Paying to meet investors

I was recently invited to join a startup pitching event where entrepreneurs need to pay a fee to present to investors. Basically, the event organizers claim that they offer entrepreneurs access to investors who they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, and use this theory to justify extracting a fee from the entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs, don’t fall for such events. The way to get in front of investors is to work hard, show that you can build a big business by demonstrating some traction or at least a prototype, and be resourceful in your approach.

Investors want to meet great entrepreneurs. In fact, our success depends on it. If an investor charges to meet entrepreneurs, they’re unlikely to meet the best ones. This will prevent them from backing the best companies necessary to be a great investor. So great investors won’t charge you to meet them.

The corollary is that investors who do charge to meet entrepreneurs aren’t great. And the entrepreneurs who accept to pay to meet these investors are also very unlikely to be great.