Over the past couple of years at South By Southwest there have been two big staples for startup rockstars, two communities everyone wanted to at least rub elbows with. They were, the Startup Bus community and Vegas Tech. Neither could be found at South By Southwest 2015.
While the verdict is still out on what’s happening with Vegas Tech, the Startup Bus is alive and kicking, and actually just turned five years old.
With that five year anniversary Elias Bizannes, who started the Startup Bus “due to a joke, over a beer” says it’s time to continue to grow the Startup Bus, and that means moving it away from South By Southwest.
“Elias, myself and the North American Directors recommended to the North America community council that it was time to move the North American competition away from Austin and the SxSW conference – for many of reasons – chief among them was the timing and the disconnect between the value and the cost for everyone involved.” Global Director of Startup Bus, Mitch Neff said in a February Blog Post.
While the Startup Bus folks were busy making the decision to move away from South By Southwest something equally as pivotal was happening in Nashville Tennessee.
Three years ago launch Tennessee, a public private partnership designed to support all of Tennessee’s thriving startup communities, started a conference called Southland. That conference was a bad ass mashup of music, whiskey and startups. They had a great program and turn out in year one but in year two decided to merge the event with Pando Daily, founded by a fellow Tennessean, Sarah Lacy. So it was, last years conference was even bigger, attracted former Vice President Al Gore and many more.
After that though, there was a big fallout which meant that PandoDaily pulled out and now Launch Tennessee was back on their own again (trust me, not a bad thing at all). Now Launch Tennessee is doing a conference called 36/86 June 8-10th and Pando is doing PandoLand in Nashville the following week.
I promise this all comes together…
With that much startup on and popping in Music City USA, and because the Nashville Startup Bus was always cranking on the way down to Austin for SXSW, Elias, Mitch and the crew decided that the North American Startup Bus would head to Nashville to kick off 36/86.
The teams will come on busses from across the country and they will all converge on Nashville Tennessee for the Grand Finale event and to kick off 36/86.
If you would like to participate you can get all the details here.
And now you know where The Startup Bus was during South By Southwest 2015