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StartupBus goes TOA.berlin

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Back when Keit Kollo and I became Directors of StartupBus Europe 2016 last year, right after Pirate Summit 2015, we had to choose a destination for our favorite competition called StartupBus. All year round there are awesome tech conferences to go to in Europe, but only a few of them fit with our StartupBus view on tech startups.

After a few weeks we nailed down a shortlist:

We visited Pioneers in 2013 and 2014 but in the last two years they seemed to have outgrown us. Nevertheless, Pioneers is an awesome forward-looking festival.

Neither Keit nor I had visited Tech Open Air (TOA) but from the looks of it it seemed like an awesome interdisciplinary tech conference. They bring together people from the worlds of technology and arts, which aligns well with our vision of bringing tech & entrepreneurial talent together to disrupt the status quo. Only caveat: it’s in the middle of summer holidays!

Tech Open Air (TOA) Berlin 2015

Our 2015 competition ended at Pirate Summit in Cologne. We just loved the atmosphere at the festival: great talks, awesome attendees and let’s not forget the great food and drinks (and the impromptu party we threw after burning the man). One of our American friends said Pirate Summit is like a cross-over between SXSWi and Burning Man!

We were also considering Bits & Pretzels, a festival focused on founders which flows into the world famous Oktoberfest in Munich (pun not intended). However, we would have had lots of logistical problems (mostly regarding providing accommodation for our participants).

So, that’s why we’ve chosen to visit Pirate Summit once again with our StartupBus. But, a few of our organizing crew will visit Tech Open Air this week in Berlin anyway!  We’re also participating actively in a few of the satellite events!

Satellite events affiliated with StartupBus crew:

A selection of TOA talks we’ll definitely be attending:

  • (Day 1) Are we cyborgs yet – future of fashion tech
  • (Day 1) Bots: fun, mischief and whimsy
  • (Day 1) Scaling Innovation Velocity inside Kayak
  • (Day 1) A Design Sprint
  • (Day 1) Fireside chat with Albert Wenger (moderated by Robin Wauters of Tech.eu!)
  • (Day 1) Don’t Arrest Me with Susan Danziger
  • (Day 1) Modern Design & Classic Aesthetics
  • (Day 2) Working with Data: design?
  • (Day 2) Adaptive music – a new era in music with Lars Rasmussen (co-founder of Weav, founder of Google Maps!)
  • (Day 2) Why The Next Big Thing In Tech Is Disrupting Sex by Cindy Gallop!
  • (Day 2) Order & Chaos in UX
  • (Day 2) Mission to the Moon
  • (Day 2) Designing Interfaces at Spotify

If you want to meet with us while we’re in Berlin, tweet us at @TheStartupBus on Twitter.


StartupBus is a global network of tested entrepreneurial talent. Our alumni have gone through a resource constrained 72 hour road trip crossing the continent during which they had to conceive, build and launch new startups together with and against teams of strangers.

Our next competition in Europe will depart on 2 September from seven countries and ride to the Corda INCubator in Hasselt for Demo Day on 5 September and arrive at Pirate Summit in Cologne for our final event where the 10 best startups will pitch in front of investors. Want to ride with us?

Apply now at http://europe.startupbus.com!

StartupBus Pacific Is About To Depart – Get On Now!

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Applications are open for the few remaining spots on the inaugural StartupBus Pacific happening in Australia.  After 5 years in other parts of the world, StartupBus is excited to come to Australia, which is a sort of homecoming for StartupBus’ Australian founder, Elias. We are also thrilled to announce that our ride for this competition will be this land yacht below – built for the Rolling Stones upcoming tour!

StartupBus Australia

If you haven’t heard of StartupBus yet, the concept is simple – 25 developers, designers, and biz dev/marketing people (what we call hackers, hipsters, and hustlers) get on a bus as strangers – you have 3 days to break into teams and design, build, and launch a product – On a bus – At 110 km/h – To be pitched and judged on stage at SydStart Main Day 2014.  The road is rough and the internet is spotty – and there will be a several other curveballs thrown at you as well.

We depart Sydney Friday August 29, return Sunday August 31 stopping to spend the night and have events in Melbourne and Canberra.  There will be a full day to wrap up work and polish pitches September 1 before presenting at SydStart on Tuesday, September 2.  Of course – there is plenty more to it than that, but we can’t ruin all the surprises just yet…

StartupBus has been described alternately as a life-changing experience and “special forces boot camp for entrepreneurs”. It is definitely an experience to you will never forget. If you are the type of person who craves a challenge and wants to get outside your normal comfort zone, now is your chance  to make that happen – and join a family of over 1,000 global StartupBus alumni that represent some of the top tech talent in the world. If you are still reading and this all sounds exciting, you should just go ahead and apply – you might be one of us, after all!

Apply here to be considered for the remaining seats.

Email us with your questions as well – pacific@startupbus.com