CharityBuzz has gotten a taste of the tech world’s power, and it wants more. Weeks after auctioning off coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook for a staggering $610,000, CharityBuzz is starting a new auction, this time aimed right down the strike zone of startup company founders.
Bid to pitch your favorite venture capitalist.
The charity is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the world’s largest volunteer health agency dedicated to curing blood cancers, and 21 leading venture capitalists from some of the biggest-name investment firms in the country have donated lunch, dinner, or pitch meetings to hear your best ideas … after you’ve coughed up a bit of coin for charity.
Those VCs include all-stars like Tim Draper, who’s offering a not just a 15-minute pitch session but a full two-hour dinner for three at the “famous Tamarine Restaurant” in Palo Alto, Calif. Menlo Ventures is represented by Shervin Pishevar, and will be donating a “power lunch” somewhere on the also-famous Sand Hill Road.
Above: Keith Rabois
Which means you’ll have the full time and attention of a powerful, experienced, and — most importantly — looking-to-invest venture capitalist for at least an hour, and up to two hours. Which might be hard to pass up for founders who are looking to make connections and close funding rounds.
Here’s the stellar lineup:
- Tim Draper (Draper Fisher Jurvetson founder and managing director)
- Shervin Pishevar (Menlo Ventures venture adviser)
- Keith Rabois (Khosla Ventures)
- Brian Singerman (Founders Fund partner)
- Patrick Chung (New Enterprise Associates partner)
- Babak Nivi & Naval Ravikant (AngelList cofounders)
- Brian O’Malley (Battery Ventures general partner)
- George Bischof (Meritech Capital managing director)
- David J. Blumberg (Blumberg Capital founder and managing director)
- Josh Kopelman and Rob Hayes (First Round Capital founder and partner)
- Megan Quinn (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner)
- Tod Francis (Shasta Ventures managing director)
- Ajay Chopra (Trinity Ventures general partner)
- Ann Miura-Ko & Mike Maples Jr. (Floodgate Fund cofounding partner and managing partner)
- Jon Soberg (Blumberg Capital managing director)
- Tim Chang (Mayfield Fund managing director)
- Gus Tai (Trinity Ventures general partner)
- Geoff Lewis (Founders Fund principal)
- Ellen Pao (Reddit Strategic Partnerships)
- Dan Scholnick (Trinity Ventures principal James Cham)
- David Lee (SV Angel cofounder and managing director)
But it won’t be easy. If the Cook auction is any indicator, prices could get high. Dinner for three with Tim Draper carries an estimated value of $30,000, and it already has a bid at $3,000. Many of the others have estimated valuations of $5,000.
Above: Ellen Pao.
A successful relationship with a big-name VC, of course, could be worth many times those numbers. But — and this might be the trouble with this particular auction — founders who are just starting out tend not to have huge sums of money to throw at speculative meetings.
Which means that already funding entrepreneurs who are looking to close a B, C, or D round might have a better shot. If they can convince their boards that this is a good investment.
But, lest we forget, it’s all for a good cause in the end, and it can probably be written off as a charitable donation.
“We are deeply grateful to the venture capitalists who have donated their time to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,” Christina Resasco, the founder of MobilizeForTheCure, said in a statement. “Their generosity will provide crucial funding needed to advance blood cancer research and development for LLS and give hope to those suffering from the disease.”
The project is part of the Venture Capital Master’s Lunch Series, which has raised about $200,000 since 2010. Last year’s winners included entrepreneurs from Australia, Poland, Russia, and the Philippines.
Image credit: Tim Draper: John Koetsier/VentureBeat