Some magical things can come from corralling a bunch of strangers together for 72 hours. That’s the theory behind StartupBus anyway.
It’s a twist on the hackathon – an event where programmers meetup to collaborate and create something new in a short space of time. And as its name suggests, StartupBus brings together “hackers, hipsters and hustlers” on a bus for a 72 hour trip.
Since being founded in 2010, the bus has appeared in America, Europe, Australia and Africa, and counts at least one alumni with a valuation of over a billion dollars.
The idea is to work together create a startup worthy of investment as the bus winds its way to the Sydstart conference and a pitching competition, where the winners will get a three month residency at an Incubator in San Francisco.
“Average hackathons run for less than 48 hours and are limited to participants tackling a specific problem using a specific technology. Unfortunately participants typically lose track of each other if the idea doesn’t progress,” Imteaz Ahamed, the StartupBus “condcutor” told Business Insider.
“StartupBus is more than this, teams are expected to gain traction for their idea whilst on the bus. This means selling (hustling) their product/service, signing up potential users, launching crowdfunding campaigns and raising seed funding.”
Ahamed was a participant on last year’s StartupBus, which our own Alex Heber also attended.
Within the space of 72 hours Ahamed and his team created and launched a service for custom-made 3d printed glasses. Conceived and developed entirely on the bus, the cobbled together business resulted in a physical pair of glasses ready for the pitching contest.
They didn’t win the contest, but Ahamed is back with Startup Bus again this year. Hoping to bring together some more talent to identify and solve “real problems”.
Applications for the upcoming StartupBus, which leaves from both Sydney and Melbourne on October 25, are open til October 7. Find out more here.