I still maintain that these manufactured events are more actual work, expense and stress on the entrepreneurs than they seem at face value, but Don's points are good.
Steve, The Peak Pitch event is actually a great deal for start-up entrepreneurs. Where else can you pitch 5 to 8 different VCs in the morning, have lunch with them and fellow entrepreneurs, and then have the afternoon to follow up with the VCs that show interest? In most cases it would take months to accomplish the same thing.
I understand your point about VCs being arrogant…some of the are, but most of them are just realistic and pragmatic. A typical VC makes one or two investments a year, and looks at about 100 companies. They know they will have to say “no” 99% of the time because the company doesn't fit their investment criteria.
I know Brad Feld and Rick Segal personally. They are great guys. But the fact is they say “no” 99% of the time too, perhaps more since they take NHNF meetings that other VCs don't.