TechCrunch 50 revs-up

So I’m here at TechCrunch 50 and I’ll be part of the team blogging the conference. The conference venue is huge – just a small part of it is pictured above. There’ll be 1,700 people attending and 52 (not 50 actually) startups being launched at the event.

There’s been some controversy between TechCrunch and and the competing Demo event about the issue of whether startup companies should launch their company by “paying to pitch”. To do so at Demo costs $18,500. TechCrunch is disrupting this model, selecting companies on the basis of merit and instead getting sponsors and paying attendees to pay for the conference. Obviously I think TechCrunch has the better model.

So the question is, what would your opinion be about this in the UK and Europe? Would you agree that “pay to pitch” is a bad idea – or not? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.