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Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
September 23rd, 2016
I have attended and been a panelist at many pitch contests. It seems there
is a pitch contest every night around here. If I were a presenter, I would
not pay a nickel to anybody who sponsors such events - except that
sometimes the organizers provide a nice lunch or dinner, in which case
everybody - attendees and presenters - pay something.
I have never attended one, but in general my rule of thumb is to not pay anyone to review anything. In most industries these "pay for pitches" conferences are more of a suckers paradise than anything. Not saying some decent people may not show up. But if "substantial" equals anything over about $30, personally I would not do it. And I would only do $30 if the meal was worth it. But thats my perspective and opinion which is subjective. You can pitch to anyone you set out to if you know how to write and communicate. This is the age of instant connection and information.
Unless they're providing value other than a chance to pitch then to me pay to play suggests they don't have the capital they pretend to have. It means they're also not thoughtful or supportive of the bootstrapping sacrifices most entrepreneurs make.