WoW! Just wow ! i just get back from the crazy SXSW, or for those who don’t know: “the Las Vegas of startup world”. It’s been an amazing experience from Day 1 till the end. I can’t wait to tell you about what happened ;)
As you may have read in my previous post I took the StartupBus to go to Austin. We left San Francisco, CA on Tuesday in the early morning to arrive Austin, TX on Friday evening.
We were all supposed to meet at the StartupHouse at 6 am to pack our stuff and start the journey to Austin. I had a really time to wake up, I barely spelt the weekend before, I was at another hackathon where we’ve build a tip planner called EasyMapr. Apparently some other Buspreneurs attended the same Hackathon, so we were all on the same page in terms of hours of sleep. But ready to rock !
Josh, our conductor organized hackathons and a launch party the week before our departure but I was not able to attend. So I did not know anybody. It’s part of the magic of the StartupBus adventure ;)
While we were meeting each other prior to departure we were surrounded by cameras from TechCrunch and another special guest : Mr. Robert Scoble in person.
For those who don’t’ know Robert Scoble, he is working for Rackspace (a hosting company) and helps startups to get traction thanks to interviews and blog posts on his high-traffic Blog. He is sometimes solicited to be a judge or an advisor during startup competitions. He was on the bus with us until we stopped in Santa Monica. It was a chance for us to have him onboard to receive quick feedbacks about what we were building.
We had a long way to ride to Austin, but thanks to the sponsor of the Sillicon Valley bus, Elance we had a nice breakfast at their place. We also met Buspreneurs from the Stanford bus. On our way to Elance we all present ourselves in the bus. I was really impressed by the variety of skillsets and by all the talented people. Most of my Buspreneurs fellows were working in a startup or already create one/many. It was also a nice international crowd with several Australians, a German and a French (myself).
After our nice breakfast it was time for us to ride to Los Angeles. As soon as we get onboard we started the pitch session.
Everybody had 1min to explain his project and vision. I think that we all pitched something. They were ideas like a StartTrek alarm clock that gives you a summary of your day in the morning, or a website to create your own cereals and many others.
I pitched the idea for a Taxi-sharing service, where people can split the taxi bill by sharing a cab with somebody that’s going somewhere around the place you are going to. Like most of us I was not strongly attached to my idea and I was very open to work on someone else project.
At the end of the pitches (~40 pitches) we stopped to form groups and start working.
Most of the groups were formed pretty quickly, and 6 projects really emerged after the stop.
StartupBus Silicon Valley projects:
Beeliner - Find which events the people you want to meet are attending Cerealize - Your custom cereals delivered at your door. Expensiev - Expenses tracking for freelancers Gaggle - mobile app that filters your social feeds to only people you care about in that instan HipType - Dynamic content for iBooks Author, analytics and social media integration Kinetic.ly - Tools for motion analysis
As soon as we went back on the bus we were all ready to brainstorm and work on our on projects. By the end of the day we had to stop in Santa Monica to do quick Customer validation survey on the street, so we better have a good idea of our product by that time.
I joined to the team Cerealize because I was very excited by the quick brainstorm we had when we were forming teams. I did not know before that cereals were a big deal in America. That helped me to understand to full potential of this project, much bigger than what I thought during the pitch session.
The video of the first day thanks to John from TechCrunch