Uber, the world’s most valuable start-up, said on Thursday that it had launched a pan-India start-up challenge, UberPITCH in partnership with the ministry of commerce and industry—an initiative through which shortlisted entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to meet investors and make a pitch.
“We will keep ourselves engaged in India, (for instance) through smart city partnerships, encouraging entrepreneurs and start-ups…we recently launched UberSHAAN (an initiative to skill one million drivers by 2018), we still think these are our early days in India and we’ll see how our initiatives are panning out (in India),” said Rachel Whetstone, senior vice president, policy and communications, Uber.
Last year in July, Uber had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Telangana to create jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities and foster research into smart city initiatives and make investments in the state.
In January 2016, at the inauguration of the Startup India Initiative, Travis Kalanick, co-founder Uber, launched the start-up mentorship programme UberEXCHANGE, in partnership with Invest India, the investment promotion and facilitation agency of the Indian government.
UberEXCHANGE, a series of six workshops led by senior executives of Uber, spanned over 12 months; the fifth workshop was held on Thursday to mentor women entrepreneurs.
The workshop was led by Whetstone in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Ladies Organization.
“I was struck by the range of problems these women are trying solve and how each one had a plan to scale up internationally,” said Whetstone in an interview. She spoke with 10 women entrepreneurs during the workshop.
UberPITCH will debut in India over two days on 18 and 19 November and will give an opportunity to selected entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists and investors in 28 cities where Uber is currently operational.