Bus Tour riders deliver guidance, gain insight in Startup Weekend stop
Members of the Tellmystory team discuss strategy with Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh (left).
The reddit Internet 2012 Bus Tour wrapped up Thursday night in Danville, Ky., but on Sunday the tour was in the midst of its Silicon Prairie swing and made a stop at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. The riders, including journalists, documentary makers and entrepreneurs joined the participants and organizers of Startup Weekend Iowa City for the final pitches.
“We’re huge fans of Startup Weekend," said Martin, who along with reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian organized the Internet 2012 Bus Tour. “We’ve been visiting a lot of startups that have been around for a year or two and are really successful, and we wanted to see what that looks like from the primordial or new phase and see that excitement of people who are just maybe dipping their toes in the water.”
Martin said he felt a personal connection with the team that pitched Ready To Go, an idea that would assist immigrants to the U.S., because his father was an immigrant.
The winning team, Tellmystory, which designed an app to capture and collect stories from individuals, had the opportunity to strategize with Huh. “He gave us an actionable plan and was able to boil it down into a first step,” Tellmystory's Scott Swenson said. “That’s invaluable. He’s done it.”
By the end of the night, Startup Weekend participants and the Bus Tour crew had a chance to connect and Martin called the stop a success.
“You have no idea if you’re going in the right direction or not; you just have to go for it and adapt," he said of the experience of buliding startups. "And we thought that was a really important part of the story we want to tell.”
The Internet 2012 Bus Tour documentary crew records the pitches during Startup Weekend Iowa City.
reddit's Erik Martin (far left) visits with the Shindigger team.
Young attendees of the event sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom.
Credits: Photos by Macy Koch.