Chicago’s First Week

Uber Car in Elysian Corridor

Week one of Uber Chicago is officially in the books. I thought it’d be a great time to share with the Uber-verse what a crazy & exciting week its been.  We kicked off Uber Chicago with a remarkable dinner at the Ria in the Elysian Hotel.

The Elysian’s beautiful entrance served as the perfect backdrop to our guests’ arrival in Ubers. The menu was phenomenal, consisting of items such as Big Eye Tuna, Dover Sole & Dry Aged Ribeye. The best part of the night was the great conversation amongst the business and tech leaders of Chicago, and of course the inspirational presentation by our CEO Travis Kalanick.  Shia Kapos, of Crain’s Chicago Business, did a great job covering the evening itself.

One of the main launch preparation points for me, as Community Manager, was to ensure press attention. With an “all hands on deck” attitude from our team and with never-ending assistance from Ryan Graves (Our VP) and Allen Penn (our Chicago Ops Manager), we hit the Chicago media landscape hard to make sure the story of Uber’s arrival in Chicago was told. This led to a great after-dinner scene at Pippins Tavern on Chicago Avenue, as our team, still suited-up, huddled around my laptop to finalize the press release into the wee hours of the morning.

The result, has been great.  Our most exciting piece was an article in the Business Section of the Chicago Tribune, that also appeared online.  Wailin Wong wrote an excellent story, and did a great job dealing with Travis, Allen, Ryan and I all answering questions at the same time!

The press has continued since launch day.  Here are some of the highlights.

  • Billy Dec mentioned us online in his “What’s On Dec?” section of Windy City Live as something to check out.
  • Leena Rao, of Techcrunch, was able to attend our launch dinner and published a story around our launch in Chicago.
  • Ryan Graves wrote a piece about his experiences and about bringing Uber to Chicago on builtinchicago.org.
  • Playboy’s TheSmokingJacket.com wins for best Uber-related headline: “Uber.com Helps Hide the Fact that You Drive a 1992 Geo Metro”.
  • Jennifer Beese did a great job covering us on tech.li the day of our launch.
  • Chicagoist.com joined the fun with a story on their site.
  • TimeoutChicago.com mentioned yours truly, :), and ran an Uber launch story.
  • RedeyeChicago.com ran two articles about Uber last week.  The first discussed us as a new app to use in Chicago, with some commentary from Allen.  The second mentioned that men should use Uber to impress the ladies!
  • Technogadgets.org included us in a great piece entitled “Traffic Technology Improves Your Drive”
  • Ed Curran, of 101.1 FM News Chicago, discussed Uber and ran a short interview with Ryan Graves. Listen Here: Uber on 101.1
  • Alex Wilhelm of TheNextWeb.com, published a story on NBC Chicago.
  • Finally, Thrillist.com posted a great video on Uber and the overall experience of using our service.. Have to check this out!

We couldn’t have had such a successful launch without our amazing clients. Your support, business, and tweets, are the reason we’re even here (seriously, we pick our new cities by listening to user demand and you haven’t let us down!), let alone off and running as your newest/easiest/awesomest way to get around Chicago!  Most importantly, we’re listening to all your feedback and working hard to continually improve your experience.  Uber on, Chicago!

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