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Announcing the Community Council Election


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Hello Disruptors, Rockstars, and Grinders!

You remember that in April we issued a call for nominations to the recently announced Community Councils. The nominations are in and it is now time to make the new community structure real. The mandate of these councils is vital as they will define the future structure of the organisation.  The people you choose will be instrumental in forming the basis and culture of the next generation of StartupBus.

Elias Bizannes (as founder and Chief) and myself (Mitch – as Global Director) have spent a lot of time thinking about the future of StartupBus and talking with our Directors across the globe. Core to that future, is the way we are governed and have the community’s views represented. We’re excited that we are making a first step to the vision we have for our future – forming the Community Councils.

To start off, the Councils will act in an advisory capacity to us and the other directors in how we develop our strategy and execute it going forward.  This is how we can ensure that other big changes and growth plans  resonate and make sense to you, the community.

Without any further adieu, here are the nominees – If you feel so inclined, you can provide testimonials on candidates in comments. The link below goes to the voting form in a new tab with further instructions. Voting will end July 1, 2014 at 11:59pm Pacific time. If you have any questions, hit me or Elias up on email – mitch<at> or  elias<at>

>>Vote by clicking this link<<

Global Community Council Nominees

(in order received)

Prateek Gupta

 prateek I conducted StartupBus in 2014 and was a Buspreneur in 2013 from San Francisco. During SUB 2014, I launched #Instaparty & was proudly involved with #helpflorida campaign. As a hackathon enthusiast, I founded FreshTag in 2012 & in 2013.VentureBeat:
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
Besides all the love I have for StartupBus Community, I will be leading StartupBus India in 2015, and want to work on startupbus’ social network “FacedIn” (facebook+linkedin). 

Jeff ‘SKI’ Kinsey

 JeffKinsey  Rainmaker. Mentor. Author.Entrepreneur. Journalist. Publisher. Speaker. Educator. Lobbyist for startup community. Marketing Mad Man. Mobile App and Biz Dev for iOS/Droid/Kindle/Nook. Extensive manufacturing, customer service & recruiting leadership. Exploring digital currency. Theory of Constraints Jonah’s Jonah. US Marine Corps veteran; received a Letter of Commendation for process improvement.Raised over $1MM for OPS (other people’s startups).
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
Co-Founder of CoinCollectr BitcoinPOS™ solution via StartupBus, March 2014.Launched “LeanStartPad” July 2013, an iOS app dev business.Launched “GoLive Magazine” July 2012, a digital publishing platform for thought leaders. We have published 18 issues of “LIfe’s Journey” magazine on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Nook HD for eighteen months straight.Americas Sponsorship Lead for StartupBus 2012; landed RackSpace as major sponsor and got Robert Scoble on a bus. Almost got MC Hammer on one too.Las Vegas Conductor StartupBus 2012; got 3 of my 4 teams into the semi-finals.Biz Dev for Team STEMivate at 3 Day Startup; San Antonio, TX; April 2012.Buspreneur and Biz Dev for “”—Cleveland StartupBus 2011.Bottom line: I produce results.

Shane Needham

shanefb Shane has helped clients like Buffalo Wild Wings, Publix Super Markets and the Tampa Bay Lightning translate brand differentiators into engaging experiences that convert customers to advocates. Shane heads the digital production team at 22squared.An audiophile, a culinary curator and part-time gardner, Shane lives in Clearwater, Florida with his wife, Christina.Work completed and in progress can be found at
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
SInce my tour on the bus in 2012, the StartupBus experience has defined in whole or in part my days since. The experience was about as enlightening as a modern day man could hope. It has built confidence in my capabilities and provided a basis for growth in my job and life.Given this fact, I’ve always looked for ways to support the StartupBus community locally, here in Tampa. With some efforts being more successful than others, I see my participation on the Community Council as a resolved commitment to see to it that others have the chance to gain the experience and change that a single trip on the Bus can give.

