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What happened in the world of London entrepreneurs last month?

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Jason Calcanis attacks Angel ForumsJason Calcanis recently wrote a blog attacking angel forums who charge entrepreneurs and startups a fortune to pitch. These small firms typically have very little funds to begin with – hence the need for funding! – while the angel investors are already wealthy folk.

Jason makes a very valid point. It’s a totally unfair cost. And the exploitation of the entrepreneur in these arenas doesn’t stop at paying to pitch. I met someone recently (with zero cash on the hip) who poses as an angel investor and uses Angels Den a.) as a scouring ground for ideas that he can use for his own gain and b.) to find people who "need" his advice and would pay him as a consultant.

These entrepreneurs are not just paying to pitch, they are laying bare their business plans, margins and deepest darkest secret sauce. They have no protection from vultures like Mr Angels Den.

It’s great that someone of Jason Calcanis’ calibre has made early stage entrepreneurs aware of the potential dangers of angel forums. There are alternative places to find funding even in these troubled economic times. And hopefully his whistleblowing will make these angels networks look inwardly to improve their own practices. Baring all for charityMilo Yiannopoulos organised the London Nude Tech Calendar for the charity Take Heart India last month. I was asked to bare all! The shoot occurred at 7:30 on a Friday night in our Greek Street offices. I made it through thanks to the professionalism of Paul Clarke. But there were a few hairy moments. Whilse trying to cover up my crown jewels during the shoot, I suddenly realised that anyone among the throngs of people on Greek Street that Friday who happened to glance up at the second floor would have seen me strutting my stuff in the buff (everyone else will have to wait for the calendar).

I’m sure a few people got the shock of their lives.

On second thoughts, our offices are in Soho…

Many people have commented (both positively and negatively) on the calendar. You can read the comments here. Personally, I don’t understand the fuss. It’s a bit of fun and for a good cause. If you’d like to make a contribution to Take Heart India, come along to the launch of the London Nude Tech Calendar on November 16 from 7pm. Details here.

At Struq Things have been manic. In the last eight weeks I have become a newly-wed, honeymooned (where phone and laptop were banned), Struq was shortlisted in the Tech Media Invest top 100 (voted for by Microsoft, The Guardian and PWC), and I was shortlisted by Growing Business for Young Entrepreneur of the year 2009. Oh, and it looks like we are finally getting the boot from our Greek Street offices. I’ll let you know where we settle next time…

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Toni Mascolo
Wealthy entrepreneurs flee the UK
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