It's perfectly fine to be a predatory sleaze after you invest in a company—but expecting a struggling startup founder to hand over cash just for ten minutes of your time is generally frowned upon. That's not stopping these VCs.
You are ready with your VC pitch but would like someone experienced to go through it and give you valuable feedback. How about talking to a VC who is looking to invest in your space? TiE Silicon Valley is introducing "1-on-1 with a VC" series wherein every entrepreneur who qualifies will get a chance to present to a VC. You will get real time feedback and if your pitch is really good, the VC you present to may decide to invest in your venture. See details below and apply now!
"Real time feedback"! You can't put a price on that, because it's not a real thing. You can, however, put a price on nervously, briefly talking to these guys: $200. "Keep your presentation to 15 minutes," the trio politely requests, meaning they'll net $800 an hour for sitting on their asses and nodding at you. At least when Gawker founding editor Elizabeth Spiers offered a similar session, you got three hours out of it.
Speaking to Betabeat early this year, investor Jason Calacanis, in a rare moment of lucidity, explained why this is so shitty:
"It's low-class, inappropriate and predatory for a rich person to ask an entrepreneur to PAY THEM for 15 minutes of their time," he wrote. "Seriously, what is the cost to the party hearing the pitch? If you answered 'nothing' or 'the cost of two cups of coffee' you win the prize!"
And hey: maybe you'll get the added bonus of them just ripping off your idea after you tell it to them. On the house.