This time last week I was in the back on an Uber taxi pitching to a potential investor. UberPITCH was an incredible idea – instead of businesses chasing investors, why not bring the investors to the businesses and then find the best and help them accelerate.
Uber is one of the world’s fastest growing companies and also one of the most disruptive. It offers and on demand taxi service, with a pricing model that changes with demand and anyone can become an Uber driver. It’s controversial because it challenges established taxi licensing structures and regulation.
Being in the back of the taxi, pitching Memrica Prompt and its mission to stop the fear of forgetting was a surprisingly intimate and relaxed experience. I had my listener’s undivided attention and since I had woken up that morning with laryngitis, my voice wouldn’t have carried much further than the other side of the cab! 4000 people entered from 37 cities and 21 countries across Europe.
On Sunday I received a call to tell me I had won! I was amazed, thrilled and excited and at that point I thought I’d won the Birmingham round. It wasn’t until I understood that only 4 people were being invited to go to Berlin to met Uber’s co-founder that I really understood what I’d achieved.
During the Berlin visit the 4 companies chosen spent around an hour with Travis Kalanick. He was warm and generous with his advice, incredibly supportive and to hear his feedback on our businesses was amazingly helpful. We also were able to attend the NOAH and Start up Europe conferences.
Reflecting on the experience back in the UK it feels like it was a whirlwind of great experiences. Starting a business is tough and sometimes it feels like pushing water uphill, to have the endorsement of one the world’s most exciting entrepreneurs is extraordinary and gives a real boost to the business and its profile. Wow, what a ride!