At the same time, five other buses from Estonia, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK will leave their capitals to go on a similar expedition. All six coaches will meet up in Cologne where the Pirate Summit takes place this year.
Since the StartupBus project crossed the Atlantic from the United States to Europe in 2010, a Belgian bus has been lacking. Belgians were asked to join the Benelux bus in 2013 but this time it’s for real: we are setting up a bus starting the road trip in Brussels and finishing in Cologne at Pirate Summit 2015. Since its conception in 2010, StartupBus has grown into a yearly competition in North America, Europe, the Pacific and through its African spin-off: Ampion Venture Bus. Known under different names but all acting according to the common slogan: Empowering the people who can disrupt the status quo.
StartupBus defines itself as an entrepreneurial bootcamp. 20 – aspiring – entrepreneurs, be they app developers (50%), designers (25%) or business people (25%), are put on a coach. They are asked to pitch an idea, form teams and build a startup in the 72 hours they spend on the bus. Upon arrival, each startup will be judged on their product, pitch and traction.
Stops along the road are foreseen at co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators such as Co.Station and Corda INCubator to name but the Belgian few. The Belgian bus will also stop in Amsterdam and Hamburg, two big economic hotspots in Europe. The buspreneurs will receive support and feedback along the way so as to make the most of their 72 hour stay. On top of the mentoring, the Belgian deputy prime minister and minister of Digital Agenda, Alexander De Croo will see them both in Brussels and in Hasselt for the last stage to Cologne where the Pirate Summit takes place this year.
All teams will pitch their startup and the winner and runners-up of StartupBus Europe 2015 will participate in the Walk The Plank startup competition of Pirate Summit 2015. Pirate Summit is the perfect occasion to meet potential investors and present the newborn startup to an existing network, already interested in the matter.
The journey will not be smooth as electricity, wi-fi and sleep will be scarce. But this is a bootcamp, preparing the buspreneurs for an entrepreneurial career in the real world. After all, StartupBus is not about building startups but about building people.
Our fans and supporters who are making this possible are:
Co.Station BXL: The Brussels incubator and accelerator for young entrepreneurs supported by SocialCom and BNP Paribas Fortis. Whether you are looking for funding leads, marketing flair, a commercial boost or entrepreneurial mentorship, Co.Station BXL hands you the tools for your own success.
Corda INCubator: The place to be for technology and services startups. Co-working space and incubator in one, located in Hasselt.
iMinds: iMinds – Flanders’ digital research and incubation center – combines the strength of its 900+ researchers at five Flemish universities to conduct strategic and applied research in areas such as ICT, Media and Health. Together with its research partners (companies, governments and non-profit organizations), iMinds translates digital know-how into concrete products and services. In addition, iMinds supports researchers, young entrepreneurs and start-ups in the successful market introduction of their ideas.
LRM: An investment company, cultivating and stimulating economic growth in Limburg. LRM addresses itself to all lines of businesses and companies, from startups to SMEs to large ventures.
Mobile Vikings: The prepaid mobile provider leading the mobile revolution.
Start it @KBC: A unique partnership for early stage startups, built around an engaged community and a large network of people who deliver inspiration and guidance. Oh, and it’s fun as well!
Startup Bus Belgium 2015