Jamie Roth 

jamieroth I’m currently Director of Community Development and Investment Analyst at Quotidian Ventures and Project Manager at Matchbook. Previously I was the Campus Operations Manager at General Assembly and co-founded a records + tapes indie-electronic label in Boston. I was on team on StartupBus NYC 2013 and Conductor of North Bus in 2014 (#VoltronBus forever!)Likes: cheese, bourbon, yoga Dislikes: Rainy days, hard boiled eggs, and before 10am
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
I’m a total kool-aid drinker when it comes to the the tech community, and I believe that the StartupBus is a unique example of talent and fearlessness coming together to make amazing shit happen.I was lucky enough to be a part of the inaugural Canadian bus this past year, and although we didn’t end up running our own bus, joining forces with the Seattle crew proved to me once again this community’s uncanny sense of adventure and ability to come together to solve well, anything. This community is filled with brilliant, passionate, talented people who continue to inspire me. Conducting the North bus was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve ever had.I’d love nothing more than to run a packed bus from Toronto next year, and there’s a lot of fun work to be done to make this a reality. I’m excited to continue to work with the small but powerful group of alumni in Toronto to start monthly action-oriented events to build-up a community of potential buspreneurs and sponsors.

Isaac Mizrahi

isaacisaac Graduated Duke in 2012 and moved to Boulder to work at a Techstars graduate company. Then decided to join the dark side and enroll at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Last summer, I clerked in-house doing intellectual property work for Zumba Fitness. This summer, I’ll be working at a South Florida law firm in their Entrepreneurial Business division. Besides that, I’m a fun loving Cuban-Jewish nerd from Miami who loves making something out of nothing. 
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
In any organization it’s necessary to have a diversity of thought. I’ll probably be the only future attorney requesting to be on any council. It’s vital to have people approaching Startup Bus’ goals and responsibilities from a vast array of perspectives. As a matter of practicality, having someone who can draft documents or get advice from an attorney (i.e. a professor or colleague) for free is extremely valuable. Additionally, I have extensive experience in the creation of new By-Laws and organizational constitutions as I have most recently started the Jewish Law Students Association and Association for Law and Entrepreneurship at UF Law. Lastly, I have a passion for entrepreneurship and helping others reach their goals. At my base, I’m a helper. This is the most effective way to help as many great people as I can. I love this community and would love to give back. Please vote for me because: 1. Diversity of Thought 2. Free Legal Advice 3. Passion for Helping Others

Param Rengaiah

 param  I work to create softwares that primarily solves business problems but shows empathy for the users and strives enrich their lives. I have held various roles during last 13 years of my professional career including Product Manager, Software Architect, Client Engagement Manager and Developer. I choose the tools (language, platform & framework) that matches given context and needs.Focus areas are user experience design, modular architectures and mobile. More at
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
I have always thrived at the intersection of two or more cultures. And thats what I think I bring to the table – an outsider perspective.I grew up in an island in Indian Ocean where I was exposed to multiple languages and cultures. Its where I learnt the meaning of humility and inclusiveness. I built up on that during my college days and in US, even after 10 years. In my professional career as well, I act as the bridge between technical, business and user community.I am a perpetual optimist, passionate and relentless in whatever I choose. I am a hustler, hacker and a hipster – whatever it takes to get things done – I am a maker.I have participated in many hacathons, presented in conferences, helped in organizing few of them. I know a thing or two about cumminity.I actively look for experiences that pushes the boundaries, shakes me from my confort zone and pave new roads because I understand that edjes is where humans connect.This is who I am. This is what I bring.

Antony Wainaina Kariuki


 Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications student at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya. Interest in technology, startups, social media marketing and events’ management. LinkedIn: Twitter: @kawgwheelz
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
Currently residing in Africa, I will be keeping the community up to date with startup trends in Kenya, and Africa in general. My experience in social media will allow me to market the community well.

