StartupBus’ Hackathon-On-Wheels Hits the Road to SXSW [TCTV]

StartupBus, a multi-city Wi-Fi-enabled roadtrip to the South by Southwest Interactive conference with the goal of developing and launching startups by the time the travelers arrive in Austin, fired up the engines on its biggest year ever this week.

Yesterday, busloads of hacker-entrepreneurs departed from 11 regions — San Francisco/Silicon Valley (where the StartupBus began in 2010), Boston, Cincinnati, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisiana, Mexico, New York, Stanford University, and Washington D.C. — to brainstorm and code their way down to SxSWi. The whole thing culminates on Saturday March 10th, when all the startups (or to be more precise, the functional prototype web services) hatched on the various trips will show off their demos in Austin to a panel of potential investors.

TechCrunch TV’s John Murillo is along for the ride all the way from San Francisco to Austin, and he put together an awesome video wrap-up of Day One that’s embedded above. Reasons you should absolutely watch include:

  • The “buspreneurs” pitching ideas to each other and then sorting out who they want as teammates, high school gym class style
  • A leg-stretching expedition at the Santa Monica Pier, where buspreneurs talked to potential customers (aka, regular people) about their fledgling apps
  • And naturally, a cameo by early-stage startup hound Robert Scoble, who boarded the bus for the SF-LA leg

In all, it looks like StartupBus 2012 is off to a solid start. We’ll be following the trip’s daily progress here on TechCrunch TV over the next couple of days; to get more real-time updates on what the buspreneurs are up to and where each bus is on the map, you can check out StartupBus’ own blog here.