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GeekWire Elevator Pitch Episode 2 contestants, from left: Manuela Papadopol of Designated Driver; Greg Newbloom of Membrion; and Jason Atherton of Shared Technology. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

We’re back with a new episode of Elevator Pitch, the GeekWire show in which entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts in the 32 seconds it takes to travel to the top of Seattle’s original skyscraper: The Smith Tower.

The clock is ticking and the judges are probing as we look to pick a winner among three dynamic entrepreneurial ideas in the transportation and mobility sector.

Watch the second episode of Elevator Pitch Season 2 and vote for your favorite pitch below.

In today’s episode, we hear from Designated Driver, a year-old Portland startup that’s bringing a human touch to autonomous vehicles and is helmed by former Microsoft and BMW marketing whiz Manuela Papadopol; Membrion, a University of Washington spinout led by chemical engineer Greg Newbloom that makes ion membranes for use in fuel cells and water desalination systems; and Shared Technology, a new moped-sharing service co-founded by Jason Atherton.

Manuela Papadopol of Designated Driver.  (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)
Greg Newbloom of Membrion. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)
Jason Atherton of Shared Technology. (GeekWire Photo/ Dan DeLong)

After the entrepreneurs travel to the top of Smith Tower, they face tough questions from our judges: Flying Fish Partners co-founder Heather Redman; serial entrepreneur and Pioneer Square Labs managing director T.A. McCann; and Darrin Siver, senior vice president at PACCAR.

GeekWire Elevator Pitch judges, from left, Darrin Siver, Heather Redman and T.A. McCann at the top of Seattle’s Smith Tower. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

Do you agree with the decision of the judges? Share your thoughts in the comments, and vote in our reader poll below. And make sure to check out the first episode of Elevator Pitch — featuring three startups in the AgTech/Environmental Impact area — here.


Two more episodes will follow today’s show, and we’ll be back next Thursday to showcase three new entrepreneurs. Check out geekwire.com/elevatorpitch to keep up with the action, and to check out last year’s competition.

The winners from each of the four episodes will present live on stage in front of more than 900 business and tech leaders at the 2019 GeekWire Summit, taking place in downtown Seattle, Oct. 7-9. Tickets to the GeekWire Summit available here.

A big thanks to PACCAR for sponsoring season two of the Elevator Pitch, and to the Smith Tower for hosting.

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