The NextWomen's Response To The Telegraph
In response to the article misquoting myself, Simone Brummelhuis, we would like to reiterate our events policy, our mission and our values to our readers and network of women founders whom we value, admire and deeply respect, and would never call "flaky" or "hopeless".
Here is a bit of background on our Pitching events and the fee associated to them:
- We started with general networking events and dinners, in which I matched entrepreneurs with experts and investors. Soon enough some of our attendees suggested we create an event specifically oriented towards investment, which is why we created the pitching events with a panel of investors.
- Everybody can attend our Pitching evenings, on a first-come-first-served basis. Unlike any other pitch competition, there is no screening, the goal being to give our audience the opportunity to train their pitch and get investor and expert feedback in a friendly networking environment.
- We charge 100 pounds for our dinner events, but the pitching event costs £95 for two members of each pitching startup to accommodate bootstrapped and resource-scarce entrepreneurs while still ensuring commitment and covering a third of our expenses.
- Start-ups are not paying for an opportunity to pitch to investors. They are paying for an afternoon workshop, networking, and the opportunity to practice their pitch to a panel of investors in a friendly yet real environment.
- The events themselves cost, on average, three times more than the ticket revenue provides, incurring losses for the NextWomen
We like to think that the reason why mostly (or sometimes only) men pass the screening process by LeWeb, TechCrunch, Seedcamp and others for their pitch competition is because women haven't submitted their pitch in the right format, or haven't positioned their revenue or exit potential the right way; not because they lack "Wasta" or aren't connected to the usual suspects.
Our Pitching events are an effort we make for our audience to help them get started with pitching, and as outlined on the event details it is targeted at founders with little or no experience fund raising, to help them understand how to position their business, how to calculate its potential, and how much to raise, from whom.
Getting started with investment pitching can be difficult. Our pitching events are designed to help women in our network practice their pitch and learn how to improve it, while connecting to investors, to ensure they can get meetings and can start pitching their business to the right people.
We would like to reiterate that we are a Business Magazine, not an angels or investment network, and that we do not make any commission or receive any money once our attendees raise investment, allowing us to be independent and non biased.
We have deep respect and appreciation for the women and men in our network, and will continue to offer advice, information and support in the most professional way.
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