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StartupBus NA Summer 2017


It’s that time of year again; summer sun, outdoor concerts, boating, bonfires and vaycay. It’s the time of year when ya’ll should escape the monotony of the day-to-day and set out on a new adventure.

Well brace yourselves, because this year we have the answer for you! StartupBus is an entrepreneur-accelerator on wheels in which entrepreneurs from regions across the globe come together to develop new skillsets and join an amazing network of like-minded individuals. It’s a great opportunity to find some stimulation that could generate new ideas for you or your company! Not to mention you get to road trip across the country This year, there are seven buses from across North America are traveling for three days to the pitch competition in New Orleans! Beautiful scenery, awesome startup ecosystem, and a whole lot of Shrimp Gumbo.

You should know that StartupBus isn’t for the faint of heart. Yes it’s fun, exciting, wild and totally different than anything you’ve ever done before; it is a lot of work. I mean you didn’t get to be the entrepreneur you are now by sitting around; same concept goes for the Bus! Those who put in the sweat equity will get out the most from the experience.

Riding the bus is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to become part of a lasting international network. Members of the community are elite entrepreneurs represented in each of the biggest tech ecosystems across the world. So come aboard, represent your city, and be a part of the action.

Apply Today!

Election Results: Your New Board Members Are…


The election results are in and the votes have been tallied.  Thank you all who nominated, discussed, and voted in the this election.  This was a big step forward in the sustainability of our community.  The election of this board marks creates the first full rotation since its creation by the community and as such an evolution into the long term sustainability of the StartupBus organization (which in turn, supports our community).  Thank you to all that participated.

Without further adieu, you as a community have elected the following community members to our board of directors.  In alphabetical order, your new Directors are:

  • Dan Porter
  • Greg Ross-Munro
  • Prateek Gupta
  • Steven Beeckman
  • Yanique DaCosta

They join the existing directors, the founder Elias Bizannes and myself Mitch Neff as Executive Director, as well as the other community members (who will now be serving their second year of a two year appointment)

  • Steve Repetti
  • Christoph Richter
  • Jorge Rios
  • Mahoney Turnbull

Please join me in welcoming them all to the board, which meets again in mid January 2017.   We couldn’t be more excited to have them on board to help steer the vision and goals of StartupBus.

Thank you to Andrew Pinzler, Jamie Roth, and Marcello Schermer for their work since being elected two years ago.  They worked closely with the founder on thinking about what’s best for StartupBus and the community, and independently made some important recommendations. That included the creation of this board of directors, that they seeded and now are rotating off. StartupBus wouldn’t be where it is now without their leadership.

As always, feel free to reach out to any Directors or Board members with your ideas, thoughts, or to just get involved in the community!


Annual nominations (and elections) for the StartupBus board


Fellow members of the StartupBus community,

Like other organizations, StartupBus has always had people leading strategy and decision making so that the things we do keep getting better and better.

Unlike most other organizations, the leadership are chosen by the community of people that were its customers, which in our case are Buspreneurs. The StartupBus Board of Directors serves as the highest decision making body, which consists of representatives from the community, the management team, and the shareholding. The Board runs the organization by owning our strategy, reviewing the performance of our activities, and overseeing the management of the organization.

This is a turning point for us. It all started over two years ago with the election of the Community Council, who worked with me as the founder to rethink StartupBus. On their advice, that led to the creation of the Board of Directions who became the new institutionalized body to take over formally from what was a heavily founder-led community. They seeded it and last year we had our first elected board members who joined them. This year, whoever replaces to fill the seats, will serve as the first full rotation of the board of directions since it was originally created.

We’re assuming, based on previous nomination periods, that more Buspreneurs than positions will be available, which is why when you apply we are asking you to fill in a potential election bio.

How do people nominate somebody? 

Via email, by sending your nominee’s full name and email to so we are aware of them and can ask them in case they don’t see this notice. Ideally, however, you will have them fill out this application form

How many people can you nominate? 

There is no limit, and yes, you can nominate yourself and it’s preferred. Go ahead and apply!

How long will these people serve in the Board? 

It’s a two-year appointment. Currently, the board meets once a month formally though that may reduce in frequency in future to allow for more delegated authority with sub-committees who will meet as they see fit.

How long do nominations last? 

Nominations will be open for a full week until November 7 2016. If more applications than positions occur, elections will be held a week after that.

The election committee will arbitrate on any issues.

Keep in mind that you will impact the entire strategy of a 1,500+ international organization, so choose wisely. 

