ampa Bay, Florida resident, Bruce Burke announced today that his entry submission has been selected, and he’ll now be one of the ‘busprenuers’ in this year’s StartupBus pitch competition.
“Stop dreaming. Start pitching. Let StartupBus accelerate you to be the change you want to see,” reads the website for this over-the-road incubator/accelerator that’s focused on rapid development and product creation, during a three-day ad-hoc team road trip to Austin, Texas.
“An experience like no other,” the website promises. A hackathon. A media production. A startup competition. A package tour bus. The StartupBus is all of that, and none of that. StartupBus is an experience that transforms lives – by challenging top tier talent to hop on a bus and conceive, build, and launch a startup in just a few days.
“Which is exactly why I decided to submit my entry” says Belleair, Florida entrepreneur Bruce Burke. “I have several friends in the Tampa Bay tech scene who have previously participated in the StartupBus. I see what it’s done for their visibility, and I’ve seen some of the opportunities that have come their way since they have taken the challenge.”
Burke went on to share that the pandemic had ruined his company which focused on in-person conference and trade show events for the financial technology services industry. “I’m out to reboot my life and career following the lockdown, and I need to utilize every ramp I can to pull myself up and out of this valley,” confided Burke. “I need to jumpstart my life, and that calls for some guerrilla marketing techniques, StartupBus offers a big platform for such a performance.”
“I’m excited about getting on the bus,” says Burke. “But I need some sponsorship to help me make this trip a reality. I’m hopeful of finding a company, people or group of people that can help me raise the funds needed,” said Burke. “There’s a cost to ride the bus, plus hotels and food along the way and then a return flight home after all the activities. I’ve ballparked the costs at $2,000 to participate in the StartupBus competition, hopefully I can raise the funds.”
StartupBus says that they attract the crazy, the outsiders, the dooers, the tinkerers, the adventurers. They evaluate all those that apply, and put the very best through their competition, a unique experience that connects entrepreneurs to the hundreds of people that have gone before.
People with an urge to create people eager to learn, people who are open to unique perspectives, and people that can work as a team despite the hardest constraints. It’s no coincidence that StartupBus has seen multiple billion-dollar companies get formed out of their alumni. In most cases with each other. Instacart App sprang out of the StartupBus ecosystem.
For 2022 there is seven routes lined up, that are recruiting from 11 regions and heading to Austin Texas where the final pitch competition takes place. Teams from Florida, Texas, New York, California, and Mexico will compete in this year’s event. Also leaving from Ohio is a new Advancing Black Entrepreneurs bus, as well as a Tech Latinxs bus leaving from Miami, Florida.
StartupBus is back to where it all began. Over the past 15 years Austin has become a hub for high-tech companies across many areas of specialization, including a plethora of start-ups offering SaaS and mobile applications. Austin continues to surge as one of the top American tech hubs.
Many say it now rivals Silicon Valley and may be crawling out of the Covid-19 crisis in a business sense even better than it’s California counterpart. “It’s all incredibly exciting,” reports Burke. “As I myself crawl up and out of the pandemic I am using every resource I can muster up in efforts to rebuild myself and my life.”
The competition gets started on July 27 with the buses pulling out of their respective cities. They each take a separate route, stopping along the way at startup centers for pitch practice, meetings with experts, and some inspiration from thought leaders and breakout sessions. The teams converge in Austin Texas on July 31 for the final pitch competition and awards ceremony.