The bus may be burning rubber as it heads for South By Southwest in Austin, but the entrepreneurs on board don’t have time to spin their wheels. They have just four days and roughly 1,500 miles to start and build a company.
Welcome to the D.C. StartupBus. This group of entrepreneurs bound for the annual technology and entertainment festival disembarked at 6 a.m. Tuesday from the corner of 3rd Street SW and Jefferson Drive SW in the shadow of the Capitol.
There are 10 other buses leaving locations as far flung as Mexico, Louisiana and California, all carrying entrepreneurs who must create business ideas that they will present to a panel of judges. Two companies from each bus will be chosen by peers to pitch, and one will be deemed the best of the bunch.
Many of these fledgling upstarts will come to an end as soon as the bus reaches its destination. But the high-octane exercise could provide insight into what it takes to launch a business: dreaming big, executing quickly, collaborating with co-founders, and ultimately, appealing to investors.
Capital Business has recruited a few passengers on this year’s bus to blog about the journey. They will share scenes from the bus and lessons learned on the road. Check back here regularly throughout the week for their updates.
You can also follow the buses on an interactive map as they make their way to Austin.
Follow Steven Overly on Twitter: @StevenOverly