How the Startup Bus Helps Entrepreneurs the World Over

Have you ever wanted to start a new business, but you don’t have a partner or that million-dollar idea fleshed out yet? Have you ever wanted to quit your job and become your own boss, but never had the courage? Whether you’re looking to get pushed out of the nest, are in need of a team to build a business on, or just want to start something awesome, hop on the startup bus.


25 Buspreneurs, 3 Days, 5 Startups, 1 Bus

The startup bus divides 25 strangers into 5 teams and asks each team to forms its own business. Teams have two traveling days to come up with the next great idea, flesh out their business plan, and figure out as many logistics as possible.

Logistics are important. At the end of the trip, the teams present their ideas to a global consulting firm, and they can’t just sell them dreams. This firm will pick apart their business plans to determine which ones are the most feasible and well planned. The winning team receives mentoring and potentially funding from an experienced startup investor.

From SXSW to Mumbai

While the description above might conjure images of tech geeks hoping off a bus in Austin to pitch their ideas to a group from Silicon Valley, the Startup bus has operates all around the world. The startup bus has expanding to the Europe, India, and the South Pacific, providing resources and opportunities that the residents wouldn’t otherwise have had.

The four startups that don’t win the mentoring and investing still walk away with comprehensive business plans and consulting advice to continue with their execution. Buspreneurs that don’t move forward with their ideas still leave with strong business connections and the know-ho to create a cohesive business plan. Think of it as an entrepreneur boot camp, or business school in 36 hours.

The Navy SEALs of Entrepreneurship

The Navy SEALs perform special operations to protect the national security of our country. However, they also serve as symbols of America, and stand for loyalty to their team and teammates. It’s no wonder that buspreneurs are liked to the navy SEALs. They complete special operations to a short period of time, by highlighting the specialized talents of everyone involved, forming bonds of unity and training along the way.

Of course, you learn much more on the startup bus than loyalty and teamwork, you also learn about yourself. Will Mitchell of StartupBros listed out what he learned that went deeper than his business planning. For example: you are capable of more than you think, and it’s your doubt’s, rather than your abilities that hold you back. It’s important to surround yourself with people who inspire you both in your personal and professional life. And you create your own luck. These life lessons are things that Mitchell will carry with him long after he leaves the startup bus.

What to Know Before You Go

The excitement of making it big with your grand idea should come with an ounce of reality. Life on the road isn’t glamorous. Many Startup Bus alums recommend bringing motion-sickness tablets whether you’re prone to carsickness or not. Your excitement and moving around your table to brainstorm mixed with the turns and bumps of the bus are a recipe for nausea.

Also, board the bus knowing that there could be breakdowns, failures in the facilities, and even highway truck accidents. The StartupBros experienced this when the Internet and heat for wide lengths of time. They also camped out on the chairs of a Taco Bell one night because the bus was stranded and in need of repairs. Like all travel, there are always potholes waiting on the road to success.

It’s Worth It

We could end this article with something cliché, like how it’s not about the destination, but the journey itself, but that wouldn’t do the Startup Bus justice. Instead let’s end with a call to action for entrepreneurs who want to help their community, or the global community, to function better and more efficiently.

The more times the startup bus leaves the station, the more great ideas can help the world.

F.A.Q Какви награди ќе се доделуваат на SW Скопје?

Денес ви го претставуваме вториот дел од серијата од одговори на најважните за вас прашања сврзани со SW Скопје.

Дали има награди и победници?

Според правилата на SW, ќе има тројца победници кои ќе бидат изгласани од жири комисијата, плус награда за најдобра идеја според публиката. Ќе има награди од спонзори и од претставниците на жири комисијата. Листата со награди ќе биде објавена неколку недели пред настанот.

Дали победниците добиваат учество на некој поголем настан?

Да, постои и таква можност, едната од која е учество на StartUP Conference во Софија, а другата е учество на SW Софија, но освен тоа во моментот организаторите на SW Скопје разгледуваат опции и за други настани каде победниците од SW Скопје ќе може да учестуваат.

Дали може да ја контактирам мрежата откако ќе заврши настанот?

