Most entrepreneurs making the trip to Austin later this week will travel by airplane, arrive in a few hours and get going with the annual SXSW festivities.
A select few, however, will be getting there in a slightly different way.
On Saturday, 11 folks from the Northwest boarded a giant bus headed to Texas. Over the course of four days, they’ll break into teams and build business plans as their motorcoach rumbles down the highway at 70 MPH toward the Lone Star State.
It’s all part of a competition hosted by StartupBus, an international organization founded in 2010 that helps put together groups of “buspreneurs” who will come together in San Antonio and pitch their new startups to judges. The idea is similar to Startup Weekend, where groups of random people team up over the course of a few days to build companies, but StartupBus is entirely done on the road.
This year there are seven buses making their way toward Austin, including, for the first time, a team from Seattle. Other squads from New York, San Francisco, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and even Mexico City are also competing.
Dominick Pham and Adam Ritenauer are the community leaders — or “conductors” — for the Seattle bus, while Kate Hawk is the “producer.” Here are the buspreneurs:
- Jennifer Wong
- Kelly McIvor
- Tatiana Becker
- Kate Hawk
- Eric Waisman
- Kin Hulamn
- Clarissa San Diego
- Kevin Dela Rosa
- Blake Johnston
- Greg Gradwell
- Rishi Athanikar
The Seattle bus is currently at its first stop in Salt Lake City and will head to Las Cruces, New Mexico before arriving in San Antonio for the pitch competition. You can actually see what’s going on inside the busses with the StartupBus livestream.