Jason Calacanis Drops The Hammer on YoungStartups for Charging Fees to Present @jason

by Ryan on April 29, 2010

Jason Calacanis

Check out this email thread from LA entrepreneur stud, CEO of Mahalo.com, and founder of the Open Angel Forum, Jason Calacanis, ripping on YoungStartups for trying to charge entrepreneurs $1,500 to pitch at their conference.   This totally made my day!

On Apr 29, 2010, at 3:53 PM, Jason Calacanis wrote:

and please publish this on the web.

On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 3:27 PM, <jason@calacanis.com> wrote:
Adam,

Charging startups is a scam that preys upon entrepreneurs that are desperate to meet investors.

Any VC or angel associated with this should be ashamed.

Please kill yourself.

Best j
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

From: “Adam Negnewitzky” <adamn@youngstartup.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 18:03:25 -0400
To: ‘Jason Calacanis’<jason@calacanis.com>; ‘Ryan Born’<ryan.born@audiomicro.com>
Subject: RE: Confirm

Jason,

We charge for a valuable service… I’m not sure why you are making derogatory comments which are obviously out of line.

Regards,

Adam

Adam Negnewitzky
Senior Associate
youngStartup Ventures
Phone: (212) 202-1002
Email: adamn@youngstartup.com

From: Jason Calacanis [mailto:jason@calacanis.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:00 PM
To: Ryan Born
Cc: Adam Negnewitzky
Subject: Re: Confirm

Ryan: YoungStartup’s is a scam, suggest not doing it.

Adam: shame on you.

best,

Jason
———————
Jason McCabe Calacanis
Office: 310-593-6134 / Mobile: 310-456-4900
AOL IM/Skype: jasoncalacanis


On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM, Ryan Born <ryan.born@audiomicro.com> wrote:

Would you consider not charging our startup to present?  Perhaps you have heard of the Open Angel Forum?  I think $1500 is a going to be out of our comfort zone.

All the best,

Ryan

…message sent via wireless handheld
(please excuse typos and brevity)

—————————-
Ryan Born, CPA

—–Original Message—–
From: Adam Negnewitzky <adamn@youngstartup.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:19 PM
To: ‘Ryan Born – AudioMicro’ <ryan.born@audiomicro.com>
Subject: RE: Confirm

Hi Ryan,

The following are the costs/benefits of the presenting opportunity. Let me
know if you’d like me to send over the presenting application.

Featured Company Benefits include:

*       Recognition as a Top Innovator 50 company
*       Access to leading VCs, Corporate VCs, private investors and
investment bankers
*       Presentation slot
*       Three Complimentary passes for company executives
*       Additional discounted registrations
*       Two page Company Profile published in event guide distributed to all
attendees and investors
*       Media Exposure
*       Two complimentary passes to attend “Featured Company” Coaching
Session with active VCs providing feedback
*       Cocktail reception with VCs

Fee to present: $1,485 (if you have already registered, your registration
fee will be deducted).

Kind regards,

Adam Negnewitzky

Senior Associate
youngStartup Ventures
Phone: (212) 202-1002
Email: adamn@youngstartup.com

From: Ryan Born – AudioMicro [mailto:ryan.born@audiomicro.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:10 PM
To: adamn@youngstartup.com
Subject: Re: Confirm

Hi Adam

I received the message.  Remind me again what the fee is for startups to present?

All the best,

Ryan
________________________
Ryan Born, CPA
CEO – AudioMicro, Inc.
GTalk:  ryan.l.born@gmail.com
skype: ryan.born
AIM:  rborn2000

On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 4:00 PM, Adam Negnewitzky <adamn@youngstartup.com>
wrote:

Ryan –

Wanted to confirm you received my previous email with the details you
requested on presenting as one of 50 Top Innovators recognized at the
prestigious New York Venture Summit.

Let me know if you’d like your company to be considered.

Keep in mind that the deadline to submit your company is next Thursday May
6th.