Се разбира дека може. Нашите партнери и пријатели ќе бидат отворени за соработка во било кое време. Доколку не успеете да ги добиете лично, можете да се обратите кон некој од организаторите на настанот кој ќе ве поврзаат со конкретната личност во најбрз можен рок.

Каде можам да ги најдам нивните контакти?

Нивните конктати можете да ги најдете на веб страницата на SW Скопје. Доколку ви требаат повеќе информации за нив, како што веќе кажавме можете да се обратите кон некој од организаторите на настанот кој ќе ве поврзаат со конкретната личност во најбрз можен рок.

Eyewear Designer Sue Randhawa Explains The Business Of Mixing Science And Fashion

This article was originally published on Moda & Estilo – Global Lifestyle & Emerging Fashion Magazine. Images by Marshall Heritage

Sue Randhawa is the owner and one of the main creative forces of The Optical Boutique, Vancouver’s foremost luxury eyewear destination. An all-around powerful woman, Sue shamelessly wears herself on her sleeves. She is bold, brave, and unafraid to make a strong fashion statement. We talked to Sue about her origins and inspirations in the eyewear business, the fashion seen in Vancouver, and the importance of expressing yourself through style without worrying about what others think.

Startup Weekend, UP Global


Moda & Estilo: Tell us a bit about how you became an optician? Why did you get into eyewear?

Sue Randhawa: I have been an optician for 25 years, starting out when I was in my early twenties. I got into this field initially because science was at the heart of it. I was wanting to get into a health based profession where I could be part of a solution to someone’s problems. I know that it sounds very cliché, but I wanted to help people.

M&E: Are you from Vancouver originally? Where did you grow up? Tell me a bit about your personal history.

SR: I was born in India and came to Canada at a very young age, my family settled on the East side of Vancouver. I remember as a young child being in the hub of a cultural melting pot, I was intrigued by everything going on around me at the time: the Habitat Movement of 1976, the BeeGees, bell bottoms, and platforms. I was only about 10 so I wasn’t quite old enough to be part of anything, but the fashion captivated me.

Startup Weekend, UP Global


M&E: How important is style to you?

SR: Style continues to be important to me because it’s an extension of who I am. I’m very fortunate because I’ve been able to incorporate my two passions, science and fashion, into what I do every day.

M&E: How would you describe your personal style?

SR: My personal style would be described as bold or strong by some people. I have a very definitive way of dressing, I can go from one extreme to another. I don’t follow any set trends, I tend to wear what makes me feel good. I like to express who I am through my clothes.

Startup Weekend, UP Global


M&E: Your style is very bold. Why is that more interesting to you than something more subdued?

SR: Why do I tend to be more bold than subdued? I think that comes from wanting to express my strength. I want people, women in particular, to know that they too can be strong enough and brave enough to wear whatever they like. They don’t need to follow any fashion rules. It’s about learning to express who you are at your core, you can be soft spoken or loud, shy or assertive. You don’t need to fit any fashion mold. Be strong enough to create your own mold. Use fashion as a way to express your mood, your taste, and your creativity. Just because you get to a certain age doesn’t mean it’s time for you to start fading away!

M&E: You have a very interesting way of mixing traditional Indian clothing with Western designers? What compels you to do that? Is it important to represent your heritage?

SR: Fashion has no rules for me. It’s as simple as that. I mix polka dots with stripes with squares with flowers. I mix up Indian jewelry with Western pieces all the time. I’m not afraid of the Fashion Police coming after me. People get very hung up on what other people think. I say, “Don’t over think fashion.” Just do what pleases you. I’m Indian and very proud of my heritage. I hope I represent that every day, but I don’t make a conscious decision to incorporate it into my look for the day.

Startup Weekend, UP Global


M&E: What’s the key to finding eyewear that’s fits an individual?

SR: It’s not so simple. When somebody comes in to see me I like to make my recommendations based on their features. I look at their skin tone, bone structure and face shape. I ask questions about their lifestyle. I want to know a little bit about their personal sense of style. I listen to their wants and needs. The chosen frames have to work with all of this and most importantly the Rx and of course the budget.

M&E: You’re always wearing glasses of some sort. What does eyewear add to a person’s overall style? Aside from functional benefits, what does it add stylistically?

