For startups that aren’t interested in paying to pitch their business to angel investors there are some free services popping up that might help reports The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this year, Internet entrepreneur and blogger Jason Calacanis started Open Angel Forum, which holds free pitch events in various cities where entrepreneurs selected from a pool of applicants can pitch to about 20 to 30 angel investors. At Open Angel’s first event in Boulder, Co., in February, three of six companies found new investors.
Another free service, AngelList, started in February by angels Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi, vets dozens of deals before highlighting the best ones in emails each week sent free to a group of 200 investors.
Messrs. Ravikant and Nivi–who also run Venture Hacks, a for-profit site that provides advice to start-ups–say they have received pitches from more than 1,000 start-ups, mostly consumer Internet companies. Of the 48 companies featured so far on AngelList, about half have received funding, they say.
Marco Zappacosta, founder of Thumbtack Inc., a site that lets people book services like tutors and dog walkers, won three commitments from angels after pitching his company in March at an Open Angel Forum event in San Francisco. He then turned to AngelList and received three more commitments to close a funding round at $1.2 million in June. The service, he says, “is good at getting worthy start-ups into the inbox of investors.”
The free services come in the wake of recent criticism of the pay-to-pitch model, which some angel investors have argued is justified because they offer advice and should be paid for their time. Mr. Calacanis, an outspoken figure in the tech industry, last fall publicly admonished angel investment groups for charging bootstrapped entrepreneurs hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to pitch to them.
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