Sure We’re Bootstrapping, But Does That Have To Mean We Don’t Pay For Anything?

We’ve heard it argued recently by some erudite members of London’s startup community that when it comes to paying for start-up services, we brits are the worst.

There was a time, not two years ago, when ambitious sponsors trying to reach early stage entrepreneurs would lay on lashings of free beer and pizza at every event, but more and more often, it seems, networking has become a booze free, nibble free process.

But it also seems that’s how we like it in London – there is an expectation that cash-strapped, boot-strapped founders deserve free events, and we agree, they do, but the corollary to that is that in business and life, you get what you pay for.

A bit of creative accounting can usually free up a few quid – so if there were more paid-for events in London, would founders notice an uptick in quality?

It’s very possible – after all, events are often run by busy people juggling different projects who are doing it for the love, but simply don’t have the time or budget to set things up exactly as they’d like.

The result? Rushed presentations, overcrowded venues, few follow-up materials, and a reliance on the likes of Eventbrite or Meetup – impersonal, generic, and very possessive when it comes to sharing the data they gather at each event.

If we all paid a few extra quid, it would pay for a “host with the most”, better venues, and better marketing – when was the last time you saw a major news publication’s journalist at a start-up event – they just don’t come unless there’s a big established, name they can write about.

So, it could be in everyone’s interest to stump up for better opportunities and give a little extra credibility to after-hours events that are used by everyone, paid for by…nobody?

Something to chew over, and as ever, we’re dying to hear your thoughts.

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