Andrew “Pinz” Pinzler

pinz Hi, I’m Pinz. ( I was a 2012 NYC Buspreneur (, a 2013 NYC Co-Conductor ( and the 2014 North American Head of Operations ( I’ve worked at Deloitte, Dow Jones, BBC Worldwide, Bitly and a startup called Cove ( I’m a frequent hackathon participant and occasional winner ( Perhaps most importantly, I’m a proud uncle –
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
Over the last three years StartupBus has given me opportunities to grow and learn that I never would have received anyplace else. As a buspreneur I was allowed and encouraged to step outside my comfort zone. As a conductor I was able to mentor new members of our community. As the head of operations for this year’s North American competition I was given the opportunity to see how StartupBus works as organization and help lead it. I’ve experienced StartupBus from (almost) every angle and I like to think that I understand the desires and concerns of people at all levels of our community. While this may have started as just an awesome competition, StartupBus is a community now more than anything else. We’ve won together and we’ve lost together, we celebrated and we complained together, and defeats were softened and victories were sweeter because we did them together. I don’t want to know what my world would be like without the support and friendship I gained from this community. Thank you.

Alice Ng

 Alice_Ng  Alice is a hustler who makes great things happen. She fell in love with StartupBus in 2012 when she attended her first Accelerate and became a NYC buspreneur in 2013, and a NYC conductor in 2014–keeping the win in her hometown. She is currently the director of marketing for a tech-focused non-profit and the co-founder of the International Space Apps Challenge in NYC. She is a mentor at Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) and an officer on the board of the Asian Mentoring Committee of BBBS.
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
I should represent StartupBus because I’ve continually shown my support and dedication for the organization. Most recently, I was a 2014 conductor who secured another win for NYC and proved I will advocate for what is right. For example, during deliberations at Rackspace, I fought for team Roll to compete in the semi-finals, despite overwhelming pushback from other conductors as well as Elias and Jon. In addition, I’ve produced 3 StartupBus events before departure, including Accelerate, and a post-StartupBus showcase.Secondly, there should be a woman in a leadership role at StartupBus, so we can break the perception that StartupBus is “bro-ey”. This community is comprised of many talented women, but most people do not know they exist nor do most women understand that they themselves can become an integral member of this community. I want to change that.

Marcello Schermer

 marcello  Originally from Austria but now I live in San Francisco. Trying to help wherever I can to build startup ecosystems and help entrepreneurs. Organizer of startup weekends, conductor of Startup Bus, Ambassador for Pioneers Festival, and proud Sandbox member.
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
Having been on the African Startup Bus as a buspreneur as well as a conductor on the westcoast bus, I have seen the Startup Bus community in a variety of different ways and have met great people who taught me lots of important lessons. I want to keep on working for and giving back to this fantastic community and the community council is a great way of making it happen.

 Taylor Wallace

 Taylor  I’m a wordsmith technologist wrapped up in sounds and strung out on Chaucer. These days I’m wrangling chaos and art direction with I show up. I wear purple pants. I hustle and dance. Books were my beginning, theatrical production was the middle, mobile photo and video is meow. Florida is a better place to start a company than NYC but the bagels really suck here. Will contract for NY bagel.
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
 When I first heard about StartupBus from a dank New York cubicle, I didn’t think I’d ever be hip enough to hack or hustle my way on board. A year later, I wrote an essay about my ability to shovel bullshit out of the way of people smarter than myself, enabling teams to really get the job done. During my past two bus rides, I quickly learned that if you want to ride that bus like a pro, you best heave a mean, shit-filled shovel. My days are spent creating one product with one tight knit team, and StartupBus enables me to explore so many new and exciting ideas in a blitzkrieg of awesome. As such, my second entrepreneurial home outside of WeVue is with you crazy dancing fools. Let me be a monkey boss, and we’ll have a wicked f*in circus.
No bio/picture received:

Will Mitchell, Roxanne Spielvogel, Eme Morato

North America Community Council Nominees

(in addition to North Americans above, listed in order received)

