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Innovation & Job News

UberPITCH comes to Toronto

Depending on a day, Uber can be counted on to bring food, kittens, or roses to your doorstep. On April 7th, Uber is taking Canada’s entrepreneurs and some of the most famous investors on a ride with UberPITCH, a one-day experiment that grants hopeful entrepreneurs those highly coveted 15 minutes of pitching time

UberPITCH will be available to riders in seven cities across Canada including Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal (English and French), Calgary and Vancouver, on April 7th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

In order to participate, riders simply have to open their profile in the app and choose Promotions. Once selected, choose the Pitch option on April 7th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If connected, a car will arrive at their location with an investor. Each rider will have fifteen minutes with the investor to pitch their business idea or startup. Rides will be free and will end after fifteen minutes at the rider’s pickup location.

According to Michael Hyatt, Executive Chairman with Bluecat and a Dragon on the CBC miniseries, Next Gen Den, this kind of innovation is exactly what the Canadian tech sector needs.

“For our country to get better, we have to push entrepreneurship. We have to encourage it. I’m part of it because I care,” said Hyatt.

In addition to Hyatt, several other investors are participating in Toronto’s edition of UberPITCH, including Tim Jackson, EVP Corporate and Community Development at MaRSDD; Startup Canada founder Victoria Lennox; Joe Fresh founder and Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den Joe Mimran; and SnapSaves co-founder and Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den Michelle Romanow.

Hyatt explains that Canada should want more people to start business in part, to create job opportunities in unexplored sectors.

“We need more people to start businesses in Canada. We should be doing everything possible to push entrepreneurship - this is where real job and wage growth comes from,” said Hyatt.

He argues that if Canada doesn’t nurture its entrepreneurial spirit, companies like the ones that build the economy will be in short supply in the years to come.  

“It wasn't long ago that Uber was a small startup,” he said. “Think about how many jobs they've created. In fact, an entire new economy of sorts. I speak to many happy drivers that have a better life because of it.”

Canada takes second place among G7 countries for entrepreneurial activity, according to Centre for Innovation Studies in Calgary, which released its Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report on the state of entrepreneurship in Canada last year.

The report states that approximately 13 per cent of Canadians are entrepreneurial, but that Canada lags behind in financing new idea.

Hyatt’s not only looking forward to hearing some fresh ideas, but says he’s open to investing in some new ventures.  

“UberPITCH is a really fun way to get people thinking about starting something. I'm excited to listen to a bunch of pitches on the 7th- hopefully I can offer some good feedback and maybe even invest.”
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