StartupBus – What did hackers build on the road ?

StartupBus competition ended two weeks ago in San Antonio. While Austin (and the whole tech world) was all about SXSW, I thought you might be interested to see what Buspreneurs built on their way to San Antonio.

I have been to a lot of hackathons, and demos are always a crucial point – it’s when you take some time off your keyboard and see what others have built. All the startup projects presented were real projects, not just a pitch deck. You could see how they hustled, what each team built, the traction they got. Some achieved in more three days than established entrepreneurs might with much more time and resource.

Here are the top projects that I liked:

datalize.me

You already know that, at 3scale we love APIs and we are always excited to see what people are building around them. So we are really excited about datalize.me. Think about it like an aggregator of your social info made accessible through an API. I really liked it because it corresponds to an unfinished side project of mine. I hope they will continue to work on it.

minimap

Wow-effect guaranteed! With MiniMap you put all your google calendar events on a map. You see which one is closest and in which direction you should go. It’s a super well designed iphone app. While the business aspect was not clear, it’s definitely a useful app for busy people with a lot of meetings during the day. Not to mention that Kristine, our embedded evangelist on NYC, bus was part of this team.

trustvino

They did not have to pitch me, I am French and loved their idea from the beginning. If you like wine, you know it’s hard to find the one that fits your fine pallet. With trustvino you can “checkin” while drinking wine, and it will recommend you other similar wines that you may like. See it as Untapped for Wine. They used Wine.com API, which is powered by 3scale :) Great team too, with good energy and talent. They were on the first ever Nashville, TN StartupBus. Now, I am really curious about the tech scene in Nashville.

NutFund

You might be an active petitionist that is trying to help as many causes as possible but do petitions really put pressure on the government/company concerned? Perhaps not. Instead, NutFund decided to raise money for petitions, so when the government or company accepts the petition, the money raised goes to a charity. Great example: If Amazon accepts Bitcoin, we will donate X bitcoins to charity: for water.

They really executed well, with an awesome team of talented people. They went on HackerNews on demo day,and site crashed because they had so much traffic. Nutfund made it to the finals and raised more than $6000 in bitcoins. Help them here.

trustmail

One of the many great projects from Mexico bus. With all the recent polemics around the NSA and privacy, this team decided to build a tool to encrypt your emails without having you change your email provider. It’s a chrome extension that works well with Gmail.

Nice demo, they achieved an approval from a branch of Mexican government to use their service. Not bad for a weeks worth of hacking.

beander

If you are following food fashion, you may have heard that the last trendiest thing is to be really selective about your coffee. Enough of Nespresso or Starbucks, drink a coffee you like from local roasters. Beander aims to help local micro-roasters having access to wide variety of coffee beans through an online marketplace. This is apparently a huge problem for micro-roasters.

I really liked the energy of the team, I remember them arriving at 4am in the lobby of our hotel in Las Cruces, NM to start coding.

croprate

This project has to be mentioned in this list, as one of the few non-tech projects pitched during StartupBus competitions. Their goal was to bring farmer markets to businesses. Being able to buy healthy food where you are working. Great idea, and again, a passionate team! StartupBus is so open to ideas, and where there is passion there is execution.

plumer

I could not forget to mention the project I worked on :) If you are into online dating, this app is for you! We will help you find which picture and which tagline has better results by A/B testing them. Which one will get you more matches ?
It’s live and working now for OKcupid, try it at now . We didn’t make it to the finals, but the team plans to keep working on it, stay tuned.

So you can see there were a lot of interesting ideas this year, and we were really pleased to be part of this adventure with Kristine and 3scale.

And no matter where you are, you can also be part of this amazing community.  StartupBus is coming to Europe this fall for its 4th edition and StartupBus India and Australia should launch by the end of the year.

Get on the StartupBus for an adventure of a life-time :)