The New York Venture Summit is back with a magnificent pay-to-pitch event scheduled for this summer. The program with “honor 50 Top Innovators,” or rather, the top 50 companies with the scratch to pay for a spot to present in front of “Venture Capitalists, Corporate VCs, Angel Investors and Investment bankers.”
There is no fee to apply, New York Venture Summit notes brightly, but it’ll cost $1,585 to get on stage at Digital Sandbox, and $385 just to mill around. Investors pay $480. Hey, you gotta spend money to make money, right? At least it’s not the spendiest.
New York Venture Summit, on June 27 and 28th, comes a month after TechCrunch Disrupt, which has a nice reverse freemium model: startups and attendees can get free entry by entering the hackathon or making it into the Startup Battlefield pitch competition. Failing that, you can shell out a few thousand bucks for a booth.
Conventional wisdom says pay-to-pitch events can be a prime racket, especially in the era of the wantrepreneur. Even pitch fests at Y Combinator and TechStars demo days are starting to turn some investors off, suggesting that the top tier investors still prefer to source their own inbound rather than cram into a big sweaty room/warehouse to watch a series of slidedecks.
Paying to pitch isn’t in itself evil, as event organizers have pointed out to Betabeat. Pulling these events together takes time and money and most startups can pay $50 for a spot at the Ultralight Startups Forum or
$150 to apply to pitch New York Angels. CORRECTION: New York Angels no longer charges a fee, chairman Brian Cohen said.
The worst of criticism is leveled at off-brand pitch events like New York Venture Summit, which tend to attract junior VCs without much decision power and entrepreneurs who aren’t plugged into the authentic scene. YoungStartup Ventures, which puts on the event, is also notorious for its aggressive email marketing.
Repeated email blasts is never a good sign. YoungStartup has some brand names on its side, however, including Jeanne Sullivan of Starvest Partners and David Teten of ff Ventures. Register now and save 50 percent.