“All investors are in meetings. Please check back soon!”
That was the message I was staring at for four hours yesterday as I continually requested an UberPitch ride in Toronto. My plan was to livestream on Periscope an interview of whatever random investor I got delivered to my doorstep. But like many others who were trying to get their 15 minutes of time with a lofty investor, I was left staring at that infernal message.
And believe me – I “checked back soon” many times.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, Uber put on a special event across several Canadian cities yesterday. Often cited for being an icon of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial spirit (no doubt some investors sitting in the cars yesterday heard “My business in the Uber of…” at least once), the UberPitch event promised to give back by offering entrepreneurs the chance to spend 15 minutes with a business luminary in the back of a black SUV. Uber even covered the cost of the ride.
Yet judging from the Twitter feed, I wasn’t the only one stuck watching the #UberPitch hashtag all day. Some entrepreneurs were also requesting the UberPitch rides in vain, a few were lucky enough to snag the coveted cabs, and the investors themselves also shared their experience meeting entrepreneurs throughout the day.
Here’s a taste of what happened throughout the day as seen on Twitter.
Agony of waiting
There was the frustration of not getting a ride after hours of requesting one…
— Pass The Table (@passthetable) April 7, 2016
Some would have taken any cab ride that held the promise of a potential cash infusion.
— Dan Hadad (@HadadDNA) April 7, 2016
Others asked Uber Canada for tips on how to win a ride.
— Mighty Fine Brine (@mightyfinebrine) April 7, 2016
After not managing to get a ride all day (despite using every device available to them to request a ride), Toronto startup Sampler just pitched their idea to a normal Uber driver. “I would invest in Sampler,” the driver says.
— Sampler (@TheSamplerApp) April 7, 2016
Thrill of success
Those who managed to actually get into the cars were happy to share their success, often with a selfie including the investor they met.
— Terrace Youth WC (@TerraceYouthWC) April 7, 2016
— Visha Vj (@lifetakesvisha) April 7, 2016
— Spacefy.it (@spacefy) April 7, 2016
15 minutes of mentorship
The investors involved also took part in tweeting when they were in between rides. Anthony Middleton, the CEO of Swift Labs Canada, made a point of posing for a photo with every entrepreneur that he met.
— Anthony Middleton (@Ant_Middleton) April 7, 2016
We also got some glimpses from inside the cars.
— Sunil Sharma (@sunil_extreme) April 7, 2016
Michelle Romanow, currently a part of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, sympathized with some of the better attempts to find time with the UBerPitch investors.
— Michele Romanow (@MicheleRomanow) April 7, 2016