Donate to a Kickstarter Project in New York, Get an Hour with a Silicon Valley VC

It’s hard to explain how Kickstarter works as a micr0-funding site. The projects are community-centered, but non-charitable, and the incentive for pledging money is often just a simple thank-you note from the founders.  Yet every day people donate, and every day new projects are launched.

This year the Asian American Writers’ Workshop has turned to Kickstarter to raise money for Page Turner, an annual literary festival honoring Asian American writers.  The kicker: three donors who pledge $500 on the site will earn an hour-long coffee date with either Puneet Agarwal of the early stage capital firm True Ventures or Richard de Silva at Highland Capital Partners, the same firm that led Digg’s $28.7 million Series C investment round in 2008.

Obviously entrepreneurs are looking to raise – not donate  – money and venture capitalists want a financial return on their investments.  Under normal circumstances, Kickstarter would not be the place to go for this kind of transaction.  But having the undivided attention of a potential investor is valuable, especially for someone who’s going to need a lot more than $500 to start a company, and there’s got to be more to a partnership than a great idea and a plausible business plan.  Maybe like-minded investors and entrepreneurs can find each other just by having the same taste in books.

In any case, the lineup looks great and we’re not in the least bit surprised that one of the speakers is Tao Lin, a highly entrepreneurial writer who once sold shares in his unfinished second novel.

PAGE TURNER: Asian American Literary Festival

Featuring: Ha Jin, Susan Choi, Tao Lin, Tan Lin, Das Racist, Richard Price, Tim Wu, Henry Chang and others

Date and Time: Sunday, November 7, 11:00 am-6:00PM, Literary Awards Reception 6:00 -7:00PM

Location: powerHouse Books, 37 Main St Brooklyn, NY, NY