Regards,

Adam

Adam Negnewitzky
Senior Associate
youngStartup Ventures
Phone: (212) 202-1002
Email: adamn@youngstartup.com

{ 3 trackbacks }

The Startup Arena
04.30.10 at 4:19 AM
Tweets that mention Jason Calacanis Drops The Hammer on YoungStartups for Charging Fees to Present @jason | Ryan Born -- Topsy.com
07.14.10 at 3:42 PM
Startup snake oil: scamming early stage entrepreneurs | PandoDaily
11.04.13 at 6:01 AM

{ 20 comments }

1 Siminoff 04.30.10 at 12:30 AM

That is seriously hysterical

2 Ed Hollinsby 04.30.10 at 12:57 AM

Look at how innocent Jason is! TC50 claims to the “American Idol” for fresh entrepreneurial talent, but 2 years ago, Jason's at-home-poker partner and one of the founders of Paypal (David Sacks) won the event for his “startup” Yammer. So, let's see. You can either pay $1,500 to attend a non-rigged event, or participate in a free event that's rigged and doesn't understand a simple concept called “conflict of interest.”

So many grand choices! It's a world of Wonder!

3 a-scam-is-a-scam 04.30.10 at 12:59 AM

Featured Company Benefits include (Sans Marketing BS):

* We list you as s Paid Presenter company
* When you come, leading VCs, Corporate VCs, private investors and
investment bankers might be there
* You get some time to actually present (so lucky!)
* Three $500 passes so company executives can enter facilities to present
* Additional discounted gouged fees on things
* Two page Company Profile listed in a standard event guide that is handed out distributed to people at any event you've ever gone to.
* We'll put it on our blog
* Two complimentary passes to attend some schlock nonsense; fees may be required for further help
* Drinks with “VC”s

4 a-scam-is-a-scam 04.30.10 at 12:59 AM

Featured Company Benefits include (Sans Marketing BS):

* We list you as s Paid Presenter company
* When you come, leading VCs, Corporate VCs, private investors and
investment bankers might be there
* You get some time to actually present (so lucky!)
* Three $500 passes so company executives can enter facilities to present
* Additional discounted gouged fees on things
* Two page Company Profile listed in a standard event guide that is handed out distributed to people at any event you've ever gone to.
* We'll put it on our blog
* Two complimentary passes to attend some schlock nonsense; fees may be required for further help
* Drinks with “VC”s

5 Justin Herrick 04.30.10 at 5:05 AM

Jason is sticking to his guns, got to admire that

6 Ben 04.30.10 at 10:50 AM

Jason CalicANUS who are you calling a scam? You’re the one who CHARGED start-ups to present and dine with VCs and Angel investors when you were running silicon alley reporter events before you failed, REMEMBER?

You're the one who has startups pay $2000 to exhibit at TC50 when startups prefer presenting way more. and havent even explained how that's ok and paying to present isnt. those that you charge to exhibit dont even present so you are the scum of them all.

So now you figure – you’ll try a NEW BUSINESS model/gimmick. you’ll fool everyone into thinking that you are an altruist (looking out for the good of entrepreneurs and not your pocket).

Meanwhile you plan on CHARGING Service providers and investors with the goal of MAKING MONEY! That’s your FREE MODEL??? Nice Try.

I heard you havent been successful in getting investors to pay so now it's only the service providers.

I also noticed you said the events are limited to 5 service providers, meanwhile your own blog thanksed 6. seesm like you're in it for the MONEY!

Friends -
Nothing in life is free! nothing! and when Jason calicANUS claims to be fighting legitimate conferences and angel networks like New York Angels, Kiretsu forum he’s simply trying to make name for himself, and MONEY!!!

BTW – - those of you reading this should realize that the majority of the posts in support of Jason CalicANUS are written by jason via aliases or others simply looking for a marketing ride.

Potential Sponsors and Angels:
I encourage you to avoid attending any of Jason’s events. avoid him like a plague. Getting close to him is dangerous for you and your company. it’ll do you more bad than good. if you do something like charge your clients a little more than he thinks is ok, or take more equity than he thinks is ok, he will call you out (when it suits him) and say your GAME IS OVER.

His dad owned a bar
so he grew up with some bad habits i.e. acting like a drunk gangster. He’s even proud of it.

don’t forget – he’s not doing it for anyone but himself.

