Startup Buses from around the U.S. converge in B.R. today

Startup Buses from around the U.S. converge in B.R. today

Seven of the 10 Startup Buses from around the country—including Louisiana's bus—will be rolling into Baton Rouge later today, en route to Austin, where their riders will compete this weekend at the South by Southwest festival.

"We're talking about 150 to 180 entrepreneurs, and that's just off the buses," says Terry Jones, conductor of the Louisiana bus. "We absolutely want the community to come out for this to give them a warm welcome and show them the entrepreneurial spirit we have here in Baton Rouge."

A reception for the entrepreneurs will be held at the Varsity Theatre, 3353 Highland Road, beginning around 7 p.m. The event is free.

The Startup Bus competition is essentially an elaborate pitch contest pitting small teams of the nation's most promising entrepreneurs against one another to see who can come up with the best business idea over a three-day road trip to Austin. The teams must create real websites for their hypothetical business and try to generate a buzz for the associated ideas among the South by Southwest crowd.

The Louisiana Startup Bus has roughly 30 riders, half of whom are from Baton Rouge. They spent Tuesday traveling to Shreveport, where they met with entrepreneurs at the CoHabitat co-working space, and then rolled into New Orleans for the evening.

All the while, they were brewing up business ideas.

"Basically, the first half of the day is spent just pitching ideas and discussing them," Jones says. "We got some very interesting ideas, and they've selected their teams now and have started working through the process."

The Louisiana Startup Bus will leave Baton Rouge Thursday morning for San Antonio, and is slated to reach Austin by lunch on Friday. You can track the progress of all the Startup Buses as they make their way to Baton Rouge and get updates on what's happening on the Louisiana bus at the Startup Bus website here.

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