Last year saw the first StartupBus Europe trip take place, in which 26 developers, designers and entrepreneurs from across Europe travelled through six countries en route to the LeWeb conference in Paris, building startups as they went. The event is back for 2012, and this time it’s much bigger.
Six buses will be traveling across the continent to descend on the French capital in early December. Three will be run by FounderBus, running from Germany, France and UK universities, and three will be under the StartupBus name, departing from London, Spain and a wildcard location you can vote for. Teams on board will develop a startup from idea to working prototype as the travel the motorways and autobahns of Europe between 30 November and 5 December.
While last year’s trip ended at the doors of LeWeb, this year StartupBus has partnered with the conference to offer a 75% discount on tickets, and the winning team from across all six buses will be fast-tracked to appear on-stage as part of the startup competition. Given that a thousand startups are expected to apply, getting a shortcut to the stage could be a boon for the selected team.
StartupBus is the brainchild of Elias Bizannes, who launched the concept in the USA in 2010 by arranging startup competition aboard a bus trip from San Francisco to SXSW in Austin, Texas, and it made its debut in Europe last year.
After success with the same concept this year in the States, voting is open to choose the wildcard starting location for the sixth bus in Europe. Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania are all in the offing, but you can send an email to pitch for your country of choice to be included if it’s not on the list.
Last year, I reported from StartupBus Europe as it travelled from Amsterdam to Paris, via Copenhagen, Berlin and Zurich. It was an intense, crazy few days on the road with some very talented, interesting people. I can wholeheartedly recommend that you apply to take part this year.