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Anyone heard of or been to Venture Summit?

Venture Summit West contacted me a few weeks ago about applying for a chance to pitch at their conference. The website looks like a lot of VCs will be in attendance. I filled out the application, and they replied saying I won a spot, but I would have to pay $400 to attend. Now today I got another email from them saying I've been accepted to come for free. It seems a bit shady to me, especially after googling and finding stuff like this:

https://pando.com/2013/11/04/startup-snake-oil-scamming-early-stage-entrepreneurs/


So, FD community, has anyone ever had any experience with this Venture Summit, or the Young Startup organization that puts it on?

http://www.youngstartup.com/west2016/overview.php

20 Replies

Cheree Warrick
1
0
Cheree Warrick Advisor
Business Plans for Companies Raising Capital, Startup CFO, Advisor at CoFounder Dating
Paul,
They email me continuously but I don't know if they're legit or not. I'm curious to hear what others in the community have experienced as well.

Cheree
Crystal Grave
4
0
Crystal Grave Entrepreneur
Founder, President & CEO at Snappening
Paul: I have been contacted by this company a few times. I do know some of the VCs mentioned. Because I know some, I asked a reputable one that I had recently met what his take was on the event and production company--YSV. In his opinion, as a VC, he felt it was worth his time to attend and thought he saw quality companies. I opted not to attend due to some timing and travel conflicts, but in short I think they deliver what is promised: a narrow group of companies to be presented and offered to a select group of potential funders. What they can't offer, (and really no one can that isn't directly attached to a dedicated fund (as a few of the more household name accelerators are)), is the promise that you'll be funded. I do find it interesting that they are willing to now drop the fee for you. That probably indicates that they liked you, but perhaps realize they need to fill their roster and time is of the essence and are now back-filling with pre-qualified candidates. It may mean they will put anyone in to seem full. My gut would tell me they cast a very wide net using tools like AngelList, Gust, startup incubators, accelerators, a Google alert for keywords like "startup, angel, VC, tech, Series, Seed, etc." In short: If you can spare the time and cost to get you to the destination, at this point you have little to lose and something possibly to gain. At worst, you work from the road and learn what not to do next time. You may even be able to float the attendee list to your advisor network to get some warm intros before you arrive. Since only about 1% of startups end up receiving VC investment, I can't fathom a way this event could promise you a higher rate of opportunity than what you can already clearly estimate based on your own research. However, what they do offer is a network. And I'd venture to say that 100% of VC investments start with someone knowing you, having heard about you, or having a friend suggest your biz to them. I would love to know what you end up doing, and think the FD network would appreciate your personal account if you do go. Take care, Crystal Grave FounderSnappening.com _____________________________
Michael Barnathan
1
0
Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
They spam me all the time, and I've taken to assuming this is the University of Phoenix of startups - they seem willing to take anyone who pays them. YMMV.
Jim Lahren
1
0
Jim Lahren Advisor
VP Marketing – Brand Development, Strategic Marketing, Innovation, Digital Marketing, Customer Experience
Paul I received several emails from them over the course of the past few weeks. The more emails I received, the more suspicious I became.
Josh Radonsky
0
7
Josh Radonsky Entrepreneur
Associate Director of Marketing at youngStartup Ventures

Paul,

The Venture Summit West conference is sold out, as per the link you posted.

To set the record straight, you applied for a new, unique opportunity to pitch for free called Seed Pitch Fest, if you pay the discounted attendee fee.

This is very clear on the website, "If you are aseed stage startupseekingangel funding, now you can apply to present on the newly launched Seed Track at theVenture Summit | West.?Companies selected will receive three minutes to present before a panel of active angel investors.Seed startups selected will not be required to pay a presentation fee but will be required to pay the registration fee."?

You also applied to attend for free, as part of another great offer, Venture Nurturing, where we select up to 25 companies. You were then selected for this program, you were allowed to come to the Venture Summit West at no cost! Maybe you forgot that detail.

Now you turn it around and attempt to malign our company by portraying it as "shady".

We're sure the investors you approach for funding will be eager to invest in someone who attempts to malign others.

For the record, the quality and value of these events are obvious to any credible entrepreneur who is honest and has integrity and will take a look at the many conferences we have hosted over the past 16 years and view some of the video highlights and testimonials etc.

?If you are truly seeking funding, I would suggest you realize that any VCs who see something like this will realize what you are up to and possibly question your integrity.

Cheers!

Paul Loeb
1
0
Paul Loeb Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder, DropTrack
Josh, I'm not sure what post you read, or if you are just copy/pasting propaganda. I didn't malign your company, I just questioned whether it's legit, as anyone who can perform a basic google search might wonder...
David Albert
8
0
David Albert Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & Principal at GreyGoo
Josh, I don't think anything Paul said was an attempt to "malign" your company. Honestly? Your terse, overly defensive response did more to damage your credibility that Paul who was simply asking for advice on the event. In a world rampant with Internet scams, I think it was perfectly legitimate question.
Tyrone Tranmer
5
0
Tyrone Tranmer Entrepreneur
Investment/debt advisor. Real Estate/Tech investor. Entrepreneur.
Josh's response makes me think less of this organization. I was also spammed on LinkedIn, so Paul asked a legit and timely question. This was an opportunity for you to set the record straight and instead you tried to hit back by questioning his integrity. Weak.
Josh Radonsky
0
2
Josh Radonsky Entrepreneur
Associate Director of Marketing at youngStartup Ventures
Hi Paul,

Thanks for clearing that up!

You say that it seems a bit shady that you were offered to pitch for free but need to pay, and then offered to come for free. You forgot to mention that you applied for Venture Nurturing, which would explain how you got accepted to come for free. Nothing shady.

Regards,
Josh
Paul Loeb
0
0
Paul Loeb Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder, DropTrack
Josh, sorry man but I think you have trouble with reading comprehension.
Have you tried googling "venture summit scam" ? I'm clearly not the only one who got this impression.
Also, regarding the Venture Nurturing acceptance, I received an email saying I had to post on social media to advertise your event, and then I would be contacted with instructions. It's been more than five hours and I'm still waiting... (plus I have to book a last minute flight)
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