Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Orlando residents put their cars in park, turned on the radio, and heard founders showcase startups ranging from a space technology crowdfunding firm to a fantasy sports site for women's sports.
Tech accelerator Starter Studio and startup organization Project Orlando hosted a drive-in pitch night in the parking lot of The Vanguard event venue in Orlando on Sept.18. The event gave eight local founders the chance to pitch their businesses in-person, in the middle of a pandemic.
The drive-in event follows the forced cancellation of a number of pitch nights because of Covid-19. For example, Starter Studio received a grant from the city of Orlando to hold pitch nights at the Orlando Science Center, with the first event set to take place in April 2020.
Of course, the pandemic scrambled those plans. Starter Studio was working on an alternative event when Executive Director Lilian Myers saw a TV news report about a drive-in concert.
“I was thinking, ‘That might actually work,’” Myers told Orlando Business Journal.
Myers and Charlie Lewis, founder of Project Orlando, got connected as they’re both members of the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Orlando Tech Council. Project Orlando’s pitch night that was planned for March 2020, had more than 40 accredited investors registered to attend.