Any additional questions may be addressed to

And the winner of StartupBus Europe 2016 is…



After 4 days of traveling through Europe while setting up their startup, one team was awarded the best startup by the judging panel. Trustful wants to digitize the ballot system by using NFC and blockchain technology for secure electronic voting. Any card unique to the holder (think a library card or any other identifying card) and using an NFC chip can be used to cast a vote.

StartupBus Europe 2016 winner Trustful

Runner-up was Flightship, a startup born on the Swiss bus. Flightship finds the most convenient location to meet up with friends from all over the globe.

Sitting in the judging panel were Elias Bizannes, Founder of StartupBus and StartupHouse, Lars Rasmussen, Co-Founder & Chief Espresso Officer of Weav Music, Kristin Müller, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds and Carl- Luis Rieger, Investment Analyst at Kompass Ventures. Elias Bizannes said about Trustful “Of all the teams, the thing that was most impressive about Trustful was that they had a vision, a real strong demo and the demo didn’t only reveal product vision but also execution.”

This year’s edition of StartupBus Europe counted 22 teams with participants of 21 different nationalities, basically covering all continents. Divided over four buses and departing from London, Paris, Brussels or Zürich, they gathered in Hasselt for Demo Day at Corda INCubator after the 3-day road trip. There, a shortlist was made up containing, apart from Trustful:

  1. Audio Beacon (BE)
  2. Exist (UK)
  3. Grouped Up (FR)
  4. Flightship (CH)
  5. Nightly (UK)
  6. Pike (BE)
  7. Sqill (UK)
  8. Tipple (UK)
  9. Zing Menu (BE)

Finals took place at Pirate Summit, an invite-only, startup conference in Cologne. During the 2 days spent in Cologne, all 22 teams have the occasion to meet potential investors and pitch for the essential funding to boost their startup.

StartupBus is an intense startup competition and global network of 1,500 buspreneurs. This network is formed during a 3-day entrepreneurial bootcamp during which they are required to setup a full blown startup: from pitching an idea, forming teams, to building an actual product or service in the 72 hours spent on the bus. Each startup will be judged on their product, pitch and traction.

Finalists of StartupBus Europe 2016


After 72 hours of driving through Europe our buses from Belgium, France, Switzerland and the UK arrived earlier today at Corda INCubator at the beautiful Corda Campus in Hasselt (Belgium) for our demo day.

The weather was a bit grim upon arrival but cleared up afterwards. After a nice breakfast offered by Radix/Startup League we went on to have our demo day. Each startup born on our buses had to pitch for three minutes followed by a three minute Q&A of the judges which took pretty much all day.

The pitching was followed by talks from representatives of Mastercard and Start it @ kbc (Dirk Lievens). After the pitches we had a small reception after which we announced the 10 finalists of StartupBus Europe 2016 who will pitch tomorrow at Pirate Summit. Here are the 10 finalists:

Congratulations to all the finalists. See you tomorrow 12h30 at Pirate Summit in Crow’s Nest for the finals and the announcement of the StartupBus Europe 2016 winner at 18h30, again in Crow’s Nest. After the Pirate Burning there will be a StartupBus party at Pirate Summit itself.

Directors of StartupBus Europe 2016 at Corda Campus (Hasselt, Belgium)

Interview with StartupBus producer Max Kleinedler


We had an interview with Max Kleinedler, who is a producer for StartupBus Germany in our StartupBus Europe 2016 competition (2-7 September). We’ll have a handful of buses driving from all over Europe to Corda INCubator in Hasselt for demo day and afterwards to Pirate Summit in Cologne. Participants are called “buspreneurs” and have to conceive, build and launch new tech startups in 72 hours while crossing the continent.

Who are you and what do you do when you’re not doing StartupBus?

I am Max Kleinedler and during my “normal” life I am a business consultant at Accenture in Zurich, Switzerland. When not in the Office I am spending a lot of my time with or on my motorbike exploring Switzerland and other countries.

Max Kleinedler

Tell us about your history with StartupBus. What regions have you participated with? What did you build when you were a buspreneur?

I participated in the StartupBus challenge in 2013 by joining the German StartupBus as a Buspreneur. At that time I was doing my studies at the University of Mannheim and just needed a change from the theoretical lectures at University.

At that time we build a mobile application which let´s you quickly create job offers to professional as well as amateur handyman on your mobile device. While we had a very good design and a decent understanding of go-to-market strategy, we were lacking a functioning prototype so unfortunately we didn’t make it into the finals.

