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Uber Takes the Drivers Seat in the Innovation Economy

Nearly 25 years ago I had my first “ah-ha” moment regarding innovation. I was consulting on First Nations reserves in Canada to accelerate new business ideas and drive economic growth.

Ah-ha … It didn’t matter how innovative the idea was or how brilliant the business plan. The supportive ecosystem was broken – from the misplaced government levers inserting cash into ill-defined channels, to broken policies, to poor research, to the cultural friction both on and off reserves.

Strong, well-defined ecosystems are critical for successful innovation. Right. We’ve known this for a while now.

Another ah-ha moment: The ecosystem that supported growth even three to five years ago is nearly obsolete. Think – building roads for horse and cart versus automobiles. Or, today, think – waving down a cab versus tapping your app. Buying behaviour, economic models, cross-industry pollination – all evolving. No brakes.

There are new drivers in the ecosystem creating brand new rules.

Enter Uber. You already know that Uber is innovative and disruptive. Uber has been a magnificent player in the innovation ecosystem pushing boundaries, deconstructing ‘market norms’ and redefining them in unique, profitable ways.

But – Uber is racing beyond being a player in the ecosystem to being a driver in the innovation economy – and the distinction is important. Uber wants to help connect and redefine the new innovation economy.

UberPITCH is geared up to connect new innovators with engines racing, across all industry verticals, in a most Uber-brilliant way.

Along with several other business leaders and investors, I’m excited about the refreshing approach to discovering and exploring new innovations. An Uber driver will pick me up on Thursday and we’ll drive to pick up a brilliant entrepreneur, itching with innovative ideas. And they will pitch. We’ll do this again and again for most of the day.

It will be rewarding to meet brilliant minds, to explore innovative ideas and to partner with Uber in bringing new market leaders into our innovation economy.

I look forward to seeing what comes racing into our ever-evolving innovation economy over the next three to five years.

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