We’re here in Washington DC for the first ever Lyft Pitch Event. Eight finalists who are Lyft drivers in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas will be pitching their business ideas in front of a panel of judges, and the winners will be walking away with over $30,000 in prizes. According to Lyft, almost 20% of drivers work with the company to fuel their own business ideas.
Take a look at the video and a transcript of the video below.
The Rideshare Guy Blog and this very youtube channel were created and nurtured by being a Lyft driver in the early days of the Gig Economy, by Harry Campbell. So I’m really excited to see what these drivers have in store for us today. So let’s go check out the Lyft Pitch.
Sheldon Love: My name is Sheldon Love, and I am the founder and CEO of Stuck. Stuck is a mobile app that provides instant road-side assistance for people who are stuck on the side of the road. Because I’m a full-time student, I don’t really have the best schedule so Lyft has been awesome, just working when I can, paying the bills.
Danielle Jones: I feel like the biggest impact Lyft has had is, yes the income and the time freedom, but really because I am a talker and I love talking to the passengers. I make them feel really comfortable so they’ve given me a lot of insight and feedback into my company.
Our Top Tips for Drivers:
Karina Vidal: So driving for Lyft has actually helped me a lot because I’ve had the ability to actually connect directly to my target market while in the car. Of course it’s free exposure when I tell them about City Scope and what it is and how they can use it.
Joe Himpelmann: So my business is Assault Forward and we make military pride and patriotic gifts for veterans and all Americans. It gives veterans an opportunity to share the story of their service. And, “Oh, you’re a veteran? I didn’t know you were a veteran.” So it starts that conversation and gives an opportunity for veterans to have pride in their military service and connect with the community around them.
Alejandra S.: Bold + Mighty Kids is a children’s literacy brand for parents who want to raise resilient kids. So we have bilingual books, then they promote cultural competence, they highlight equity and inclusion values. And the books help kids build their social and emotional skills.
Chris Cooke: So Truck It is a mobile app that provides you with a truck on demand to move your furniture or any large items, and also has a platform for businesses and individuals to buy and sell their furniture or large items to the local community.
Interviewer: How do you feel about another pitch tonight?
Chris Cooke: I feel good. Relaxed. I do this everyday, all day. So I just feel like it’s another day, but I’m pitching it to the right people.
Allison Brown: My name is Allison Elizabeth Brown. My business is Jean Extreme International, where we believe some things are extremely necessary. What I think what Lyft really did was get me out my comfort zone and made me really comfortable interfacing with absolutely anyone.
Ricky Organek: My name is Ricky Organek and I’m the mad scientist behind 2nd Lyfe Waste Solutions. I drive Lyft three in the 3:00 in the morning to about 7:30, and then I work at my farm. So it’s given me the flexibility to be disciplined about earning money and self-fund all these business ideas.
Kate Glantz: So Lyft Pitch was inspired from my own experience as an entrepreneur. I had pitched in so many competitions, won a couple, and saw what the money and connections of mentorship and press can do for a really early-stage entrepreneur. So this is sort of a first iteration of what it looks like to shine a light on a group of entrepreneurs that maybe aren’t always seen and that that maybe don’t always have the stage.
Welcome Speaker: I want to welcome you all tonight for Lyft Pitch, which is a huge celebration of our driver-communities entrepreneurial spirit.
Karine: We promote their businesses, and we use augmented reality to generate traffic to that location. So when tourists visit, they can continue their experience with the local businesses nearby.
Ricky: But I have a solution. Let’s divert and repurpose 75% of that garbage and using a three-stage process, give that garbage a second life.
Danielle Jones: With this data, we will be able to create metrics to translate these emotions into actual characteristics, like level-headedness, time-management, and problem solving skills.
Chris Cooke: Want to sell your old couch? Truck It. Want to get that new table from your local furniture store? Truck It. Need to get your trash to the dump? Truck It.
Alejandra S.: We have a strategic vision for how we can teach kids to be bold, kind, and resilient, while addressing these important issues, one book at a time, one story at a time.
Sheldon Love: So our value proposition is convenience, safety, and reliability. We want to target millennials. Once they take off their uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. With a Assault Forward, we could help change that.
Allison Brown: I’m not new to this. All I need now to make the dream a reality is a better clicker and a generous financial Lyft.
Interviewer: The judges have left and they’re going to deliberate on who’s going to get the first place prize of $15,000 and the second place prize of $10,000. The entire audience is voting right now on who’s gonna get the third place prize of $5,000.
Eileen Fagan: A couple things said I think make really great entrepreneurs. One is they have a clear customer problem and evidence that there really is a customer problem there that they’re trying to solve. And then passion and perseverance to go solve it.
Speaker 17: The crowd favorites, so this actually comes from all of you. And the winner is … drumroll. And everybody together say it, it’s Truck It.
Speaker 18: Truck it won third place.
Speaker 19: And for second place, we chose an idea and a business that we really think has the potential to have ahuge impact on this world, and so without further adrue, I want to congratulate Ricky Organek for Second Lyfe.
Interviewer: Ricky Organkek. There you go. Rickey Organek wins second place. $10,000.
Speaker 19: So without further adrue, Joe Himpelmann, congrats on [crosstalk 00:07:06].
Interviewer: Joe Himpelmann. Congrats. You got it. Joe Himpelmann. $15,000. Wins first place prize for Assault Forward.
You got $15,000 for Assault Forward. What are you gonna do with it?
Joe Himpelmann: Well we’re gonna use this money to help meet more of our fellow veterans. When we connect with them, they understand our mission, our purpose, and what we’re doing. And we think that if we attend more military conferences and events as a vendor, and also through social media and digital advertising, we’ll achieve that connectivity with other veterans and our message will spread and grow-
Speaker 18: Round of applause for all of our participants. Thank you so much.
Interviewer: Be ready because Lyft is considering bringing this on the road, outside of the DC area. If you have a pitch, leave it in the comments section below. Let us know. Until next time. I’m Christian with the Rideshare Guy. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your wheels on the ground.
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