What were 3 great things that you gained from the StartupBus experience? How do you hope to use this experience as a producer?

Comfort zone: Once you arrange yourself with the new situation, new people, tons of ideas and crappy wifi on the bus you will enter a pure state of productivity which I never thought to be possible. Due to the time and resource constraints you start focussing only on the things that matter and get more done in 72h than normally within weeks.

Ideas evolve: Many people have great ideas, but what really matters is the execution of these ideas. Bad execution turns the best ideas into standard products while standard ideas can become the greatest products when executed with passion, thoroughness and the right team. This is something you will definitely experience on the Startupbus – within only 72h instead of weeks.

The people: The most awesome thing about StartupBus are clearly the people you meet on the Bus but also alongside the whole trip. You may start as stranger to each other but once you mastered the intense 72h on the bus you will end up with new friends and potential future colleagues. Additionally, you become a part of a global community who is always willing to help and support each other.

What made you decide to become a producer?

While I was a part of the overall community after joining the bus as a Buspreneur I wanted to engage myself in making the StartupBus experience as awesome as it has been for me. Therefore I joined the German StartupBus as a producer in 2014.

Give us an idea about the country you’re producing for. What are some unique challenges that startups face in your country? What makes your country ideal for startups?

I think in Germany we are in a comfortable situation of having a grown and viable startup scene mixed with settled globally operating companies. Many accelerators as well as institutional companies are open to innovation and new ideas and willing to support initiatives like the StartupBus on a monetary but especially on a resource and mentoring basis. A challenge – and I think that’s the same for other countries – is the wifi connection on the bus. While we have a perfect connection within a city it tends to break completely on the Autobahn – but ok, that’s part of the StartupBus experience.

What does your country/region bring to the global StartupBus community?

Hopefully the winning team of 2016.

StartupBus.Accelerate in Europe


The last two weeks we held a few StartupBus.Accelerate events in Europe. StartupBus.Accelerate events are meant to help you give new insights and accelerate your way of thinking.

The first one happened at Co.Station Brussels and was a satellite event of Europe’s biggest open-source software conference FOSDEM. We had a few panel discussions about the impact of open-source software on tech companies with people like Jessica Rose (DreamFactory), Kris Buytaert (Inuits, Cfgmgmtcamp, …), Nils De Moor (Woorank), Charles Bailey (Bloomberg) and Lien Van Den Steen (DataCamp; they’re hiring developers). Continue reading →

Capture the Culture of StartupBus

You’re about to join a society of hackers, hipsters, and hustlers that have all gone through the same experience you just signed up for. We’re united by a desire to build and disrupt the status quo, and we don’t often talk about our culture because we all understand what it takes to be a part of this community: passion and a little bit of insanity.
After this journey, you’ll be able to turn up in hundreds of cities around the globe and immediately plug into like minded people because of the StartupBus network. You’ll have what Dave McClure of 500 startups refers to as better than an MBA – the title of former Busrepreneur. And we want to make sure there is plenty of photographic and video evidence to prove it. To do that, we’ve plugged into one of our network to build us a custom version of the WeVue app, branded just for StartupBus, and accessible only by current and former members of our community.
WeVue is designed to help companies and organizations capture, enhance, and promote their culture through crowdsourcing photos and videos from their communities. In turn, we’ll be piping the best of that content directly to our website, sharing it across social media, and using it to entice future Busrepreneurs in the years to come.
Download for iOS
Download for Android 
You can sign up for the app by using the same email you used to pay for StartupBus, and once you confirm your email and log in, you’ll be in a private culture network created just for us. Every region will have an album just for them to post content to. We ask that you add the best photos and videos you’re capturing during your journey. Upload your pitch practice to get feedback from past riders and other buses, show of your awesome swag, and make sure to get some good shots of people passed out on rest stop benches at 2AM.
Want to win a $200 Amazon gift card? We thought you might be able to use it to buy all the cool products you didn’t realize you needed until after you got on the bus. We’ve got a super secret contest going that factors in who best embodies the culture of StartupBus and shows it on the app. You’ll get points for adding content, liking and commenting on posts from other regions, and showing the best progress on your pitch and the winner will be announced on stage in Nashville.
You’re on this bus because you’re pretty tech savvy, but if you need a full walkthrough of how the app works, you can find one here.
Good luck, god speed, tweet your sponsors, and don’t poop on the bus.