Anyone know about Salt Lake pay-to-pitch conferece by "Wayne Brown?" Feels like a scam

Just got this anonymous tip… anyone know about these guys? 

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Hi Jason, I just received an invite to a Pay-per-Pitch event here in the Salt Lake City Area (in Midway, Utah, near Park City).  I thought your readers might want to be aware.  The group, when asked, insists it's not a pay-per-pitch event, but if you are "selected" to present, you are required to pay $500.  The event alone costs $195 to register – here's what their website says:

"Submission is no guarantee of presentation.  If selected to present, a $500 Presentation Fee will be due."

Applicants are then required to pay a $195 entrance fee to attend the event.  I don't know your definition, but that sure sounds like pay-per-pitch to me.  The group hosting the event is called the "Wayne Brown Institute".  It's called the "Investors Choice Venture Capital Conference", and takes place in Midway, Utah on February 11, 2010.  The event boasts such Sponsors as EPIC Ventures, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Morgan Stanley, Utah Fund of Funds, CFO Solutions, Canopy Ventures, UStar, Zions Bank, and many others.  You can read more about it at

I'm not an expert in Venture Capital, but as an entrepreneur I don't understand why someone has to pay to present at such events.  It would seem to be much easier to just apply and get a free appearance in front of Angels and VCs in the area.  However, for Utah, the list of sponsors concerns me, as these are some of the biggest VCs in the area all supporting this event (and if it has so much money behind it, why are they charging in the first place???).  Are they bullying entrepreneurs to attend the event because there are so many of them in one place?

I figured you were the expert in this and maybe you could help shed some light on it.  If it's wrong, how can little entrepreneurs, trying to seek funding, help put an end to this stuff?  Can we do anything here in Utah to help support your OpenAngel Forums initiative?

Anyway, due to the large VC base behind this I appreciate you keeping my name anonymous.  I appreciate your advice!


Concerned Utah Entrepreneur

2 thoughts on “Anyone know about Salt Lake pay-to-pitch conferece by "Wayne Brown?" Feels like a scam

  1. Jason, just noticed a typo in your twitter bio.
    “cereal” entrepreneur, don’t you mean “serial”?

    at least you got entrepreneur right

    … unless of course you meant to spell it wrong just to piss off guys like me who come along and want to be the spelling/grammar police.

    also i’m seeing html code tags in your mahalo members page … lots of a href p and br tags there for some reason

    anywho, peace and keep on keepin’ on

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