Bill Brister

BillB I’m a Customer Centric leader – I have worked over the past decade learning how to solve problems, find solutions and satisfy all levels of customer/member/user bases. I’ve worked for startups as well as big companies. I focus on building relationships, introducing people, and solving problems. 
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
I’ve been passionate about startups for over a decade. My focus and drive are customer/member centric. I have honed the fine skill of customer service using the “trial by fire” method … I learn by doing. Leading the StartupBus community will help continue to learn by serving the community. Basically – I’m your “Go-To” guy if you have a problem that needs fix’n!!!

Ashley Parkes

 ashley A Nashville Buspreneur of 2014, I enjoy 3D printing, horses, and shoes. Currently working on Aloncii, a startup developing production technology for footwear. Find me on twitter @ashleyeparkes or Instagram @ashley_parkes.
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
Simple: the Startup Bus changed my life, and I want to help build its future!

 Carl Shotwell

 carl  After graduating from OSU, Carl began his career as a builder of many things. By day, he is a builder of software and software accessories. By night, he is a builder of communities, relationships, and sandcastles. He’s just experiencing life, on a quest to find some unique mustards that he has not yet consumed.
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
I believe that a close knit community is one of the strongest things that a person can belong to, and I love spreading that feeling to others. As a representative, I would fight for the preservation of the spirit of the StartupBus community, while reaching out and bringing in as many people that hold similar passions as possible. In early March, I jumped on a bus and shared a truly unique experience with 20 strangers from Kansas City, and through this experience, gained 20 close friends. It would be a goal of mine to not only have the same experience next year, but to ensure that as many fresh hackers, hustlers, and hipsters as possible are able to do the same.

 Matt Schaar

 mattschaar My background: My ruminations:
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
Three reasons: 1) BELIEF IN THE MISSION: StartupBus definitely changed my life for the better. Hopping on the 2013 Midwest Bus set a course for distant lands for me…like New York. The desire to harness the ever-changing locus of technology to create world-changing stuff is a common thread in this community, and my life’s work centers around this purpose. 2) TACTICAL SOLUTION-BUILDING: Passion is half the equation; what’s also necessary for a leader to thrive is a decisive ability to execute. I’ve founded several companies and have advised Fortune 500s on their business strategy; making difficult decisions has been an essential component in my clients succeeding in their mission, and I plan to bring that same approach to the Council. 3) GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: I’ve lived in three countries and have connections across a variety of industries. I know exactly what needs to be done to increase StartupBus’ exposure to the outside world, and I’m thrilled to do so!

Kevin Galligan

 Kevin  Kevin Galligan has been coding professionally for 15 years, and currently is the Lead Developer and President of Touch Lab, New York’s premiere Android-only development shop. He and his team have built great Android apps for a number of NY startups; some recent/current projects: 1 Second Everyday, Chatwala responsive video messaging, Cover payment app, TheLadders, and TimeHop. In the evenings he’s either running the big Android meetup in NY or playing the guitar with his band Diesel America.
⇓Contribution Statement/⇑Short Bio
I’ve been pretty heavily involved in the NY SUB community since riding in 2012, including support for recruiting, Accelerate, related events such as Space Apps, and participating as a semi-finals judge for 2014. I run Touch Lab, which is an Android consulting company, a large Android meetup in NYC, and am heavily tied into the mobile and startup spaces in NYC. If you’re looking to have some more hacker representation, I think I’d be great for that. Personally, I’d like to be more involved, and have considered conducting, but running the business is a significant time drain. The community council sounds like a great way to get more involved.
No bio/picture received:

Will Mitchell, Blake Benthall, Roxanne Spielvogel, Eme Morato, Ashley Mooney, Russell Benzing


  1. Marcello Schermer June 26, 2014 at 3:19 am Reply

    Marcello is very professional and always willing to help.
    I believe that he would be a great ambassador.

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