Open Angel Forum in Los Angeles this Thursday, event organizer and notable investor Jason Calacanis has announced a second event will be held in Boulder next month. Announcing the event on his weekly live video podcast This Week in Startups, Calacanis says he has booked Foundry Group's Brad Feld, and TechStars founder David Cohen, though he plans to have at least a dozen more angels attend.Hot on the heels of the inaugural
The Open Angel Forum - which Calacanis considers a "jihad" rebuking VC firms with "pay-to-pitch" practices - provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity for free and open access to angel investors.
"It's low-class, inappropriate and predatory for a rich person to ask an entrepreneur to PAY THEM for 15 minutes of their time," Calacanis wrote on his blog last fall.
overall outrage over the subject was not enough - so he created Open Angel Forum. Announced in December, the forum held its inaugural event this past Thursday in Los Angeles, placing 5 lucky companies in front of 18 investors - all at no cost to the entrepreneurs.But for Calacanis, his blogs, Tweets and
Among the investors was Matt Coffin, Ron Conway and entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Mark Suster who finds the "pay-to-pitch" practice "insane".
"Many would-be entrepreneurs feel that they don't have enough access to investors and that the opportunity to present to a group will help them short circuit the fund raising process," Suster wrote yesterday on his blog Both Sides of the Table.
In a time where "lean startups" are a growing trend, free and open events like Calacanis' are exactly what the venture capital industry needs to find the truly innovative entrepreneurs and get the right money in the right hands.
"We don't need competition," writes Suster. "We need more overall organizations like Jason's to helping young entrepreneurs more easily reach angel investors with no payola."
Photo by Joi Ito.