SR: The right pair of eyeglasses can change your look so dramatically. Never before have eyeglasses been as popular as they are now. I’m having a lot of fun right now doing what I’m doing because people are realizing the impact and power of having the right pair. This is where the fashion component comes into it. I have women coming in to see me that are wanting to change their look stylistically. They know that glasses are the first thing that anybody is going to see or notice on them. They know that it makes sense to have more than one pair of glasses now. This is where I often give my clients fashion advice ranging from a recommendation on a haircut to putting an outfit together.

Startup Weekend, UP Global


M&E: Do you see Vancouver as a stylish place? What sets it apart from the rest of the world?

SR: I would say that Vancouver as a city is too laid back to be stylish. Our climate and location puts us in a position where most of us would rather hit the mountains to ski or the ocean to sail. Saying that though, I see the fashion front changing and Vancouver developing as a place where fashion is definitely setting a tone. The development of eco friendly designers in the city is amazing. We’re seeing great talent coming from the fashion schools.

M&E: What are your favorite haunts in the city?

SR: My store is in Kerrisdale and I love that area because it’s old and quaint. It dates back over 100 years and for Vancouver that’s historical! I also love Gastown for its great restaurants like L’Abattoirand Chambar. Reflections rooftop patio at the Hotel Georgia is another great place.

Startup Weekend, UP Global


M&E: Who are some of your favorite designers internationally and locally?

SR: My favorite international designers would be I think Dries van NotenComme des Garçons. I like Céline and Marni as well. Locally in Vancouver, I would say that the genius of Evan Clayton is pretty amazing. Evan Ducharme is another favorite.

M&E: What’s your favorite part about attending fashion shows?

SR: My favorite part about attending the fashion shows in Vancouver is that I love to show my support for the young emerging designers like Evan [Clayton] and Evan [Ducharme]. Connally McDougall is another amazingly talented designer that I met at VFW in March. The caliber of designers that showcased their designs this year set the bar very high. I draw inspiration from speaking to them and finding out about their goals and ambitions, and I want to see them succeed.

UP Global, Startup Weekend


Sue Randhawa can be found at; on Facebook; on Instagram at @theopticalboutique; and on Twitter at@opticalboutique.

Which startups and helpers are missing from the Bergen Startup Genome map?

Bergen Startup Genome

If you’re part of the growing Bergen startup scene and not yet registred at Startup Genome – sign up at Startup Genome 🙂

Check out our local Startup Genome
> > > Bergen Startup Genome < < <
If you find a friend missing – send her/him a friendly tip 🙂

 Startup Genome – on a mission to help you better understand your local startup community.

Bergen Startup Genome

Како да го најдете соодветниот ко-основач за вашиот стартап

Во наредните неколку недели, освен тоа што ќе одговараме на вашите прашања, исто така ќе ви дадеме неколку совети за тоа како да се подготвите и да се покажете во најдобро светло, пред ивеститорите на претстојниот Startup Weekend Skopje.

Денес ќе зборуваме за тоа како најлесно и брзо да најдете ко-основач за вашиот стартап, посебно ако не сте програмер или ИТ инжинер, а за да ја реализирате вашата идеја ви треба токму таков тип на партнер.

Прво најбрзо и најлесно програмерите можете да ги најдете во нивните природни средини. На пример на hackathon настани, стартап викенди или во училишта за стартапи, како на пример Овој тип на настани не само што ви даваат можност да се сретнете со луѓе со кои во иднина ќе можете да работите, но и имате можност да изградите мрежа која ќе ви биде извор за препораки за потенцијали ко-основачи во иднина.

Второ, вклучете се кон Facebook групи за стартапи. Можеби токму таму ќе имате среќа да го најдете соодветниот ко-основач за вашиот бизнис.

Трето, бидете различни. Повеќето успешни стартапи се основаат од луѓе кои имаат различно работно искуство и имаат чудни интереси.

И за крај, искуствата кои ќе ги добиете преку волонтерски работи или работи на проекти во определен временски период, можат да предонесат кон пронаоѓање на прекрасни идеи кои понатаму ќе можете да ги реализирате.

Затоа земете ја вашата early-bird влезница и резервирајте го вашето место на овогодишниот Startup Weekend Skopje.

