Why StartupBus matters for the French tech community

Why StartupBus matters for the French tech community


Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Stuttgart, Munich and Vienna. Around 35 French entrepreneurs, designers and developers will attend the 2014 StartupBus Europe  hackathon, a 72 hours stress-test on the road to launch a startup.

Almost every French entrepreneurs working in the Internet industry know each other. They meet at a number of Tech event like Le Web or RudeBaguette’s Paris Founder Event. They also share the same VCs at their startup board. This is good for everyone and the community. But what about tech talents who are not already entrepreneurs and want to launch a startup? How do they meet each other? How will they find their cofounders and CTOs? Of course their are a lot of great events for them, but they can’t professionally challenge their future cofounders or employees in a 4 hours event. In a 72 hours stress-test, they can.

Here comes StartupBus : a 3 days european hackathon on the road for entrepreneurs, designers and developers; “When I boarded the StartupBus last year, I had just left my job and I was thinking about my next move. I had founded a few ventures in the past but had little clue about what was really going on in the Silicon Valley except from the obvious names like facebook, instagram, … I knew I was missing something so I wanted to learn about the Startup Culture” says Yannick Modah Gouez, father of two and a 2013 StartupBus France participant who decided to come back this year for the road trip. Why is he attending again? “I had a concept for a new product in my mind for a few months now, I didn’t take the time to work on it yet and I feel like the bus is the best place to build it and experiment it”

Thibaud, 32 and father of one, is a buyer for an international american company in France. He went to the StartupBus last year. The project that it launched at this time didn’t go further but he became deeply passionate about entrepreneurship. He is now the founder of Boxon , a French competitor of one of Rocket Internet last venture, SpaceWays. “StartupBus allowed me to get new methods, new tools and to understand the spirit it takes to a startup today. I have also met some great, dynamic and optimistic people” he says.

Of course StartupBus is also an opportunity for larger companies to find new ideas and talents. That’s certainly why Solocal Group, Blablacar  and the union Syntec Numérique  are sponsoring the event. But it’s also a chance for students to challenge their idea and that’s why this year the EFREI School of engeenering  decided to be a partner.

Gender and professionnal diversity

StartupBus is not a male-only event. And not a French-only event as this year, buses from UK, Germany, Italy, Greece and Estonia will join the startup competition. As a freelance designer, Lisa Durand, 28, a serial-hackathoner came on board last year and explains that “despite the lack of sleep, it was a unique opportunity to meet new people from all around Europe”. Olivia Ollierou, a sales engineers in the building industry, explains that StartupBus helped to develop her creativity: “my perception regarding launching a startup is sharpened and even though our project was not officialy launched on the market, I discovered that I’m still willing to launch a startup in the future” she explains. After all, being an entepreneurs is a right. And a 72 hours stress test is the perfect timing to know if you’re made for it. So, ready?

This article was written by Hugo Sedouramane, journalist at l’Opinion. Hugo was a 2013 StartupBus participant and he is now a mentor / advisor for the event organization.