The Australian StartupBus Is Heading North, And The Teams Have Learned Coming Up With An Idea Is The Easy Bit

The Australian StartupBus has been rolling for more than 30 hours.

The five groups are powering along nicely and have learned coming up with the idea for a startup is the easy bit.

After a few speed bumps on Friday, the startups have been failing fast and often. More on that here.

But today, after a product validation session at a pub in Brunswick, Melbourne, last night and a little bit of tough love this morning, the Buspreneurs have picked it up a gear.

Here’s where the five groups aiming to have a viable startup ready to pitch to SydStart on Tuesday are up to.


Steph the hipster, Dean the hustler and Thomas the hacker have formed a squad which is making 404 error pages useful. They want the fails to be fun and increase conversion rates for a company rather than pushing up its bounce rate.

In 30 hours they’ve started building a brand, a social network, have a landing page up and are validating their market using a survey.

They’re also working on making a free trial available.

People Of The Sun

The greenies of the bus, these dudes have a vision to take back the power on renewables by starting a community-owned solar company.

Jamie, Simeon and Allen are the three guys who yesterday fell flat chasing down a startup which just wasn’t going to work. They lost a few hours but after making a quick, decisive decision to focus on developing a solar service which allows people and companies to access free solar power.

The solar boys started working on their concept after lunch on Friday and since then have convinced three people to join their board including solar manufacturer YingLi Solar Australia Daman Cole and founder of campaigning platform DoGooder Dave Gravina.

The group has two factories onboard with 1,000 sqm of roof space willing to host solar panels and another six buildings they’ve flagged as potentials.

Diner Companion

These pros want to strike out that sinking, lonely feeling business people often encounter when they’re travelling for work.

Ken, Adam, David and Karl have been hacking away at their app and in the past 30 hours have whacked together a wireframe for the app which includes a login screen, profile page and messaging capability. They’ve also started work on their landing page and social networks.

Entirely customisable, 3D printed glasses which you can try on via an augmented reality plugin is what the Le Spex hipsters are churning out on the hack-a-bus.

These kids have international swag and their quirky sense of style is being channelled into the brand they’ve dreamed up over the past 30+ hours.

Bangladeshi-Australian Imteaz, Frenchman Pierre, Australian-born Chinese Angela, French techy Franck, Australian-Brazilian Ricardo and Aussie Isabelle have built a website, had a few pairs of glasses 3D printed during a stopover in Melbourne and did a fair bit of validation at the pub last night.

But lunchtime Saturday a curve ball was thrown – their name was too similar to sunglasses brand Le Specs and so all their hard work had to be altered in a mini rebrand halfway through the competition.

A big lesson in doing comprehensive competitor research here. But they’ve handled it in their funky stride and are getting on with it.

Definitely a team to watch out for.

A personal shopping app which aims to tidy up the way men dress. It works by taking the hassle out of shopping and enabling someone – whether it be your partner or fashionable other – to select or suggest stylish threads for you.

It’s an app which Jade and Franko are building with the idea it could also include a subscription service where your basics – your white tees or business shirts for example – get delivered once a quarter.

The duo have been refining their pitch and today realised their target market is women – not men. They get to dress guys by attracting women.

NOW READ: Here Are Some Of The Essentials Tech Heads Pack For A Weekend-Long Hack-A-Thon.

Alex Heber is on the road with the Australian StartupBus, a three-day trip in which a group of entrepreneurs will try to build a set of innovative technology companies over the course of a three-day bus ride. The journey finishes next week back in Sydney in time for the SydStart finals.

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