETA category). They upgraded us to the BETA category even though we actually should have been put in the lower ALPHA one.
In any case we executed on a plan: to extract as much as we could from it and that we did:
* We abused the day with the stand to talk to Startups and give awareness of our product. We actually met a few of our best customers.
* We did a list of people we wanted to meet and took some effort to network and reach them. We got into very interesting discussions and follow on meetings after the conference. We met great engineers and people we ended up partnering with.
* We took part in the pitch competition (with some hesitation at first to be honest..), but took it seriously and we ended up winning the whole thing (techcrunch.com/2014/11/06/lisbons-codacy-wins-the-web-summit-pitch-competition/)
So while I cannot speak for these new conferences, for us the Web Summit was certainly a great investment.
Some of the talks are also very interesting and gives you the chance to see people that you usually don't see in Europe.
But the stands? The stands have been completely useless for us.
BTW, congratulations, we were finalists in 2013 and even that gave us a big push.
I wouldn't call that parasitic at all - I think it's silly though (they're clearly not making money on those folks so why charge them at all?) but it's a reasonable way to do things.
Regarding registration; Physical space at any conference would come at a premium. As advertised, we're removing this element of the cost to startups who could bring value to the event and charging a fee for tickets & registration. The package grants you 3 tickets (2 day event and evening socials), online circulation, access to industry leader talks, workshops, investor office hours & invitations to partner activations as well as the physical space in your chosen industry area. Our website clearly states that there is a cost associated with registering. Our event isn't free but you can see by the calibre of attendee and speakers (as outlined in the website) that there are definite opportunities and knowledge to be gained.
The event was really well received last year and more than half the participating startups either joined us at Web Summit and/or are returning to Collision this year. For me personally, that is a great testament to the event. We are working tirelessly to improve our systems to make sure everyone gets value from the event. We're a tech startup ourselves and we just want to put on an awesome tech event.
Happy to answer any more questions. Feel free to drop me a line at Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team are really sorry that there was a misunderstanding between us and the author of the blog article Lenny Teytelman over the cost of coming to Collision and taking part in our Collide track for startups.
We really try to be as transparent as possible about the costs of attending our events. We believe that we offer great value for money for all attendees, whether they are startups, investors, speakers or general attendees. At our flagship event, Web Summit in Dublin, the numbers of those attending have doubled every year - which we feel shows that many people agree that we provide a great networking experience. Some on this thread have mentioned this.
To be clear, in our call with Lenny there seems to have been a misunderstanding over costs. We followed up the conversation a week later with an extensive email setting out the costs and the benefits of attending in the hope that he and his exciting startup could come along.
I've checked with the team here and from the email correspondence he told us: “I misunderstood you during the Skype call. I thought you are waving the attendance fee of $1450, instead of reducing the price to that.” Which is fair enough and we apologise if we were unclear on the call in any way. He then declined to take us up on the offer and we left it there.
As I have mentioned earlier, our Startups page on the website collisionconf.com clearly states that while exhibiting for selected startups is free, there is a cost for attending. To quote:
'Each week we selected 25 early stage startups from around the world to exhibit for free as part of our Collide Program. The bigger tech companies pay $9,950 to exhibit, meaning exciting, disruptive, early-stage startups can afford to attend no matter what. All they will pay is a discounted price for tickets and Collide registration, and we’ll give them a free exhibition stand.'
Really sorry if Lenny feels we wasted his time. We were genuinely excited about the possibility of him attending Collision but as mentioned previously, we do need to make the effort to screen applications so that we present the very best experience for startups and investors at our events.
We are a technology startup ourselves and of course we can always improve what we do. We are working hard right now to make Collision in Las Vegas on May 5-6 a success for the hundreds of startups across 14 industry areas who are attending. The networking at our events has been called “legendary” and we try hard to live up to that tag.
We are reaching out to Lenny to offer our apologies for any misunderstanding and we hope that those on this thread who are attending Collision will report back on their experience.
I am not going to engage in "he said, she said" with you. Instead, I encourage readers to look at the other comments in this thread to make up their mind about Collision. Plenty more of such concerns here http://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/2x8i04/weve_been_a....
We decided against it because the deadline was so short. We got accepted on a tuesday and would have had to pay by friday the same week. We passed because that wasn't enough time to make a good decision.
We have the same problem with the phocuswright europe conference as well. They want us to pitch but spend 7500€ (we won't). It's hard to navigate that because as a startup you feel like you have to get out there and deciding between the really goot opportunities and the bad ones is harder then I thought.
Moderators: downvoting the parent is perhaps the clearest abuse of downvotes I've ever seen. Please act.
I wonder how these folks sleep at night and how much money they're really making. They could be doing something else with their time that is a win-win for everybody, not just them.
On the flipside - maybe we ought to be glad they're running around doing small-time scams, imagine these jerks infiltrating large organizations and spreading their ways around in ways that affect the masses.
We saw it as a fair good deal, and didn't feel scammed at all. It took us one 10 minute phone call, and then we got offered the tickets for $1,500.
It's our first conference, other ones we've looked at cost far more. So for a first one, we thought the event looks interesting, not as expensive as other events we've cost up, looks like there will be interesting people there and Vegas is a fun city for us all anyway!
It's not filling me with confidence reading other comments in this thread, but still happy and excited to be going.
I've always suspected CrunchBase, since that's when they seemed to have started, but can't prove it.