The Washington Post

D.C. StartupBus: Meet the fledgling ventures

Traffic and delays are very much part of the StartupBus experience. We’re caught behind 25 miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic somewhere between Baton Rouge and San Antonio.

The “buspreneurs” who are on board hardly notice the sluggish pace; everyone is taking advantage of the most solid Internet reception we’ve had on the road in the past day, and those afflicted with car sickness are getting a rare reprieve from nausea.

Most of us haven’t had much sleep and we’ve been working such long days that time just blurs together — it feels like weeks have passed even though we’re only starting the third day on the road.

The start-ups mirror this time warp — the teams are functioning like they’ve known each other for weeks but only met on Monday. They have developed their own rhythm, defined responsibilities, identified strengths within the group and have learned one another in such an accelerated way. It’s been remarkable to see how these groups of random people have become their own public relations, business, development and design teams.

Eight teams have grown out of the D.C. crew, ranging from a single-person venture to a team of nine. The start-ups, like the “buspreneurs,” are very diverse and come from different industries.

The ventures include:

●CuriousCity, a resource for those looking for the best alternative lifestyle parties.

●Givingline, a platform that allows community members to ask for help and give help.

●MyBento, a twist on Pinterest, allowing users to collect bite-size collections of things they like.

●SportsBadgr, a way to connect fans, games and team-loyal bars to create the ultimate fan experience outside of the stadium.

● Tourious, an application that connects travelers with guides to help them find local experiences in different places.

● Ultra Ratings, a way to help professors become better teachers by providing a platform that enables college students to give real-time feedback and live ratings for their college classes.

●yOURTABle, an application that helps users split the bill at restaurants as well as offer suggestions based on what the customer likes.

●Zingiber, an e-mail application for the carsick (inspired by the bus).

The teams have been working nonstop since we started. When we finally arrived in Baton Rouge yesterday, I had to forbid them from taking their laptops into the party and coax them into taking a break. The hard work has paid off, as most of the teams on this bus will have started a publicly available product by the time this blog post goes up.

The writer, an environmental consultant from Washington, is the organizer of the D.C. StartupBus, a bus of entrepreneurs that’s headed to the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

Related Posts:

D.C. StartupBus: Let the journey begin

StartupBus Day One Recap: Getting organized

StartupBus Day One Recap: A disruptive goal

D.C. StartupBus: The merits of co-working



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