All Aboard The Startup Bus, The Road Tripping Hack-A-Thon Which Departs Sydney In Two Weeks

Startup Bus Europe buspreneur Hans Van Gent. Image: Supplied.

Some wild ideas conjured up over a few drinks are best forgotten along with the finer details of a big night out.

But other ideas thought up over a beer – or six – can actually have substance and live on well beyond the dreaded day two hangover.

That’s how StartupBus came to life, the international hack-a-thon which runs across the US, Europe and in a few weeks is coming to Australia.

The StartupBus started as a joke at the Silicon Beach drinks in Sydney just as founder Elias Bizannes was about to relocate to San Francisco.

Five years on, the StartupBus travels across continents with bubbling “buspreneurs” (yeah, groan) on board attempting to develop viable business ideas.

“The StartupBus is actually how I kick started my entrepreneurial adventures in America accidentally,” Bizannes told Business Insider, adding he was with two entrepreneurial mates when they came up with the idea to hire a bus and build a startup on it as they road tripped across the US en route to South By Southwest.

“I had a few weeks to find a bus, twenty grand and a few crazy people to want to do it,” he said.

“In America this year we had eight different buses, including Canada, Mexico, New York, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, they all represent entrepreneurial hubs.”

On board there are a number of individual teams and there’s a “tribal rivalry” amongst the groups which represent different tech hubs from around the world, Bizannes said.

“It becomes a way to highlight the entrepreneurial ecosystems in their respective regions,” he said.

The first Australian StartupBus which has a maximum capacity of 23 people, leaves Sydney on a 72 hour trip before returning for the SydStart conference on September 2 where teams will pitch the ideas they have developed.

“We accept people up to a few hours before the bus departs, we try and get really crazy people involved,” he said.

“Part of it is sort of a reflection of my personality, I’m always very late and doing things at the last minute.

“We basically are trying to find really smart people and put the most impossible constraints on them, everything from working with strangers, to having a crazy deadline to the expectations of releasing a product that actually has product traction.”

In Australia he’s hoping the competition will grow from just one bus this year to several in the future leaving from different cities all en route to the one destination.

Applications to get on board are still open. There’s more here.