Uber Launches “UberPITCH” – Pairing Entrepreneurs With Venture Capitalists

    The companies new “UberPITCH” program will provide entrepreneurs with 15-minutes to pitch their ideas to Florida’s leading venture capitalists.


    By Jacob Engels


    On November 13th, Orlando entrepreneurs will have a shot at gaining high-dollar investors through a new one-day only program organized by Uber. From 11am to 3pm on Friday, November 13th, users can enter the promotional code “ORLANDOPITCH” – and Uber will dispatch a car with one of Florida’s top-tier angel investors.


    “Uber is partnering with Florida Funders to connect Orlando entrepreneurs with some of the most successful venture capitalists in the state. In true Uber style, it will all happen at the touch of a button. The only question now is: do you have what it takes to close the deal of a lifetime during a 15-minute Uber ride?,” read a release from Uber sent Thursday afternoon.


    HOW IT WORKS  – Open your Uber app, tap the Profile icon in the top left corner, then tap Promotions Enter promotion code “ORLANDOPITCH”


    Request a ride in the “ORLANDOPITCH” option on Friday, November 13, between 11am-3pm.


    If your request is successful, you will be picked up by Uber with an investor already inside the vehicle and have 15 minutes to pitch your idea. After the 15 minutes are up, you will be dropped back off at the original pickup location


    “We are always looking for innovative ways to partner with the Orlando business community in addition to the economic opportunity that we are providing for our driver-partners. We’re excited to provide Central Florida entrepreneurs with this opportunity and support the quickly growing startup scene in Orlando through UberPITCH.” – Christine Mitchell, General Manager for Uber in Orlando.


    Some of the investors that will be part of the UberPITCH program locally:


    Michael Quatrini – Blackwood Holdings Group LLC:  Michael has extensive Venture Capital investment and entrepreneurial success as well as key marketing and brand management experience. He brings over 18 years of qualitative business analytics to his current position as President of Blackwood Holdings Group. In his current role, Michael executes Private Equity and institutional investment syndication for Early to Mid-Stage Venture Capital transactions and specializes in capital markets for emerging growth companies. Prior to joining Blackwood, Michael was a Partner at NewGate Capital Partners a Venture Capital firm specializing in early stage and angel investment.


    John Vecchio – Mosley Ventures: John has been in the software industry for 29 years. Prior to joining Mosley Ventures, John has co-founded three software companies. The companies raised over $50M from prominent venture firms across the US. N2 Broadband was acquired for $120M in 5 years. Clearleap is the underlying multiscreen video streaming technology to customers including HBO, Verizon and Time Warner. He has worked on product strategy, software development & investor pitches with numerous start up companies in the Atlanta area. John created timely innovative products and scaled organizations at Cisco (Scientific Atlanta) & The Weather Channel. His team was awarded a Technical and Engineering Emmy for his Video on Demand system. John has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Florida State University. He is a patent holder for video transcoding and distribution algorithms.


    Dave Chitester – Florida Funders: David has been starting companies from scratch and building them into profitable enterprises in Tampa for nearly 25 years. He sold his first company, Chitester Management Systems, to Hill International, a public construction management firm headquartered in Marlton, New Jersey. David sold his second company, RedVector.com, to a group led by the Tampa venture capital firm, Stonehenge. His latest venture, Florida Funders, is an Internet portal that links investors to entrepreneurs seeking capital. With a goal of keeping our startup talent in the state, Florida Funders aims to provide seed capital to promising tech entrepreneurs to help them succeed.


    Kathleen Chitester – Florida Funders: Kathleen has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and more than 15 years of experience starting companies. With professional consultancy firm Chitester Management Systems, she managed its legal, administrative, marketing and public relations functions. Co-founding RedVector.com, an industry leader in on-line continuing education, Kathleen then played an integral role in positioning that firm for strong, next stage growth before co-founding the popular Latin social network Questamente. Kathleen also co-founded PayPerVisit email, revolutionizing email delivery and recognized by EConsultancy as a finalist in its annual Innovation Awards, and Vetrack, an online continuing education portal serving veterinarians.


    Richard Fox –  Idea Fund Partners: Richard Fox has thirty years of experience in the creation of new companies from defense and aerospace technology. He is a Venture Partner in the IDEA Fund, and is active in the formation and growth of innovative companies in Central Florida. Richard and two partners took an operation of Westinghouse private. In that company, Richard led a team to develop one of the first machine vision systems, and sold that business to Gould Modicon. Richard repeated that cycle as the President of the Central Florida Innovation Corporation, where he guided the launch of several companies in the image processing and telecommunications industries. Richard frequently is a coach to new high-growth companies. One example is Channel Intelligence, which created Google Shopping.


    Tom Gawronski –  venVELO: Tom has served as a senior operating executive in numerous wireless companies. Most recently he was the Vice President and General Manager for Metro PCS. Tom served in similar capacities for Nextel and Clearwire, where he was responsible for building and commercially launching numerous markets. He was also a member of the executive team that launched Movilnet, a wireless company in Venezuela. Prior to breaking into general management, Tom held numerous positions as a financial executive. Tom holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business and an MBA from Duke.



    Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at info@eastorlandopost.com