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Should startups pay to apply to pitch competitions?

Should startups be paying to apply to a pitch competition? I have been thinking about this for a while. I personally dont think I should apply to such competitions which ask to pay even to apply. Forget about paying to pitch (that has a guarantee you will pitch). Any thoughts or experience with this?

19 Replies

Brian McConnell
3
0
Brian McConnell Entrepreneur
Head of Localization at Medium.com
Never pay to pitch, especially at so-called "angel networks". It's a scam, and at best, you will only expose yourself to very low quality investors, and risk poisoning opportunities with serious investors (who will question your judgement and/or think you are desperate for doing so).
Helen Adeosun
3
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Helen Adeosun Entrepreneur
Co-Founder and CEO of CareAcademy.co
No! Amitra, depending on here you are shouldn't pay for a pitch competition. The guest list is what a lot of these competitions are selling and of course they upsell the attendees. However, all of these people, including investors will be glad to meet you because they love entrepreneurs. For us time is our greatest asset and it's assessing everything's ROI including finding potential mentors, winning money, etc.

If you enter anything go to win make sure you get feedback from judges. I have received $1500 from competitions but didn't pay to enter. If they do ask for a fee, email an organizer and ask for a discount or fee waiver in exchange for promotion. That's what we did for the sxsw accelerator and pitch.

Good luck!
Abhi Yadav
0
0
Abhi Yadav Entrepreneur • Advisor
Analytics, Data Science Professional, Entrepreneur & Innovator
I second that, never pay for pitching ideas ...
Amrita C. Aviyente
1
0
Amrita C. Aviyente Entrepreneur
Founder at Date My Wardrobe
Thank you. I was looking at Women2 pitch competition. Sad part is pay to apply, not pitch. I did ask for a waiver but they said no (unlike many other places who actually do waive).
David Crooke
1
0
David Crooke Entrepreneur
Serial entrepreneur and CTO
Absolutely not, if they ask you to pay, it's a scam.
Cynthia Schames
0
0
Cynthia Schames Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO, AbbeyPost
I vote no. I think pay to pitch is skeevy. If investors need to pick the pockets of entrepreneurs in order to put on a pitch event, their own pockets are either nowhere near deep enough, OR they're the kind of people I personally would rather not partner with as investors.
Harrison Magun
1
0
Harrison Magun Entrepreneur
Digital Media & Tech / Sales and Marketing
I agree with what has been said about never paying to pitch, and it's pretty clear that a lot of organizations and publications feed off the exuberance of entrepreneurs (and wannapreneurs.) I do think there is an exception to the rule, though: some angel funds charge an application fee. That fee is more to ensure that they are spending their time on serious applicants. For instance, Seattle's Alliance of Angels, a well-respected community of angel investors, charges a $95 application fee.
Scott Milburn
0
0
Scott Milburn Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurial Senior Executive and Attorney
Amrita, as others have said, paying to pitch is a bad idea and does not reflect well on the investors. Paying to apply is even more ridiculous - I have never heard of such a thing for an angel opportunity!
Duane Nickull
0
0
Duane Nickull Entrepreneur • Advisor
Chief Marketing Officer, Co-Founder at Cheddar Labs
In my opinion the people who charge for this are bottom feeders, right down there with domain name squatters and sonicbids.com. The latter company wants rock artists to pay to apply to lose money at gigs.

They all need to die. Do not use them. Do not pay them anything. Educate anyone else you can.

Duane Nickull
Michael Barnathan
0
0
Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
Don't do it. I wouldn't trust the VCs who would agree to this type of deal.
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