By Jonathan Takiff
The Philadelphia Inquirer
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Let’s hope women in business are “on a roll” today as the UberPitch contest takes place in Philadelphia to celebrate Philly Tech Week. Entrepreneurs are literally pitching venture capital investors from inside vehicles as they ride around Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Hey there, entrepreneurs: Ready for your UberPitch moment?
Folks with a great notion and a need for cash will have a golden opportunity today — tied to Philly Tech Week — to pitch to one of the top local venture capitalists in a spontaneous one-on-one session inside a comfy Uber SUV cruising round town.
Because this flash pitch is being promoted by the ride-sharing service, access is limited to those who have Uber accounts set up on mobile phones — though participation is free.
Open the Uber app, tap the icon button, select the promotions tab. Enter the promo code PITCHPHL, then request a ride through the Pitch option that will be unlocked (next to uberX.) In maybe a minute (or just a few), an Uber ride will pick you up.
Inside, you’ll find a noteworthy investor “all ears” to hear about your bright idea for a solid 10 minutes of driving in circles. That should be easy compared with the two-minute “elevator pitch” you’ve been practicing for emergency meet-ups in vertical transports.
Guaranteed, one lucky sort will exit the vehicle (just where you were picked up) with $10,000 in seed money, VIP access to Philly Tech Week, and a chance to speak on a panel at next year’s gathering. And all participants should profit from the sounding board.
“Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast is about access, creativity and inspiration,” said Christopher Wink, organizer of Tech Week and editorial director of Technical.ly. “UberPitch fits this perfectly, a fun and intentional approach to creating connections that can change young companies and thoughtful new leaders.”
This is Philadelphia’s second such deals-on-wheels marathon, though last year’s UberPitch wasn’t connected to Tech Week. Venture capitalist Chris Fralic, of First Round Capital, enjoyed working the first one so much he’s coming back for more.
“I was really impressed by the energy and the excitement of the entrepreneurs,” Fralic said. “They didn’t know if they were being picked until just a minute before we arrived, and they start pitching as soon as the car starts driving. There were great ideas from people of all ages and backgrounds, including a Drexel and a Penn student. ABC should film an episode of Shark Tank on #UberPitch.”
Also taking time to lend support, if not cash, are a list of adviser/investors that includes Josh Kopelman, of First Round Capital; Paul Martino, of Bullpen Capital; Isabelle Freidheim, of MissionOG; Rob Adams, of NextStage Capital; and Brian Kim, of NewSpring Capital. Also participating: Jon Gosier, from Social Starts and Cross Valley Capital; Holly Flanagan, of Gabriel Investments; Michael Kopelman, of Edison Partners; Robert Adelson, from Osage Partners; Brian Radic, of LLR Partners; Ellen Weber, from Robin Hood Ventures; and David Drahms, Osage Partners.