“ StartupBus is a resource to help future entrepreneurs,” explains StartupBus founder Elias Bizannes , who also believes the six-city effort will help raise the profile of less recognized technology hubs in the United States.
38 teams of the “buspreneurs” departed on six buses from San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, and New York last Tuesday, headed for the South by Southwest conference (SXSW) . Each team, formed mainly from strangers aboard their bus, faced this challenge: conceive of an idea, and take the time from departure to arrival in Austin to build a prototype, create a Web site for it, and get ready to pitch it to an august team of judges. 6 teams were chosen to compete as finalists in front of panel of judges at SXSW.
The 2 winning teams are:
TripMedi ( New York)- an information and recommendation site for medical tourism (New York).Trip Medi plans to highlight where patients can get the help they need, benchmark the price of any procedures against what it would cost in the United States, showcase the physicians who can perform the work, and potentially create a hub for recommendations so that patients can see whether others have been satisfied with a particular doctor’s efforts.
WalkIn ( San Francisco)-a system for real-time reservations. WalkIn designed a system that would allow someone to check in at a restaurant–by scanning a QR code at the host’s desk–and then take off for a stroll. When their name is about to be called, they’d receive an alert to return to the restaurant. The team designed the service to run on HTML5, meaning no app beyond a QR code reader is necessary. “Scan, relax, and return” is the WalkIn tagline.