(Photo courtesy DC Startup Week)
Fittingly, it was entrepreneurs who closed out DC Startup Week.
The full slate of activities for young companies around the District ended with a pitch competition on Sept. 15.
While five startups provided the info on their companies, it was ahhto that emerged with the big check for $1,000.
Founder Samuel Bitaraf said he created the company to make car service more convenient.
“In our world today, everyone is concerned about time…We believe that everyone is interested in preserving that time and our service provides that to them,” he said.
Bitaraf grew up around a Northern Virginia auto service shop owned by his parents, and learned what could make the process of bringing a car in for repairs more convenient.
To that end, ahhto has a service that picks up a car, brings it to the repair shop and returns the car to the driver. The startup is also developing a service that transports vehicles to test-drive from used car dealerships. It’s currently in the beta phase, looking to provide services in the DMV.
“We’re validating our process consistently,” Bitaraf said.
Bitaraf is looking to build on momentum from the pitch competition to approach partners and investors. While he spent some time testing Los Angeles as the market to launch, he’s now convinced D.C. is the “perfect area” for the startup.
“The Northern Virginia and D.C. area is amazing. There’s really very few places like it in the U.S., let alone the world.,” he said.