I recently found the video above, which features an ABC Action News story that covered the “Welcome” party held for StartupBus Florida participants on the evening before our three-day bus trip across the southeastern U.S.. It’s been two years since that extended long weekend in late July 2019, and while COVID-19 ended any possibility of safely holding then event in 2020 and 2021, I hold out hope for a StartupBus return in 2022.
The 2019 edition was the 10th annual Startup Bus North America competition, which might be describes as “Shark Tank goes on a road trip”. It’s a competition that takes place on a bus ride where contestants (better known as “buspreneurs”) form teams, ideate, and come up with an innovative technology startup, then build a working application — all in the space of three days. While on a bus.
I could go on about what the team and I did, but I’ll let these videos tell the story instead…
Meet Team Hyve!
Pitching Hyve to a stranger
One of our assigned tasks — on top of building a startup and the application that powered it — was to pitch our idea to a stranger in one of the towns where we stopped. We pitched the Hyve concept to the Lyft driver who took us from NC State to our hotel. Here’s how it went…
Practicing our pitch
In addition to building the business and the app on the bus, each team on the bus practiced their pitches at regular intervals by presenting to their fellow buspreneurs. Here’s Tracy Ingram from Team Hyve delivering our pitch as the bus raced towards New Orleans:
The qualifying round
The qualifying rounds took place on Saturday, July 27th at New Orleans’ Propeller Incubator, where all the teams from all the buses — the Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, Florida, Mexico, New York, Ohio, Silicon Valley, and Washington DC teams — made their pitches.
Every member of every team had to be ready to pitch, because in the qualifying round, the judges chose two people from each team to make their pitch, one at a time. They tend to choose the least confident-looking team members, and a couple of them already knew me. We did well, though, with Rina doing the “set ’em up” pitch and Tracy doing the “finish ’em off” one:
We’d have to wait until the next day to find out who made it to the semifinals, but we were among them! Even better, we made it to the finals. We re-worked our pitch for the finals judges with the help of the Florida Bus Conductors — Akira Mitchell, Nick Price, and Shane Needham — and here’s the result:
Once all the finalists made their pitches, the judges sequestered themselves, and shortly afterwards, they made their announcements, which included Hyve!
Just the bit about Hyve
Just because I love that bit about walking the line between good and evil, here’s just the part about Hyve: