While some of their brethren are off doing deals at Burning Man, a gaggle of venture capitalists are auctioning themselves off to the highest bidder, deadline today. If you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, you now have a chance to guarantee a lunch with Jeremy Liew, David Lee, Aileen Lee, Jonathan Teo, Ethan Kurzweil, Josh Kopelman, Alfred Lin, Saar Gur, Hunter Walk, Josh Elman, Sameer Ghandi, Dennis Phelps, Glenn Solomon, Dana Stalder, Nick Beim, Andrew Chung, Sameer Gandhi and/or Mo Koyfman.
If you’re aware of the importance of networking in Silicon Valley, or the potential for the right meeting to change your entire life, then doing this might be well worth it.
All auction proceeds will go towards building out the Presidio Knolls School, the first “progressive” Chinese immersion school in San Francisco, a private school that offers financial aid and scholarships. A third of the students at Presidio Knolls are Chinese, a third are mixed ethnicity and a third have no Chinese connection. “We are trying to prepare kids for the next 50 years of entrepreneurship,” Liew tells me, emphasizing the school’s focus on international perspective, creativity, risk taking and a problem solving mindset.
Because they’re VCs, they’ve put an “estimated value” on the lunches, starting at $4k. Right now the only VC to have surpassed the $4k mark is new Greylock Partner Josh Elman — with the bid levels functioning as a sort of de facto VC grading system.
And of course people are riffing on the transactionality of it all. Some of my favorite jokes: “it appears that the VCs mis-estimated the pre-money valuation of lunch with them”; “at these prices they better lead my next round”; “there is no such thing as a free lunch”; and “the problem with paying $4000 for lunch with a VC is that you just revealed to them that you are bad with money.”
What really needs to happen here is that the individual firms (Sequoia, Accel, DCM, Matrix, FRC, Spark, Khosla, Venrock, etc) should buy or sponsor the lunches to make their boys (and one girl) look good. In the meantime, we’re holding a caption contest for the auction in our comments section, and the winner — decided by our staff — will get a free ticket to Disrupt SF and a lunch with a TechCrunch writer, “estimated value”: $40.