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This article was published on March 15, 2010

Startup Bus Rolls Into Austin – Winners Announced

Startup Bus Rolls Into Austin – Winners Announced
Kim Heras
Story by

Kim Heras

Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the web as an enabler of change. You can follow Kim on twitter - @kimheras

Last week we wrote about, the Startup Bus, a 2 day start up boot camp held on a bus travelling from San Francisco to the SxSW festival in Austin.

Well the trip is over, 6 startups were created and pitched, and two winners have been announced.

After leaving San Francisco on March 9th, the buspreneurs arrived at the SxSW festival on the 12th where they received coaching from the founder of Austin-based incubator The Capital Factory , Josh Baer, in preparation for their official launch to a panel of judges later on that night.

That judging panel was made up of:

  • Bill Wood: the most successful Venture Capitalist in Austin and now founder of Silverton Partners
  • John Price: CEO of, one of the largest autos, travel and real estate search engines
  • Simon Anquitil: founder of a leading Australian consultancy eStrategy Group.
  • Joshua Baer: email marketing pioneer and Founder/CEO of OtherInBox
  • Michael Trafton: Founder/CEO of Blue Fish Development Group which is a software consulting firm
  • Kip Mcclanghan:  Represents Austin’s Silverton Partners and has a 20-year history of business development

In addition to having the prestige of being nominated best of The Startup Bus by the high-profile panel, the winning team would receive personal coaching from Silicon Valley angel Naval Ravikant, to progress the startup to “investment grade”, which will qualify them for introduction to the “Super Angel” investors of Silicon Valley.

After much deliberation the judges decided a couple of startups deserved to be rewarded so 2 winners were announced – DateBrowsr and Dorm Dorm

DateBrowsr is a resource that takes over one million online dating profiles from many sites and ranks them through user grading.

DormDorm is the for college dorm rooms. It allows universities to offer their off-term rooms in the summer and holidays as accommodation for reservation.  the potential is 500,000+ rooms.

You can check out the other 4 startups on the Startup Bus site

While the experience is still yet to end (there’s the auctioning off of the startups to go), already there is serious discussion of a bus being organized to run through Australia, China, and Germany; a “startup” bullet train in Japan has been suggested; and for next year, three buses from three different cities that end up in Austin for SxSW competing for the ultimate prize.

Should be fun to see if they can maintain the momentum and pull these other journey’s of a lifetime off.