Unfortunately, an estimated 148,040 people will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2012. Whether it be blood-based, or any other form, cancer has and will touch many of us. Since its founding in 1949, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has invested more than $814 million in research to study the cause (and to find a cure) for hematologic cancers, in the hopes that blood cancer research may act as a gateway to curing cancers of all types.
The Motion To Dismiss Cancer, a team formed to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman Of The Year Campaign, recently launched the “2012 Venture Capital Master’s Lunch Series,” an auction that gives anyone and everyone an opportunity to win private meetings with some of Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists and startup founders — with all proceeds going towards LLS and cancer research.
The VC/Founder’s Auction has become an annual event, and Campaign Manager Christina Resasco tells us that this is the third year the event has been held, with past events including names like Tim Draper, who in 2010 sold for $30,000. All proceeds go to LLS’ blood cancer research, with bidding being listed through eBay Giving Words. (Find the auction on eBay here.)
Bidding for this year’s auction opened last Tuesday, and will continue through Thursday the 19th. The first lunch being auctioned is with the SV Angel team, including co-founder David Lee, and partners Kevin Carter, Topher Conway, and Robert Pollack. As you may know, SV Angel has collectively advised scores of top entrepreneurs, from Larry Page and Sergey Brin to Jack Dorsey, and invested in companies like Twitter, Square, Dropbox, and Airbnb.
For this particular auction, there are five available seats, with bidding to start at $100 and a reserve price of $5,000 (meaning Motion To Dismiss Cancer doesn’t have to sell the item if bidding does not exceed this price.) The well-known “Buy It Now” eBay price is set at $10,000.
But what’s so awesome is that SV Angel is hardly the only firm participating in Motion To Dismiss’ fundraising events. Over the next two months, in six rounds of auctions, investors from New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Menlo Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, and Walden Venture Capital will make themselves available for one-on-one private meetings. (There will also be more announced over the next few weeks.) Entrepreneurs can have representatives from these teams all to themselves to get feedback on their ideas, plead with them to fund their ventures, or maybe even get them to help create a pitch deck. (You can find out more about which members of the VC teams will be participating here.)
What’s more, the auctions will not just be limited to investors. Maybe you want to get feedback from successful entrepreneurs themselves. Motion To Dismiss Cancer will also be auctioning off lunches with founders of companies like Lytro (Co-founder and CEO Ren NG), 23andMe (Chief Business Officer Ashley Dombkowski), Rock Health (CEO Halle Tecco), BandPage (Founder & CEO J Sider), Spotify, Pulse (Co-founders Akshay Kothari & Ankit Gupta), Loopt (Founder Sam Altman), Votizen (Co-founder Jason Putorti), and more.
Other recent additions include lunches with the “PayPal Mafia.” Currently only Keith Rabois (COO of Square) has confirmed, but more are expected to join soon. And, finally, Round 6 features a one-on-one lunch with Sean Parker, better known as the co-founder of Napster, Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime, early advisor and board member of Facebook and Spotify, and current Managing Director of FoundersFund.
The VC/Founders Auction obviously represents an incredible opportunity to both meet and get to know some of the most recognizable names in Silicon Valley, while donating money to an extremely important cause. It’s a win-win, and both Motion To Dismiss Cancer and the participating investors and entrepreneurs should be recognized for coming together to participate in such an awesome event.
Again, the first auction, which features SV Angel, will end on Thursday, at which point the second auction will begin (featuring Menlo, NEA, Pulse, and Lytro). Thereafter, every ten days, another round of VCs and founders auctions will be announced, hosted on eBay. Not all of the auctions will have a minimum of $5,000, there will be auctions for VCs and founders going for $1,000 as well, in an effort to make the opportunity to available to a wider audience. Plus, it’s a tax write-off.
For more information on the individual auctions, check out Motion To Dismiss’ page here, for a direct link to eBay’s auction page go here, and for more on Leukemia & Lyphoma Society, check it out here.
Note: Motion To Dismiss Cancer has kindly offered one winning ticket to the TechCrunch comment/commenter with the best pitch. So, in a few sentences describe why you think you deserve a meeting with an investor or entrepreneur in the comments, and you may just get that opportunity.