Uber, Travis Kalanick

This May, Uber had conducted a program called UberPITCH in Europe which allowed budding entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and products to local investors in the back of a car. The response, according to Uber was overwhelming. In the end, four companies were shortlisted as winners, all of whom have received ‘small’ investments from Uber, according to a Facebook post.

Uber says that more than 4,000 pitches were submitted from entrepreneurs in 37 cities across 21 countries in the continent. Out of these, four applicants successfully made it to the second round — an invitation to Berlin to spend more time with venture capitalists and participate in conferences and “incubator mashups.” While the initial plan required more cutting off, Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick was more than impressed by these aspiring entrepreneurs and decided to declare all of them winners.

According to Kalanick, Uber will now make direct investments into these startups. The company hasn’t revealed the weight of these funds, except saying that they were small.

The first company to win the funds from Uber is Brigad. Based in France, this startup was launched in January 2016 by Florent Malbranche. It aims to connect restaurants with their staff — plain and simple. In fact, the service provided by this company is already being used by over 300 restaurants and a thousand waiters. 

Second in line, we have the English startup called Memrica. Founded by Mary Matthews, this company has developed an app that helps people with memory problems to keep track of the things that are most important to them.

Next up is the Dutch company, Otly founded by Vedran Vego that is teaching children about the value of money and saving with this digital piggy bank. This service will be supervised by the children’s parents of course.

And lastly, we have a spotted egg in the form of Hipromine. This is a Polish startup initiated by Jakub Urbanski who thinks bugs are the answer to everything. Hipromine uses insect mining as an innovative and sustainable solution to global nutrition issues. Yeah, they are researching insects as medicines, food, sources of energy and everything else in between!

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