My experience driving around in an Uber and pitching Vijilent

On Wednesday, I took a 15 minute Uber ride around Washington D.C. to pitch Vijilent. The UberPITCH was organized by The Refinery, Uber and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and put over 160 female entrepreneurs face-to-face with VC's (both female and male).

UberPITCH was focused on women in tech. To qualify a company had to:

  • Have at least 1 woman in a leadership role,
  • Utilize technology in their business,
  • Demonstrate proven scalability with market fit.

Vijilent is a women powerhouse. Not only is Vijilent’s co-founder a women, she is also the CEO (and the lead data scientist on the team). We are proud to say that we outnumber the men on the team delivering skills like data science, engineering and business. In conclusion, we are a perfect candidate for the UberPITCH.

When I ordered an Uber at noon that day, the investor was already inside. I was positively surprised to see that both the investor and the Uber driver were both women (and I immediately felt bad, that it surprised me. If the three of us were men, it wouldn’t be anything unusual).

Driving around the city for 15 minutes passed by really fast. The whole experience was more a conversation than a presentation and I enjoyed that very much. Sitting in a car seemed more casual and the tone of the conversation very pleasant.

I was trying to figure out what it was that made me feel different. Was it really the more relaxed setting? Is this the reason comedians invite their guests for car rides? Is it just more entertaining or does it change the tone of the conversation?

All in all, it was great to see an effort to get more women in front of investors. The only thing I was missing is meeting all the women that were pitching in D.C. on that day. I passed by one or two but there was no opportunity to exchange experiences or talk to each other.

Thank you to all the amazing women that helped me prepare for the pitch. It feels great to see women support each other in this intense startup world.

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