An offer to Funding Universe

UPDATE: Funding Universe posted a response to this post and has now waived pitch fees nationally as a result.

Funding Universe is expanding their presence in Colorado and they are presenting a CrowdPitch event on September 30th in Denver. It costs $125 to present your company there, and it’s free to attend otherwise.

Some of us vomit when we hear that promising entrepreneurs are being charged to pitch to investors in Colorado (or anywhere). I’m hoping people will stop doing it. In my opinion, If investors want to see companies they (or sponsors) should bear the costs instead of the entrepreneurs.

To be fair, CrowdPitch is an event that is geared towards to general community and not specifically towards investors. It’s designed as a fun investor role-playing “monopoly money” type event. But still, it’s a bummer that companies have to “pay to pitch” in any setting.

So to welcome Funding Universe to Colorado, I’ll offer to pay the presentation fees for half the companies if they’ll match me.

In any event, here’s some more information about the event:

Want to pitch?

At LivePitch early stage entrepreneurs have 4 minutes to pitch to a panel of experts and a live audience of 40 – 70 peers in order to:

1. Discover investor insight.
2. Let the community know what resources are needed to move forward (partners, services, funding, connections, talent).
3. Gain visibility in the business community.

Want to attend, but not pitch?

Attendance is free. You’ll learn how investors think, meet the hottest start-ups in Colorado, and have a lot of fun. You’ll also help decide the winner of the event by investing your monopoly money in the business of your choice.

When and where

When: Wednesday September 30th
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Where: TAXI
3457 Ringsby Ct.
Denver, CO 80216

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About David Cohen

Geek. Hacker. Investor. Founder and Managing Partner at Techstars.

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  • http://www.nextwave360.com Kevin Smith

    David –

    So, assuming they won't match your offer (and I'm guessing they won't!), do you think CrowdPitch is worth paying for to get some visibility for a start-up? Like you, I loathe this business model, but $125 isn't a ridiculous fee – unlike DEMO or conferences like that – but I don't want to just throw money out the window either…

    Thanks!

  • Pete

    Great sentiment, David way to literally translate putting the money where the mouth is! I look forward to hearing the presentations.

  • http://www.fundinguniverse.com Alex

    Hi David,

    Thanks for welcoming us to Colorado. We will blog an announcement
    that you should link to here soon. Any of your readers in the comments
    here should know though – starting with Colorado, and because of the
    effort you and Brad are leading, we are going to start the trend of $0
    for companies to present at CrowdPitch. How's that for a counter offer?

    We don't want Brad to lose his lunch with us.

    As we go nationwide, we think it's important to help entrepreneurs any
    way that we can. This is one small way of doing that. Thanks for the
    offer to pay half the fees, but since there won't be any, that means
    you owe use 1/2 of $0 this time around.

    See you on the 30th. Let's hope this creates some positive momentum
    in this space surrounding our CrowdPitch events and the other things
    FundingUniverse will be doing as we expand nationally.

    Alex
    Funding Universe

  • Kevin

    Wow – that's very unexpected and very cool of you guys! It's kind of hard to beat that offer!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/FundingUniverse FundingUniverse

    We are stoked to put our hat in the ring and show our support to entrepreneurship! We are especially grateful to the partners & sponsors that help to make it happen.

    To be honest, the fees were never there to make money (it's not like you're going to get rich off of 5 companies paying $125 to pitch), they were there for 2 reasons:

    1) to make sure that the entrepreneur has skin in the game and values the opportunity to pitch (so they come as prepared as possible). It seems that people don't place as much value on things that are free…

    and 2) to make sure that the presenter shows up. I remember when we hosted a pitching event on behalf of the Dixie Angels and the Vegas Valley Angels. One of the local community development agencies "sponsored" a few companies so that they didn't have to pay a pitching fee. We had about 30 investors in the room ready to hear 10 presentations and 2 of 3 "sponsored" presenters didn't show up bc they had other "pressing" items. That's a hard pill to swallow after getting so many legit investors in the room. Up to that point and ever since, we have never had a "paying presenter" not show up.

    Anyway… bottom line is that we are going back to making the CrowdPitch events free and are pretty stoked about it. Thanks to Brad & David for taking the lead!

    Brock Blake
    CEO
    FundingUniverse

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/smurchie Steve Murchie

    So I have nothing against the guys at Funding Universe, but their model is based on charging entrepreneurs $3-5K to "prepare" them to present at one of these pitch sessions. Waiving the pitch fees is like giving up the "dealer prep" on a new car purchase. David, I respect your opinion, but you need to do more research.

    Steve

  • http://www.fundinguniverse.com Alex

    Hi Steve,

    I sent you a private email on LinkedIn. I look forward to your reply there.

    As a note to blog readers, many of the companies at this CrowdPitch event in Denver (and other CrowdPitch events) do not or did not pay us a dime. It is NOT a requirement. We do have many services that we are hired by entrepreneurs to help with (business plans, financing, etc.), but they are unrelated to CrowdPitch. Part of our help sometimes includes working with them on their presentation for VC's/Angels and events like ours. But that is a byproduct – we don't charge to "prepare" people for CrowdPitch. And now, following Brad and David's lead, we don't charge to actually pitch either. Again, they can choose to pay for help in a variety of other areas, but CrowdPitch is free to all and no other purchase is required to participate.

    We hope to have the Keiretsu Forum (you are the Denver Chapter President, so we hope to engage you working together to help Colorado entrepreneurs) join us in many of our future events. We'd love to work with you to provide quality deals for your membership to look at. CrowdPitch is free for attendees too – free food even! We think we can add value to the Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystem and hope you will welcome us and work with us as we try to do our best to help entrepreneurs in Colorado get funded.

    I hope to see you and your peers at our event on Wednesday, your invited and we'd welcome your attendance. It would be nice to meet you as well. In the meantime, I'd hope you would reconsider your comment here with this new information I have shared.

    -Alex

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  • http://www.fundinguniverse.com Alex

    Thanks Steve. I'm glad our model makes more sense to everyone now. I'd like to talk with you about your group joining ours to host the CrowdPitch events. I'm traveling but perhaps we could grab dinner Tuesday or Wednesday night? My email is alex@fundinguniverse.com when you have a minute. Thanks again for coming on here and clearing things up.

    -Alex

  • http://www.biggerpockets.com Joshua Dorkin

    I was at the CrowdPitch event last week and it as very well done. I agree with you, David, that I'm not a fan of charging a fee. I'm glad that the guys got rid of it. That said, it was certainly a great opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs and some investors. Big thanks to Alex and Brock for putting on the event.