Bus Hackathon Companies Being Taken Really Seriously

The Startup Bus carrying 31 entrepreneurs from New York to Austin for South By Southwest just crossed the border into Alabama on day two of the three-day hackathon. Six companies have been launched and the entrepreneurs are building mobile apps, websites and A.P.I.s as well as working on marketing and partnerships.

One company, Kajoo, has been talking to government officials as far as Kenya about the website they’re building for citizens to report civic issues and organize solutions. Another company, Lemonade Stand, has been accused by a Canadian company of “creating brand confusion” even though Lemonade Stand is still more of an exercise than a real company at this point. Also, Lemonade Stand was the first Startup Bus company to hit $10,000 on the Startup Bus’s virtual stock market game.

Considerable attention is being paid to the virtual stock market by New York buspreneurs. New York is in the lead but it’s been suggested that it’s because New York’s tech scene is more weighted toward business and marketing than actual coding. The entrepreneurs on the bus call it “the game.” Organizer Justin Isaf, who recently started tweeting after years of resistance, just told everybody to “pimp the fucking game.”

Each bus will elect one company two companies on Thursday Two companies will be chosen by a combination of judges and popular vote to go on to the next level, a pitch competition in front of investors from Pivotal Labs on Monday. The winners–one team from each bus–will pitch afterward to a panel of judges and one region will be declared the champion.

Status reports as of Tuesday night:

Lemonade Stand



SpotOn Trivia



ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries

Bus Hackathon Companies Being Taken Really Seriously