Over 800 entrepreneurs requested an Uber pitch. Just over 100 were able to get one and just 3 made it to a live demo to pitch investors from BBG Ventures, First Round Capital, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and Human Ventures. Angelina Darrisaw and C-Suite Coach finished in first place.
Read about the experience here in Huffington Post! Here is a snippet from Huffington Post:
Yesterday, Uber had a really unique opportunity to pitch top investors in NYC during an UberPool ride. From the hours of 11-2, in all five boroughs, you could get 7 minutes of face time to sell your business. The best pitches would go on to compete live that evening and could walk away with cash for their business.
The concept of allowing any and everyone to have an opportunity to connect with key funders resonated with me deeply, as it aligns with my personal and professional mission to create pathways for more people to have access. So many businesses with great concepts and investable ideas don’t move forward or are significantly slowed in their progress due to a lack of access.
It is undoubtedly easier to build a business when you have access to strong networks and other financial resources. Beyond the psychological benefits of having a safety net to catch you if you find yourself falling, starting off with cash flow makes a huge impact. You can develop quicker, you can pay for work to be outsourced versus doing it all yourself. You can give your business 100% of your focus because you have no concerns about where your rent or meals are coming from. Starting a business when your pockets are deep and you have reserves, means your tolerance for risk can be very very high.
For various reasons, that is not the reality for most African-Americans starting businesses. One of those reasons being the average wealth for African-American families is around $11,000 vs $141,900 for white families. Couple that with the fact that unconscious bias and other factors lessen the chances of African American businesses to get funded by banks and investors. In tech for example, we’ve seen only 0.2 percent or 24 out of 10,238 Black female founders get funded.
These are great odds to overcome and why savvy entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds have to find creative ways to win. Having less resources requires persistence, discipline, and a hunger for driving innovation. You can’t afford to be mediocre when you don’t have deep pockets or reserves. Not if you want to win. There is power there. So yesterday, I employed this power to pursue an opportunity to pitch to some of the most notable investors in the industry.
Read the rest on the Huffington Post here!