Last night I had the honor of presenting at the Open Angel Forum Colorado. OAF was created by Jason Calcanis in response to the ever increasing practice of making startups pay to present their business plans to potential investors. Makes total sense - the startups have no money -why should they pay to pitch. I've been asked numerous times to participate in such programs, ranging from €8,000 to pitch in Monte Carlo at the Clean Energy Summit to $15,000 to pitch at the Private Equity Forum in NYC. Now I'm not saying these are bad gigs - who wouldn't love to go to Monaco - but it doesn't feel like a good use of time or money. Think about it - between airfare and hotel - the cost to make one 20 minute pitch could be a month of burn for a lot of startups.
If the event is really worth it - the process will be competitive - the organizers will stake their reputation on the quality of event - and the presenting companies will get the needed exposure to the right type of investors. That's what happened last night.
Happy to be a part of it - just one word of advise to future presenters - don't switch computers for your pitch - use the one they have (I tried the switch and the projector vomited on my MacBook - which really is not a great way to make a first impression. Live and learn.)
Great job David and Jason - thanks for putting this together and thank you sponsors.