Just yesterday, Mike Arrington announced the TechCrunch20 conference at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. The event is going to feature 20 startups that get to demo their products for free to all the attendees. The price for the event? A whopping $1,995 through July 15, 2007 and $2,495 through September 10, 2007. A little to fat for my pockets for the time being. Two days ago I was informed of an alternative event for startups in New York City called “The Hatchery”. The cost for the event? Free! That is music to my ears.

According to their site:

The Hatchery’s Gauntlet affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to interact with objective and expert attorneys, financiers, accountants, Angels and other business professionals in a public forum. The monthly vetting event provides strategic critique, analysis and funding chances for those who are in the process of building their business and in need of publicity, consulting and networking exposure.

I spoke with the creator of the event, Yao-Hui Huang, and asked him if it is guaranteed that startups at the event will receive funding? His response?

To answer your question — yes.

The new rules will be that each presenter will have to get vouched by an industry expert from our panel pool. That panel member will be at the live event. The company then needs to pass the critique of the entire panel. Once through, they will get our management, business development, access to press, and most importantly our funding sources. We will take all that passes with no cap on quantity of companies. In exchange we will take a percentage of the raise and equity in the company. They can still opt to find other sources, but we do keep the equity. The goal is to use our team to drive them to success.

While there is no cap on the number of companies receiving funding as a result of this event, there is a cap on the number of startups that can attend the event. At the event on May 3, 2007 there will be a limit of 5 hand selected companies that will have the opportunity to present. If you are a New York based startup then I encourage you to submit your idea and try to take on “The Gauntlet” (the process of pitching and Q&A that you will go through at the event). To find out more about the event go check out their site. If your company is looking for venture capital, then this is a great opportunity to obtain it.