F.A.Q – Зошто не треба да бидете загрижени од тоа дека вашата идеја ќе биде украдена?

Поради големиот број на прашања поврзани со настанот, во наредните неколку денови, ќе се потрудиме да ги одговориме сите.

Денес накратно ќе ви објасниме зошто не треба да бидете загрижени за тоа дека некој може да ви ја украде идејата, и зошто треба да бидете гласни и да ги споделувате вашите идеи.

“A vision without execution is an hallucination.” – Jeffrey E. Garten, The Mind Of The CEO

Погорната реченица им е многу добро позната луѓето во бизнисот, па така потенцијалните инвеститори, бизнис ангели, акцелератори при процесот на одлука каде да ги инвестираат своите пари, начесто се водат по формулата 10% ИДЕЈА, 40% ТИМ, 50% РЕАЛИЗАЦИЈА.

Погорната формула кажува за вредноста на суровата идеја. Многу е побитен тимот позади идејата, како и начинот на кој што идејата е реализирана.

Ако гледаме со претприемачки очи на работите, среќна околност е доколку некој ја ископира вашата идеја, тогаш знаете дека сте на правиот пат, но и чекор понапред од конкуренцијата.

Сепак на крај одлучува тимот и начинот на реазлиација, затоа ве охрабруваме да се пријавите на Стартап Викенд, да ги споделите вашите идеи, да го создадете вашиот тим, и успешно да ја реализирате вашата идеја. Секако не заборавајте дека вредноста на Стартп Викенд е поголема, а тоа вклучува вмрежување и нови контакти, валидација на вашата визија, презентација пред локални и странски инвеститори, бизнис ангели и акцелератори, локална и глобална препознатливост, како и многу забава.

Не чекајте до последен момент, early-bird влезниците се ограничени, затоа побрзајте и резервирајте го вашето место

Startup Weekend Skopje ги кани тинејџерите со интересни идеи да се приклучат кон листата на идни македонски успешни стартапи

Не е лесно да живееш во светот на возрасните, каде треба да чекаш долго време некој да те праша за мислење или коментар. За жал тоа е животот на тинејџерите во денешно време. Многу од нив, чекаат да завршат основно и средно образование, да отидат во друг град или држава и да започнат да се развиваат како експерти во дадена област.

Но дали тоа може да се промени? Дали можеме да ги охрабриме младите да започнат да размислуваат со претприемачки дух?

Се разбира дека може! Веќе сте виделе или чуле за многу млади луѓе кои сеуште се ученици, а веќе имаат успешни идеи и бизниси.

Дру Скот и Ник Далоисио се само два примери, како едно обично хоби може да се преврне во успешен бизнис.

Дру Скот го претворил своето хоби во успешен бизнис со милионски профит, реставрирајќи стари албуми со цел тие да бидат чувани за идни генерации.

Од друга страна пак Ник Далоисио, од Лондон, ја направил својата прва апликација кога бил само 15 години. Тој денес има успешен мултимилионски бизнис.

Затоа без разлика дали сте 15годишен и сеуште учите основно училиште, Startup Weekend е местото каде ќе можете да се сретнете со ментори, инвеститори и претприемачи кои ќе ви помогнат да ја реализирате ваша идеја и да направите успешен бизнис.

Купете го вашиот early bird билет сега. Местата се ограничени!

How One Startup Founder is Making the First Year Easier for New Moms


Women 2.0 talks to Rachel Blumenthal, mother of one and founder and CEO of e-commerce platform Cricket’s Circle, about management, motherhood and marriage.

Article By Tanwi Nandini 

Women seeking each other’s advice, support and community seems more important than ever after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling. That’s exactly what Cricket’s Circle, an e-commerce platform for new and expecting mothers, aims to do: Help women connect and discover tried and true products. With the daunting array of blogs, classic parenting guides and millions of pieces of advice from family and friends, it can feel impossible to know how to prepare and what to buy.

RACHEL_BLUMENTHAL“When I was pregnant with my son, Griffin, what I craved more than anything was one master list,” says Cricket Circle Founder and CEO, Rachel Blumenthal. “Instead, I received dozens of spreadsheets and brain-dump emails passed from experienced moms to newbies like me.”

