Beery, Half-Serious Joke Becomes National 48-Hour Bus Hackathon

It’s so easy to start a web company that one entrepreneuer’s tipsy joke–“let’s do it on a BUS!”–has become a six-city adventure with top talent from across the country (and at least one guy from London!) scrambling to join.

Last year, the StartupBus drove a pack of entrepreneurs from San Francisco to Austin for South By Southwest, producing six companies. In March, a few days before this year’s event, about 150 entrepreneurs will attempt the same thing.

Buses from New York, San Francisco, Cleveland and other cities will drive in however circuitous a route necessary to make it to SXSW in 48 hours. The passengers are tasked with building a viable startup web business by the time they reach Austin, where they’ll present to potential investors.

The StartupBuses actually look pretty comfortable in photos, and there will of course be Wi-Fi. But to run a mobile hackathon from six cities takes money, which is why the StartupBus launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter this morning.

The goal is $10,000, which will reduce the financial burden on participants and pay for some additional “creature comforts” to make the road trip more comfortable. It’s been 2 percent funded so far, with 20 days to go. If the campaign is massively oversubscribed, it could mean more buses.

We’ve heard plenty of stories about startups that developed overnight–New York’s GroupMe was built in a day and a half at a hackathon–but this is green-eggs-and-ham territory: But could you, would you on a bus? “We’re looking for the best do-ers, thinkers and designers who want to hack a real startup together over a few sleepless days in a confined space moving at 60 mph,” says the project’s website.

Justin Isaf, the New York coordinator for the StartupBus, said the applicants are extremely high-caliber. He’s already filled the spots designated for designers (the bus will also include engineers and business development types).

We’ll be reporting more on the buspreneurs in the next few days.

ajeffries [at] | @adrjeffries

  Beery, Half-Serious Joke Becomes National 48-Hour Bus Hackathon