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Silicom Ventures = Scam Artist. It's a Social Club with a Veneer of an Investing Organization

Fund: Silicom Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2012-10-31

PUBLIC:

I generally don't put a lot in the public post, but Silicom ventures is such a scam for anyone pitching that I feel obliged as a decent member of humanity to warn you. Save your time, energy, and most importantly - your money.

I recently pitched at Silicom for a healthcare related company. I was told by Gadi (the guy in charge of silicom) that Silicom is a group of serious entrepreneurs, ex-ceos turned investors, angels, etc. I was told that they meet once a month to learn about and actively invest in startups. The only thing that's true about this statement is that they meet once a month.

The average Silicom member is: an Israeli who moved to the US and did reasonably well in high-tech. In 95% of the cases "did reasonably well" means that they worked as engineers at a semi-conductor company and got paid more than $150k a year. Read: not the kind of people who can really put in $100k+ into a startup. There are a few exceptions to the rule - there are indeed ~5 members who were CEOs of big companies and have the means to infuse a lot of capital into a startup. Apparently they occasionally do. Let's be clear though - the website shows "members" like Steve Wozniak, Yossi Vardi, and Doug Engelbart. None of them are really members. Maybe they once paid the anual fee (I hope not...what a waste), but they definitely haven't been to a meeting in years (I asked).

The real problem with Silicom is that because 95% of the members can't/don't actively angel invest they're not going to Silicom with the intention of ever putting $1 into a company. Silicom Ventures is nothing more than a glorified social club for some smart, snarky, Israelis in the valley (by the way before anyone gets offended at my calling a spade a spade - I am Israeli). They come to eat "free" (they pay ~3k/year, which also goes to Gadi) food, meetup with their friends, shoot the breeze, and finally to be entertained. Who entertains them? YOU. Well - kind of. You're not even the highlight of the night! They bring some external speaker to give an hour long lecture. The speakers are impressive and have included people like William Perry, Khosla, etc (http://www.silicomventures.com/speake...). THAT is what the members are there for...and of course the intellectual pecker measuring contest during Q&A.

You "get" (pay) to give a 10 minute pitch to a group of people who aren't even there to listen to you. This would all be fine (eg just a waste of your time) except that YOU HAVE TO PAY to present. They charge entrepreneurs $1000 to give a 10 minute pitch. If you negotiate with them they might give you a break - down to $500.

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