Uber to Offer Free Rides to Connect Entrepreneurs with Investors


If you always believed you had an idea for the next best thing, Uber is giving you a chance to meet with an investor in a private setting — at no cost.

On Wednesday, the ride-sharing app Uber will offer metro Detroit entrepreneurs the opportunity to take a 10-minute ride with an investor and pitch their idea or startup.

“It’s a unique way for us to get engaged with the community,” says Jared Stasik, vice president of Detroit Venture Partners, one of the companies providing investors. “There are no restrictions on who can do UberPITCH. You just call for an Uber and you get a venture capitalist so it lowers the barriers, I think, in some ways. This is why you’re in venture capital — to hear new ideas, evaluate them, and give people your thoughts on them.”

UberPITCH is an international initiative by Uber designed to provide customers with the opportunity to pitch to prominent investors. UberPITCH has also been held in cities such as Miami, Toronto, and Philadelphia, among others.

Besides Detroit Venture Partners, other investors who will ride in the Uber vehicles in downtown Detroit Wednesday are from the firms Techstars Mobility, Invest Detroit, Birmingham-based IncWell, and the Henry Ford Innovation Institute.

To ride with an investor, customers enter the promo code ‘PITCHDET” in Uber’s promotions tab between 1-5 p.m. If connected to an UberPITCH car, the vehicle will arrive at the customer’s location in downtown Detroit with an investor. The UberPITCH rides are free.

“I’m expecting a lot of interesting conversations,” Stasik says. “I think there’s a lot of innovative people here and a lot of creativity. I think there’s also a lot of people who maybe have an idea but haven’t taken the next step to think about how could they make this idea they have into a business when maybe they’ve got a full-time job somewhere else.”

The co-working space Bamboo Detroit will also offer people a place to work during UberPITCH.