When one of Rachel’s close friends gave her that streamlined, to-the-point list, she became her “Cricket.”

Blumenthal realized she wanted to help new mothers navigate the plethora of baby goods in the market. Her entrepreneurial edge started with fine-tuned curation in the fashion industry, as part of the inimitable Yves Saint Laurent’s publicity team. She went on to start a highly successful jewelry line, Rachel Leigh, which she exited two years ago.

We caught up with Rachel to learn more about how motherhood propelled her toward this new phase in her career and how she gives and gets support from her husband, Neil Blumenthal, a co-founder of Warby Parker.

Women 2.0: Cricket’s Circle seems like a perfect marriage between social and e-commerce. How is this particularly effective in the niche of motherhood and childrearing?

Rachel Blumenthal: With Cricket’s Circle, we’re bringing something entirely new to the market.

Parenting websites and blogs are a fantastic resource for parents to learn about all sorts of things, including news, trends, broader parenting topics, medical advice and more. We’re different, in that we focus on simplified and streamlined product recommendations for expectant and new parents.

During a time in your life that can be completely overwhelming, we want to provide trusted and honest recommendations with the added support and advice from friends. This is why we incorporated social aspects and built tools for our community to weigh in with their firsthand experience with various products.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 10.37.57 AM

The public discourse around women balancing career and family has largely said that women must sacrifice one for the other, but it is very difficult to have both. What have you sacrificed, and what have you gained in starting Cricket’s Circle?

RB: It’s certainly true that trying to balance career and family can be a daunting challenge, but I believe it can be done. What comes first in my life is family, then career, so I would say what I’ve sacrificed is time for myself.

I try to carve out a few hours a week just for working out or a manicure but it’s tough – I certainly can’t remember the last time I leisurely popped into a few stores. You have to set boundaries and priorities – definitely easier said than done, but I try to live by that motto as best as I possibly can.

Every day is different and you’re going to have to be flexible to that.What I’ve gained though, far outweighs that small sacrifice. I love what I do and believe I’m solving a problem that new moms encounter everyday.

Your husband Neil is also a startup entrepreneur – how do you two support each other’s work?

RB: We’ve known each other since college and have always supported each other’s work and passions since we met. This is my second entrepreneurial venture – I formerly built and ran the jewelry brand Rachel Leigh. Neil very much encouraged me to take that first risk when I was 23 and I’m forever appreciative.


Neil has certainly taught me the virtue of patience. He’s probably the most patient person I know. I wouldn’t be the parent or CEO I am without him.

Specifically, when it comes to business, Neil and one of his Warby Parker co-founders, Dave Gilboa, gave me a valuable piece of advice when I was starting Cricket’s Circle: There is nothing more powerful or memorable than an authentic story. Not knowing or understanding what to buy for [our] baby when I was pregnant was a true, personal frustration that many of our friends have experienced.

I hope that I’ve had an impact on Warby Parker – I’ve certainly shared plenty of unsolicited (and solicited) ideas and feedback! When Warby first launched, the early team worked out of my office at Rachel Leigh. They’re now graciously doing the same for my Cricket’s Circle.

Your support of Healthy Child, Healthy World and HELP USA, reveal your commitment to social justice. Do you think it is a responsibility for tech entrepreneurs to advance social causes?

RB: I think it’s important for all entrepreneurs, not just those in the tech industry, to explore opportunities where their expertise and/or business can make an impact, help those in need or solve a problem. Even if its a small amount of time or resources that they can dedicate.

I’m just a small part of Healthy Child, Healthy World, HELP USA and Baby Buggy, but the more that each and every one of us can do for these organizations and others, the more we can bring attention to issues affecting our society.

What’s your curation process like? Do you focus on your personal experience or product reviews by other mothers? Or well-crafted luxury products?

RB: We have curated what we believe are the best products based on our experiences, those of our friends and numerous focus groups with other moms. They may not always be the newest products to market, but rather what we believe are tried, true, and simply the best available.

We only recommend products we personally have used and feel passionate about. The products we recommend are practical, durable, versatile and well designed. No brands have paid or incentivized us to recommend their products.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 10.42.47 AM

Any favorite products you want to suggest to mothers or friends of mothers in search of a great gift?

