Is Ringside Startup anything other than a media/publicity stunt and can budding entrepreneurs really learn much from it?
The idea behind it is that the founder, who is understood to be a former Techcrunch journalist, is attempting to raise $20k to fund a new business, and will get advice from a series of investors/entrepreneurs on key issues, all of which will be transparently reported on a blog.
Issue 1: The business idea has yet to be chosen, albeit there is a paragraph outline on a handful of ideas, yet the key objective so far is to raise the money. Hmmm. Cart and horse inversion problem in my view. I concede that this is exactly how VC funds work, namely raise a fund and then identify companies to invest in, but that’s not what this project is reportedly about.
Issue 2: Do I receive equity for a financial contribution? Errr, no but you do get free publicity on the blog and your wise words can be seen by all, as your advice is posted in the comments section of the blog (if I have correctly understood the process).
Issue 3: The motivation of the founder seems to be around the media opportunity than actually creating and running a business, which generates actual value. At least the MillionDollarHomePage project was naked in its’ desire to raise a ton of cash for nothing.
After 3 days or so, the venture has only raised a few hundred dollars, much to the evident dismay of the founder, who is already lowering his(?) aspirations to $10k and looking for a Plan B. Yet, anyone involving in raising funding would appreciate it is often a slow process – giving up after a few days is not really in tune with the audience experience that the site is reportedly going to educate. Heck, if the site had raised $20k in a few days that would have been very worrying especially with no business to speak of. It might have re-enforced the bubble view.