WeDeliver co-founder Daniela Bolzmann and founder Jimmy Odom, worked hard to prepare a brand new pitch to wow a really important audience.
WeDeliver was selected as one of 10 startups to pitch their company to investors in Silicon Valley for Google’s first Demo Day last April. These 10 startups were chosen from seven cities in the United States, and WeDeliver was the only service provider making a presentation. Bolzmann and Odom knew this could be an advantage.
“The space for on-demand delivery has yet to be proven, and many of the biggest names – including our host Google – are making moves into the market,” says Bolzmann ’11 (business administration). WeDeliver got its start in November 2012 after Bolzmann and fellow team members won Startup Weekend in Chicago, which was hosted at 1871, an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups.
WeDeliver has three main components that make it different from the existing options of delivering goods for businesses. These components include a merchant dashboard, which allows customers to get quick notes, track orders in real time and manage important data about their customers; a delivery specialist mobile app, which gets the nearest qualified delivery person from their crowd-sourced fleet of contractors to receive delivery requests on a mobile device; and customer tracking, which sends customers an email confirmation with their order details and a link to a live tracking page.
With guidance from their mentor, Troy Henikoff of TechStars Chicago, Bolzmann and Odom crafted a presentation for the Google event packed with information and humor.
They were bold in their approach, using footage of a courier mishandling delivery bags in Chicago to illustrate the importance of a professional delivery service. Although a risky move, it demonstrated why their company is necessary to the success of others.
“Your team is brave, and what you did was risky,” said Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, an accelerator program, after their presentation.
In addition to Google’s Demo Day, Bolzmann has had the opportunity to pitch to the world’s top Venture Capital investors as WeDeliver has grown from concept to a daily business over the last couple of years.
“With each pitch, delivery and milestone we pass, we cannot believe how far we have come in validating our business,” Bolzmann says.
Among the investors present at the Google event was AOL founder, Steve Case, who was impressed by the pitches and invested $100,000 in all 10 companies.
The success for Bolzmann continued to follow into May when TechStars Chicago announced that WeDeliver was one of seven startups selected to be a part of the program.
As the No. 1 startup accelerator in the world, TechStars only selects seven to 10 programs in various locations around the world. To be admitted into the program is a huge honor and shows how much the chosen companies have grown. Bolzmann and her crew transported the first 1,500 deliveries themselves in the beginning stages of the WeDeliver. She feels they’ve come a long way with their acceptance into one of the most prestigious accelerator programs in the world.
“Getting into TechStars is more difficult than getting into Harvard,” Bolzmann says.
TechStars Chicago invests $118,000 in each company while providing three months of mentorship and a chance to pitch their company to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program.
Most companies average an increase of $1.6 million in outside venture capital after leaving the program.
Now that WeDeliver has a chance to network and work with some of the best startup mentors in the world, Bolzmann aims to develop a network outside of Chicago with the help of Google, TechStars and 1871. They plan to consider financing from investors in other areas and are positioning themselves for massive growth in the near future.
To learn more, please visit the WeDeliver website.