For anyone who wants to get in front of a venture capitalist, Uber is making it easy: They’re bringing the venture capitalists to you.
For one day only, Uber is launching the option to pitch an idea to an investor in New York’s five boroughs. Called Pool Pitch, the option will be available on Thursday, October 13 through the Uber app and will let users hail a ride with an investor from New York firms like First Round Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Brooklyn Bridge Capital and Primary VC.
Here’s how it works:
- From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., open up the Uber app like you’re planning to hail a ride
- Enter the code “POOLPITCH” in the Promotions tab
- Request a free Pool Pitch ride like you would an UberX or UberPool ride
- An investor will arrive in an Uber and you’ll have seven minutes to pitch your idea. Afterwards, the investor will give you feedback.
The people with the best ideas will receive invitations to an event with investors that Thursday night, and three will be selected to pitch on stage in front of a panel of VCs. First Round Capital will award $5,000 to the winning pitch, and the second- and third-place winners will receive $2,000 and $3,000 prizes, respectively.
Uber has run the pitch event in cities around the world in the past, but this is the first time the company is hosting it in New York and the first time it will be entirely open to the public. In the past, Uber has vetted the ideas ahead of time, but for this event, anyone with an idea can hail an investor and make their pitch.
“We’re giving all Uber riders the chance to pitch their startup idea to top venture capitalists, and win money to help make it a reality,” Josh Mohrer, Uber’s New York City general manager, wrote in a statement. “The next untapped, game-changing idea is out there somewhere, just waiting to be heard. I can’t wait to see what ideas NYC riders share and hopefully we can find the next Uber.”