You Be The VC is a new competition from New York based Bang Ventures that brings an American Idol style popular voting format to seed capital raising. Wannabe startups put forward their startup ideas to an expert panel, and then the best of those ideas are presented to the public for voting. The top three companies win $15,000 each, Boston Office space and incubation services.The model is not dissimilar to Y Combinator, TechStars and similar programs, with the obvious difference being a popular vote.
The arguments relating to the growing voyeurism of modern society are heated ones; as some one who has read Ben Elton’s excellent take on the medium “Chart Throb” I’ve become very skeptical towards popularity contests, although I still find myself watching them from time to time. You Be The VC is a clever way of exposing Bang Ventures and the sponsors to a broader audience, but on the other hand I can’t help than think that it cheapens the whole Venture Capital profession, at least a little bit. I’ll probably revisit the site though to vote :-)
Entries close in December and entrants must either be a US Citizens or have US Residency. Winners must also take the offer of Boston accommodation and cannot opt to take the cash alone.