Uber transformed the backseat of nine of its cars into a mini Dragon's Den, where people could go on a ten minute ride and pitch a business idea to investors.

The Uber Pitch concept coincided with TechWeek, and brought together nine investors from around the world and people in Auckland CBD ready to pitch their business.

One of those investors, Ken Erskine, had enjoyed the opportunity to see "the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in the city," despite feeling a little unwell in the backseat of the Uber vehicle.

After listening to six investment pitches, Erskine, a startup investor and member of New Zealand's largest angel investment group Ice Angels, said having eye contact with the person beside him in the backseat of a moving vehicle had him feeling car sick.

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"I haven't felt this since I was a kid," he said.

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The six pitches were made up of social innovation ideas, commercial innovations, and two were focused on children.

"One asked me straight out for $30 million. I told them I couldn't help them any further," he said.

Another had jumped into the Uber with a complete design of the investment opportunity, ready to show Erskine.

One pitch that stood out to Erskine was "a different take on My Food Bag", but he wouldn't be drawn on more details.

He had promised a follow up communication with two or three of the investors, and time would tell whether he pursued opportunities with them further, he said.


The unique setting for an investment pitch had got Erskine thinking about how investment pitches are typically carried out.

"It's a much more neutral space [in the car], typically this would happen in an office, but this is a more neutral, private space."

He said having a third person, in this situation the driver, present in the discussion validated everything that was said.

Demand was high for the Uber Pitch vehicles, with many people sharing on social media that they'd missed out on the opportunity.

The other investors that were participating in the process included social entrepreneur Derek Handley, founder of Orion Health Ian McCrae and entrepreneur and investor Roanne Parker.