RB: These recommendations as my top three usually stay consistent. Again, I believe it doesn’t have to necessarily be the newest on the market to be the best. These are lifesavers that no new mom should be without.

  • Fisher Price Little Lamb Swing: I couldn’t have survived the first six months without it. My living room could have done without the eyesore but it was well worth it. I cried when my son, Griffin, grew out of it.
  • Magnificent Baby onesies:  These are covered magnets instead of a zillion annoying snaps and are simply magical and life-changing when you’re in the unpleasant throes of changing a dirty diaper at 3 a.m.
  • Baby Jogger Vue stroller : The least expensive, most versatile infant to toddler stroller on the market. Brilliant.

Want to keep tabs on what Rachel and Cricket’s Circle are up to? Follow Rachel and CricketsCircle on Twitter!

Зошто програмерите треба да дојдат на SW Skopje

Минатата недела имавте можност да ги прочитате одговорите на најпоставуваните прашања сврзани со SW. Оваа недела, ќе ви дадеме неколку причини, зошто, програмерите, дизајнерите и бизнис/маркетинг/ПР специјалистите треба да дојдат и да се дружат со нас од 8-10 Мај во просториите на Telekom Innovation Center.

Јас не сум програмер, но за сметка на тоа, познавам многу (мажи и жени програмери) и според мене сите тие имаат еден исти начин на гледање на работите.

Е сега, сите ние знаеме дека програмираат (кодираат). Тој код се користи од мнооогу луѓе и без него, нашите омилени интернет работи (апликации, програми и веб страници) нема да постојат. Па така целиот бизнис сврзан со тие работи, нема да постои и луѓето како мене ќе останат без работа! (ако се чудите јас сум маркетинг експерт).

Е, добро тоа е мојата филозофија на работите.

Програмерите најчесто сметаат дека ако го напишат најдобриот код на светот, тој ќе биде лесен за пронаоѓање од страна на кориснциите, лесен за разбирање и користење.

Тие многу често се наоѓаат во стапица кога започнуваат да мислат дали тој код или производ  (на пример апликација), ќе им биде корисен на корисниците и да се трудат да ги разберат своите потенцијални потрошувачи. Така ако тие не можат да ги разберат корисниците, како тогаш ќе можат да создадат интересен производ за нив.

Токму тука е местото за дизајнерите и другите „не-технички“ лица, кои можат да им помогнат на програмерите. Дизајнерите на пример, ќе го направат производот визуелно поинтересен и забележлив, па така истиот тој нема да биде отфрлен од страна на корисниците уште пред тие да стигнат до кодот. Освен тоа тие ќе можат да создадат и лице на тој производ, да дизајнираат лого, да му дадат соодветни бои и шари кои ќе бидат брендирани само за него и по кои тој производ ќе биде препознатлив.

Од друга страна пак, бизнисмените или маркетинг експертите ќе можат да им кажат која е нивната потенцијална публика, каде треба да се рекламираат, кои се каналите по кои ќе го рекламираат својот производ, што сака нивната публика, кои се нивните потреби и сл.

Така тие со помош на своите вештини ќе им помогнат на програмерите подобро да ги разберат своите корисници и заедно да создадат производ кој ќе биде визуелно интересен, препознатлив и разбирлив за повеќето корисници и се разбира со многу добар код зад себе.

И еве како се прави производ од кој можете лесно да заработите!!

Секоја идеја бара тим кој ќе ја развие таа идеја. Секој тим треба да има разновидност. Секој член на тимот треба да има различни вештини кои ќе му помогнат на производот да биде лесно забележан, интересен, визуелно примамлив и се разбира со многу добар бекенд.

Па ако сте програмер кој има супер код и многу јака идеја, дојдете на SW Скопје и запознајте се со најдобрите дизајнери, маркетинг експерти, претприемачи и бизнисмени кои ќе ви помогнат да ја развиете таа идеја со успешен производ и бизнис.

Регистирајте се сега и купете ја својата карта за Startup  Weekend Skopje ( early bird картите можат да се купат до 1ви Април).

Surprising Starts to Successful Startups (Infographic)

This infographic was originally published by Washington State University Online