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Elias Bizannes, founder of StartupBus, answers our questions about the creation of StartupBus, its mission and evolution.
Elias Bizannes is an Australian entrepreneur based in San Francisco and founder of StartupBus. During the StartupBus: Accelerator held on Saturday, November 8th in New York, we approached Elias to get to know the history and mission of StartupBus.
BBVAOT: Where did the idea of StartupBus come from?
EB: The serious reason is that I wanted to build Australia’s technology community and I thought that by bringing in strangers over to America, I could make smart Americans; but I said, "why don’t we do a roadtrip?" It could be a good way for people to build a community because they will spend time together. So that was the original genesis of the idea.
BBVAOT: How has it evolved during the 5 years that StartupBus has been running?
EB: When I had that idea it was July 2009 and for 6 months I was worried with the motion sickness; so I wasn’t gonna do it. But then, I ended up doing it. The first startupBus, with 25 people, and, since then, we have run 54 buses and close to 11.400 people on four corners.
BBVAOT: And, finally, how was this years’ experience in New York?
EB: Well, this event is Accelerate (not StartupBus); so Accelerate is something we came up with a few years ago trying to come out with a different kind of event that complemented our annual competition; because have been running StartupBus as a competition once a year, we wanted a way where we could make an event multiple times during the year and also was complementary. One of the community leaders of StartupBus came up with Accelerate and it’s now been running 4 years in New York. Actually, a lot of the people that go into the Startup competition come from Accelerate. It’s its own event itself and that’s the whole point of it.
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