The 3rd out of 4 posts about my StartupBus 2014 experience.

We made it to our hotel in San Antonio, TX around 1:00AM on Wednesday morning. Finally, all the Buspreneurs were under one roof. After our complimentary breakfast, we all piled back into the buses and converged at Rackspace, our new home for the next 2 days. An appropriate nickname for the place is “The Rackspace Castle” because it resides in an abandoned converted mall.

Of course it would not be the StartupBus without surprises. When we exited the busses we were met with a hero’s welcome. We all ran through a “high five” tunnel to where the competition would take place.

After everyone gathered inside, there was a cheering competition between regions. The North America Director of StartupBus, Jon Gottfried, did not waste any time and the competition began. The competition would have 3 rounds. The first round would begin with all 35 startups competing. The group would be eventually narrowed down to 7 startups. Each group had to do a 3 minute pitch and a 1.5 minute Q and A session. All of the pitches would be shown live on StartupBus TV.

While everyone waited for the judges to deliberate, the StartupBus founder, Elias Bizannes, entertained us. We learned about how StartupBus began and where it is going in the future. Eventually, it turned into the Buspreneurs coming on stage and sharing interesting experiences about their journey. One of the Busprenuers even found out he was going to be a father on his journey.

Finally, the judges finished and the 16 finalists were announced. My team, MiniMap, and my fellow 3scaler Nicolas’ team, Plumer made it to the next round. Apparently, our team had made it through by the skin of our teeth. We had to buckle down and figure out how to impress the judges in the next round.

The next round started an hour after the winners were announced and all 16 pitches would be performed on the main stage. We took the time we had to fine tune or business plan and make our pitch more clearly to the judges. They had a professional pitch coach come and give a few minutes of advice to each of the teams.

After all the pitches were completed for the semi-final round we found out that MiniMap would be moving to the final round. We would be competing against 6 other teams. Our bus, NYC, ended up with 2 teams in the final round which gave our bus a lot of pride!
The NYC bus has a lot of love!

In the next post I will highlight the finals round and a few other finalist. Here is a demo of MiniMap!

Demo of MiniMap