Zino Society, a Seattle angel investment group that’s bankrolled companies such as Theo Chocolate, Impel Neuropharma and J&D Foods, is changing the way it charges entrepreneurs who want to pitch to the group.
Starting today, the organization plans to eliminate its $995 annual membership program, instead implementing a payment mechanism in which entrepreneurs pay a $95 application fee and a $99 monthly membership fee.
Zino Society vice president Lee Reeves said that the $995 membership fee was too much for some bootstrapping entrepreneurs.
“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we successfully develop and execute an entrepreneur-centric model that brings the best investment opportunities to our investor members on a monthly basis?’” said Reeves.
Reeves added that entrepreneurial members are able to cancel membership at anytime, say if they were to successfully raise funds.
“Because it takes time to build investor relationships, we encourage companies to come to events for 3-4 months or longer while they are raising capital,” Reeves said.
Charging entrepreneurs to pitch at investment meetings is a controversial topic, as many believe that there should be no or little cost associated with the opportunity.
Zino hosts 11 different investment forums throughout the year, bringing together entrepreneurs in various industries to pitch angel investors. It is one of a handful of angel investment groups in the Seattle area, along with the Alliance of Angels and Keiretsu Forum.