7 ryanborn 04.30.10 at 3:55 PM

I don't think Jason posts under aliases, he's got much better things to do. TC50 does not charge to present if you are accepted. They may charge to be in a DEMO pit outside the presentation area but they don't charge to present to the best of my knowledge. The startup conference model is simple – charge attendees and sponsors and make as much money as possible but do NOT charge the startups to present to investors. It's a no brainer to me.

8 ryanborn 04.30.10 at 3:56 PM

C'mon Ed – Yammer won TC50 fair and square and the company is doing really well financially. They earned the award.

9 mynext 05.01.10 at 2:45 AM

$1500 is rather a lot =[ I can semi see the logic behind it, as to pitch to a large number of VCs etc you would end up spending that anyways.

10 ryanborn 05.01.10 at 4:31 PM

Since when you have had to pay to pitch a large number of angels in the past? In LA, if you join a group like http://www.launchpad.la you get access to all the angels and VC's in town and there's no fee for startups to pitch. Never pay more than a tiny, nominal entry conference fee (like less than $75) to a one day event to pitch. In fact, you can almost always pitch angels and VC's totally free. Just find them at an event they are attending and give them the quick elevator pitch. If they like what they hear, you'll be able to follow up with a more formal pitch. You have to hustle and if you hustle, there's no need to pay to pitch.

11 Michael 05.02.10 at 2:43 AM

Maverick Angels and young start ups sound like peas in a pod. Ripping entrepreneurs off, like those phony talent agencies in Hollywood. Get your script read by industry insiders. Meet producers. Yada Yada Yada.

If you've got to charge, why not take a commission percentage after the start up gets funded. Then its a win win.

12 Startup12 06.04.10 at 6:21 PM

This thread is great!

Check this guy out on youtube:
New York Venture Summit – SCAM – Phone call w/ Adam Negnewitzky – RIP OFF

Looks like Young Startups Crossed the line past the crazy $1500 fee. They promised a “free presentation spot” to a startup. Three weeks after they said “oh yea – and it is going to cost you $560 per person to attend the confrence to present”

The entrepreneur decided to document the whole thing. good for them!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aasCQvGG-no

13 Maverick Money Makers Review 07.14.10 at 5:54 AM

hello, Jason Calacanis Drops The Hammer on YoungStartups for Charging Fees to … Just what small businesses need right now!

14 VAS 11.04.10 at 2:49 PM

Thanks for sharing this. I was also invited to one of these events and thought it sounded interesting until I found out my start-up would have to pay to attend.

15 ryanborn 11.05.10 at 6:52 PM

Thanks for the comment VAS. It's unbelievable to me how some conferences still charge startups to present. What's even worse are the angel groups that charge startups to pitch. Both are total shams! Stay away!

16 ryanborn 11.05.10 at 6:54 PM

Thanks for the comment Michael. I totally agree with you. These angel groups that charge startups are totally despicable and should be ashamed of themselves. Legislature should be passed to banned their activities. It's totally horrible to charge someone to pitch.

17 Kfine18 12.16.10 at 9:26 PM

Jason I wonder how many companies your responsible for not getting funding because your so convinced that paying to pitch is wrong. Who are you that you should decide what a promising company should do with their money??

What are your credentials other than being a big mouth with an opinion to decide who should and should not pay? Should startups take loans not knowing how they are going to pay they back because they believe in their product.

Who are you??

Let the startups decide without your stupid impute and go get yourself an education

18 John 12.16.10 at 9:33 PM

Right on koby Jason’s just some big mouth opinionated jealous fool ruining promising companies opportunities for funding. Fact is companies secure funds at young start up summits. That’s the facts Jason is obviously pathetic and has nothing better to do with his time than trash legitimate companies.

19 ryanborn 12.16.10 at 9:55 PM

You can pay to pitch, I think he just advises against it. If it’s $50 or $100 that’s one thing but paying $1000’s to pitch is just a bad idea. Don’t pay anything more than a small application fee to pitch anyone or participate at any conference as a bootstrapped startup. If you must attend, just get a regular ticket and network with investors but no need to pay $1000’s for a booth. That’s just my advice.

20 jasoncalacanis 12.16.10 at 10:05 PM

Kfine18,

I am your daddy, that is why you should listen to me.

best. Jason

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