New Orleans Wants A StartupBus Ticket: Here’s Why

This is a guest post submitted by Peter Bodenheimer. Peter is a co-founder of the local TechStars Network accelerator Launch Pad Ignition and one of those guys that hates the world “entrepreneur.” You can read more about him and his style on All About Peter.

Last week New Orleans joined the group of 37 cities (and counting) vying to be part of this year’s version of The StartupBus. The StartupBus, now in its 3rd year, pulls together a group of geeks with various talents and asks them to put together a company under the constraints of time and resources associated with a bus ride to Austin, Texas for SXSW.

A StartupBus in Amsterdam. Photo by flickr user Juliant.

I had the pleasure of attending both the semi-final pitch session and the finals last year, and it was without a doubt the highlight of my time in Austin last March. The ideas that each team came up with were all over the map, but they also were all legit.

Members of a StartupBus team get settled in for a long ride. Photo by Flickr user marimaya.

The people on the buses embraced the power that came from the constraints placed around them and it allowed them to focus on what can be done, rather than what is possible. This is an insanely valuable lesson and often the kind of thing you can only learn from experience. You never know what you are capable of until you have too little of the things you often take for granted (time, resources, a place to work quietly, etc…) and are forced to execute anyway.

Last year the buses represented communities from New York, Cleveland, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. Each bus had their top two teams pitch in the semis and then the top contender went on to the finals where they pitched and demoed what they had done in under 10 days. Last year’s Miami bus included Baton Rouge based entrepreneur Jared Loftus while the Silicon Valley bus had the dynamic duo of Ken and Keith Hanson from Shreveport’s Twin Engine Labs.

This year we are going to do our best to make sure that New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport doers don’t have to join someone else’s bus, but rather can show the rest of the world what we already know about the talent here.

On Thursday of last week we requested that the StartupBus organizers add New Orleans to their list of cities to “unlock” and in less than 3 days over a holiday weekend we have moved into 4th place with 243 shares (votes).

While being up top doesn’t guarantee our inclusion, I can’t help but think we’ve already made our presence felt, but let’s continue to show the organizers of this awesome idea how passionate we are about the entrepreneurial (and yes I wish I could figure out a different word to use here) community we are building in Louisiana by striving to be the most shared city for this year’s StartupBus.

To share, go here: or tweet: “Help New Orleans qualify for the StartupBus 2012 competition | StartupBus via @thestartupbus”

Want to actually be on one of the buses this year? Get over to and make it happen.