The Buses.

For 2018, we have nine bus routes lined up. Each bus will depart from their regions heading to New Orleans in Spring. View the teams and conductors on each bus below.

Destination: New Orleans.

Crossroads of America.

Rated #1 Place to Go in 2018 by the New York Times, the tricentennial city of New Orleans is situated at the center of North America, where all buses can conveniently converge at one spot.

Not only does the city provide great support for building startups, New Orleans is simply magnetic with its majestic neighborhoods, diverse culture, and vibrant nightlife.

1 Bus Trip.

3 Awe-Inspiring Festivals.

We have carefully calibrated the dates so that you get to experience the road trip and the city of New Orleans to their fullest, at the intersection of technology and humanities:

Not only you will get to participate in our competition, you will also get to meet and pitch to the 20,000+ tech executives and attendees heading to Collision Conference, as well as the top artistic talents who are in town checking out the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals.

(* Tickets to New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals and Collision Conference are not included, and are sold separately from the respective vendors.)


Jump on a bus, conceive, build and launch a startup with a team of strangers in 72 hours at 70 mph!

We're not going to sugarcoat it, the ride to the destination will be tough. You're not going to get much sleep and you may have to fight people off to charge your devices. You'll be pushed past your limits and will go through *all* the feels. But it'll all be worth it when you find greatness on the other side.

Day 0: Preparation.

Pack up your bags. Download all the tools you need on your laptop. Revisit all the Javascript boilerplates and all the Sketch UI templates. Read up on Lean Startup Machine.

Depending on your location, you will get to attend the kickoff party and info session of your bus, where you get to know your conductors.

Day 1: Formation.

And so it begins.

You will step upon the StartupBus. Familiarize your surroundings. This will be your home in the next 3 days.

As the bus departs your city and goes on the highway, everyone gets 90 seconds to pitch themselves, as well as the idea they are pitching.

Teams and ideas will be formed. You will start to figure out your roles in your teams and what to work on. You will start to figure out your role in this new world.

Your first idea may not be the grand vision. Take the time and iterate upon the idea. Wireframes will be drawn, and boilerplates will be downloaded.

Day 2: Iteration.

Your team will continue to iterate and work on your product. Are you checking off all the tasks in your task list and in the StartupBus Game?

You'll see startups having trouble defining their vision and mission, while other startups are moving fast and are doing customer validation during the stops.

We’ll be hitting all the raddest hot spots and tech shops as we make our way, where buses from every corner of the continent will converge in the quest for StartupBus glory.

Day 3: Traction.

The last 24 hours of the bootcamp...

Sleep deprivation is kicking in. Some riders are getting tired of their own pitch while others keep on iterating to find something that sticks. They desperately want to achieve what happened on the 2015 New York bus: finding a seed investor and having to go into stealth mode.

Influencers need to get the word out and put the product out into potential users' hands. Developers and designers are working non-stop on getting their prototypes to work on their mobile phones or in the cloud.

Day 4: Qualification.

Teams will present to the qualification round judges to be qualified for the semi-finals. This will be the toughest startup competition ever - we will make sure you get your pitch down, and we will grill you on your code and design.

Before or after you are done with your presentations, you are encouraged to reach out in the business districts in the city to look for users, as well as to attend any appointments you may have scheduled beforehand with local businesses.

Day 5: Competition.

This is the day of the final showdown.

Be your best self... That's all we can tell you for now.

Day 6 and Beyond: Decompression.

Regardless of whether you win the competition or not, this is only the very first step in their long journey ahead in the world of startups.

Bring your new knowledge and bravery to your new startup, or your old job, or your community. Let’s celebrate our newfound friendship and newfound selves!

Even though it's a goodbye, the buspreneurs now become part of a global network of thousands of StartupBus alumni that have gone on to change the world.

The StartupBus North America 2018 Crew


A stunning photo of Madelena Mak

Madelena Mak

National Director - 2018
Lead Conductor - 2017
Buspreneur - 2014

Madelena wants to take you to your next level. She is the founder and designer of MiniMap, and had previously designed Trillian, a chart-topping instant messenger, as well as ZocDoc and FindDoc. Numerous hackathon experiences aside, she was a finalist in StartupBus 2014 on the Northeast bus, and conducted the New York bus in 2017.


A stunning photo of Ajay Desai

Ajay Desai

Conductor - 2018
Conductor - 2017

A stunning photo of Theresa Hines

Theresa Hines

Conductor - 2018
Conductor - 2017
Conductor - 2016

A stunning photo of Jalil Alchy

Jalil Alchy

Conductor - 2018

A stunning photo of Robert Blacklidge

Robert Blacklidge

Lead Conductor - 2018
Buspreneur - 2017

A stunning photo of Luis Raymundo Perea Kuri

Luis Raymundo Perea Kuri

Conductor - 2018

A stunning photo of Raúl González García

Raúl González García

Conductor - 2018

A stunning photo of Colleen Wong

Colleen Wong

Conductor - 2018
Buspreneur - 2017

A stunning photo of Colleen Lavin

Colleen Lavin

Conductor - 2018
Buspreneur - 2017

A stunning photo of Kristine Jennings

Kristine Jennings

Conductor - 2018
Buspreneur - 2014

A stunning photo of Roy Chan

Roy Chan

Conductor - 2018
Conductor - 2018

A stunning photo of Priya Jhingan

Priya Jhingan

Conductor - 2018

A stunning photo of Benjamin James Linville

Benjamin James Linville

Conductor - 2018


A stunning photo of Nick Persico

Nick Persico

Mentor - 2018
Mentor - 2017

A stunning photo of Prateek Gupta

Prateek Gupta

Mentor - 2018
Mentor - 2017
Conductor - 2016
Board Member - 2016
Conductor - 2014

And also...

A stunning photo of Alice Ng

Alice Ng

Head of Event Production - 2018
Conductor - 2014

A stunning photo of Dave Steck

Dave Steck

Head of StartupBus TV - 2018
Buspreneur - 2016

A stunning photo of Ian Schwarber

Ian Schwarber

Strategic Partnerships - 2018
Conductor - 2017

A stunning photo of Akira Mitchell

Akira Mitchell

Production Manager - 2018

A stunning photo of Carl Shotwell

Carl Shotwell

Advisor - 2018
National Director - 2016
Conductor - 2015

A stunning photo of Will Yaworsky

Will Yaworsky

Advisor - 2018
National Director - 2017
Conductor - 2016

A stunning photo of Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis

Advisor - 2018
National Director - 2017
Conductor - 2016

A stunning photo of Jonathan Gottfried

Jonathan Gottfried

Judge - 2018
National Director - 2014
Conductor - 2013

A stunning photo of Andrew Pinzler

Andrew Pinzler

Judge - 2018
Director of Operations - 2014
Conductor - 2013


Alumni Sponsors

Diversity Fellowship Sponsors


About StartupBus

StartupBus believes that entrepreneurship can't be taught but it can be learned through unique experiences.

Want to partner with us?

Email us at directors@startupbus.com.