Forget escalators. Last Friday, about eight startups pitched to investors including Golden Gate Ventures, Incubate Fund, Crystal Horse Investments, and Sequoia Capital — in a swanky black Mercedes-Benz S class.
Called Money on Wheels, this on-the-move event was held in conjunction with Walkabout Singapore, an island-wide initiative where some 2,500 aspiring entrepreneurs and others registered to visit more than 90 tech companies.
Organisers of Money on Wheels told e27 that the concept was inspired by UberPITCH, a partnership between Uber, an on-demand taxi booking service and Google Ventures, in the US. The idea was then tweaked to have Singapore-based car rental platform Drive.SG come on board as a sponsor.
Don’t shut up and drive
Out of “dozens”, only eight startups were chosen. The eight are: Weego, Publishizer, Brandpit, Staff On Demand, Joyride, Nearcircles, Mikxr, and Boxgreen.
UPDATE: Finalists were selected based on the quality of their pitch deck and suitability for a 15- to 20-minute discussion, according to Aastha Sahdev, one of the organisers. She added that the clarity and viability of the business plan, team, and competitive advantages available, were all taken into consideration.
Honma Masahiko, Founder and General Partner, Incubate Fund, said, “… Both an investor and a founder sit in the car without any outside noise, I could get into a deeper discussion with founders than just a normal pitch contest.”
Masahiko’s view on having a deeper discussion with startups was echoed by Jeffrey Paine, Managing Partner, Golden Gate Ventures, who said, “It was (a) great intimate moment with founders. (It was) a good setting to have a really deep conversation about their motivation.”
Also Read: The Toad @ JFDI: Is pitching akin to acting?
Guy Vincent, Founder, Publishizer, was found pitching at Money on Wheels too — just two days after duking it out with nine other top startups at Echelon 2014’s Top 10 Launchpad. The entrepreneur said, “Pitching to investors can be scary. But when you’re hanging out in the back of a Mercedes, it feels casual, yet powerful.”
You know what else sounds casual yet powerful? Pitching to an investor in a public toilet. But please don’t try that.
Photo Gallery Credit: Walkabout Singapore