30 Top Black Tech Talents and Entrepreneurs.
72 Hours to Conceive, Build, and Launch a Startup.

1 Powerful Force Advancing Black Entrepreneurs in Tech.

On July 24, some of the best and brightest will come together to compete in the most epic competition North America has ever seen. Combining the energy of a hackathon and the magic of a road trip, we bring you the ultimate adventure on wheels.

Powered by our sponsors JPMorgan Chase Advancing Black Pathways and Chase for Business, we are launching our first-ever StartupBus exclusively for black entrepreneurs for our tenth anniversary. Better yet, we’re making black history by pushing our riders to leverage the power of financial technologies.

Top talents from New York City, Baltimore, MD, Washington, D.C., Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA, and Oakland, CA will all be invited to this historic event. This special edition of @TheStartupBus will depart from Harlem in New York City, the epicenter of black culture in America, and compete with buses from 7 other regions to create the most innovative business concepts.

Will you be the next Black tech mogul?

“It is critical that we do our part to ensure diversity among those who are creating the world of tomorrow. We’re excited about this collaboration with StartupBus, because it helps us tailor resources, investments and opportunities that position Black entrepreneurs for success.”

— Christopher Hollins, Managing Director of Business Banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Our bus theme: Pathways to Wealth.

Why Pathways to Wealth?

Because economic opportunities continue to remain out of reach for many Black Americans, we’re working to expand their pathways to wealth. We’re focused on improving the financial health of Black Americans through a focus on increased savings, improving credit, homebuyer counseling and helping black-owned small businesses get access to the capital they need. Our Black Buspreneurs will develop products aimed at solving these issues and, through StartupBus, we’ll provide them with the ideal environment and tools to help them develop the confidence, negotiation skills and communication tactics needed to reach their full potential on the bus—and beyond.

What happens on the journey?

During the 72 hours on the bus, our Black Buspreneurs will form teams and get the unique opportunity to conceive, build, and launch a fully-functional product ready to be pitched to investors. Once the bus arrives in New Orleans, the collaborative turns competitive as riders participate in a multi-round pitch competition.

The ride from New York City to New Orleans will be a challenging adventure. Like every entrepreneur’s journey, there’ll be surprises and stops along the way. We will visit places and organizations that will be inspirational to your growth as a Black entrepreneur. You’ll push yourself beyond your limits and change your perspectives of what is possible. We promise you, it will all be worth it. You’ll make lifelong friends, meet potential business partners, and have the experience of a lifetime.

Follow the bus.

Twitter

“Through our sponsorship of the StartupBus competition, we are aiming to teach rising Black entrepreneurs about the startup process and enhance their financial experience through advice from business bankers. This competition aligns with our long-term goal to drive inclusive growth by empowering more people in the Black community to further their education, grow their careers and build wealth.”

— Sekou Kaalund, Head of Advancing Black Pathways at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Important Details.

Key Information.

Dates: July 24th to 28th, 2019.

Origin: Harlem, New York City. For those living outside of New York City, we will pick up residents from Baltimore, MD, Washington, D.C., Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA, and Oakland, CA to New York before the competition.

Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana

Cost: $99. Lodging, meals, and return transportation are all included!

Am I eligible?

To ride on the StartupBus Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, you must be:

  • Black-identifying individuals.
  • Residents of New York City, NY, Baltimore, MD, Washington D.C., Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA, and Oakland, CA.
  • For technical talents, we are looking for folks ideally with computer science, software or hardware engineering, and design background.
  • For entrepreneurial talents, we are looking for folks ideally with experience in sales, marketing, or product management in the tech industry.

P.S. Not interested in a Black entrepreneur only bus? Apply for our other buses that also provides Diversity Fellowship opportunities!

How can I get approved?

To get approved to ride on the bus, you must be interviewed by our bus organizers to verify your eligibility first. Once you are approved, you will be requested a $99 application fee payable to StartupBus which covers the following:

  • Everything that is included in a standard StartupBus ticket, e.g. eligibility to ride on the bus and compete, access to our competition platform and alumni network, and more.
  • Basic lodging for the 5-day journey is included.
  • Initial and return transportation is also included.
  • Meals stipend for the 5-day journey is included.

Yes, if you're doing the math, you've read that right: You get the StartupBus boot camp, competition, AND lodging, meals, and transportation all included, for just $99.

What are you waiting for?

Apply now for the chance to make black history and see if you have what it takes to put the pedal to the metal.

Apply Now!

The StartupBus Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Crew.

The North America 2019 Crew

A stunning photo of Madelena Mak

Madelena Mak

Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Creator 2019
North America Senior Director 2019
North America National Director 2018
New York Lead Conductor 2017
New York Buspreneur 2014

Madelena is a user experience designer and creative director. She had previously designed Trillian, a chart-topping instant messenger, as well as ZocDoc and FindDoc. Her team was a finalist in StartupBus North America 2014. She is also currently a board member of StartOut New York, and an advocate for LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

A stunning photo of Colleen Wong

Colleen Wong

Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Creator 2019
North America National Director 2019
Women+TGNC In Blockchain Lead Conductor 2018
New York Buspreneur 2017

Colleen is a first-generation Burmese American with a unique interdisciplinary background in neuroscience, comparative religion, and social science research. She is passionate about leveraging inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation to pave pathways to sustainable economic growth.

A stunning photo of Ajay Desai

Ajay Desai

North America Head of Strategic Partnerships 2019
Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Conductor 2019
Texas Conductor 2018
New York Conductor 2017

Ajay is a business-technology nerd. Before college, he was running his own IT services business and was a key player in early cloud (hosted infrastructure) startups in Dallas, TX. Along the way, he's done everything from building data centers, architecting the dark fiber that powers the internet and helped companies like Apigee (now Google Cloud) assist Fortune 500 companies in Digital Transformation; wrapping their heads around Mobile, Cloud, API's, Big Data and beyond.

A stunning photo of Brandi Kinard

Brandi Kinard

Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Creative Tech Entrepreneur, Producer 2019
Women+TGNC In Blockchain Buspreneur 2018

A stunning photo of Mouminatou Barry

Mouminatou Barry

Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Creative Tech Entrepreneur, Producer 2019
Women+TGNC In Blockchain Buspreneur 2018

Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Sponsors.

About StartupBus.

StartupBus is a tech entrepreneurship boot camp and global championship on wheels.

We disrupt the status quo by fostering the next generation of leaders in tech and bridging the tech gap across continents.

Wanna partner with us?

Email us at directors@startupbus.com.