What happens when you put 20 programmers (including 6 robot makers!), 6 serial entrepreneurs, 2 film makers, a race-car driver, a pro-skateboarder, a Fulbright scholar, an animator, a service designer, a salsa dancer, an Aztec culturalist, an architect and an ex-pat Australian on a bus from Mexico to Austin?
Basically you get one startup in the finals of the StartupBus competition to present at the SXSW. They didn’t win, actually it won a startup named Cerealize.com, but according to the “Mexico Tribe” it was a total blast to have done this.
The Startup Bus started as a joke and experiment by Elias Bizannes who actually did the first one 2 years ago; that experiment was supported by the media and even investors that participated in the first one and had sprung up now a community that fosters this competition. Only last year, in 2011, it grew six-fold and with buses departing from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and Miami. Participating were 156 new ‘buspreneurs’ who produced 38 different products. In December 2011, they launched in Europe with 20 buspreneurs building five products and a whole new community base in another continent. In 2012, the first latinamerican Startupbus from Mexico made its presence in the contest along with other 10 buses from different cities of United States heading to SXSW in Austin.
After a grueling week of following the competitors via the StartupBus website, the Busdaq -a stock-options like game to gamify the event- and directly via de twitter and facebook pages of the participants, Spott, a mobile app devoted to put content put back in its original context. You can use Spott on your smartphone to upload content for others to download and experience at that same physical location, made it to the finals. Although it didn’t win it received a lot of feedback and the team seems to continue its development as we can see in their website.
Who are the developers?
The Spot-app.com team was composed by
They had five minutes to show the judges their startup. According to the information we have they presented in front of remarkable investors and people like:
- Naval Ravikant, AngelList * Christine Herron, Intel Capital * David Cohen, TechStars founder
- Robert Scoble, Rackspace
- Katie Rae, TechStars Boston
The StartupBus has evolved from an experiment to a competition and an international community of unique people that want to leave a lasting legacy into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. A springboard for many to compete against like-minded entrepreneurs? Will any other latin americans participate next year? Would you really like to?