2 - 7 September 2016
Destination: Pirate Summit
StartupBus Europe 2016
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A once-in-a-lifetime road trip

"Entrepreneurship can’t be taught but we think it can be learned."

Your mission

Conceive, build and launch a new startup in 72 hours with a team of strangers while crossing the continent on a bus driving 80 km/h.
After those 72 hours you will have to demo your product in the semi-finals at the amazing Corda INCubator in Hasselt (Belgium) and in the finals at the invite-only Pirate Summit in Cologne (Germany).

What our alumni say

Bram Van Oost, 2014 alumnus

I miss the intense times, crazy people and idea flood. Hope you're all doing something weird, and to see you soon.

Christoph Richter, 2011 alumnus

StartupBus was for me a really awesome experience as I learned a lot about myself and what can be done in actually no time. Definitely one of the experiences that pushed my entrepreneural thinking a lot forward.

Wendy Geeraert, 2015 alumnus

Thanks to StartupBus I became a true entrepreneur and I'm now ready to pursue my own idea.

Libby Tucker, 2014 alumnus

I am terrified of pitching, especially with lack of sleep and my nerves at their peak. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and stepped up under pressure. This was personally rewarding.

Arnaud Mesureur, 2014 alumnus

My network grew drastically, not only quantity wise but also in quality. I also consider being selected for the finals as a great achievement. And I now feel part of an awesome community. More than ever, I feel like we can change the world.

Richard Loat, 2014 alumnus

It's hard to put into words, but having grown up in Silicon Valley, StartupBus Europe 2014 gave people the excitement needed to emulate what it may be like to work there.

Want to be part of StartupBus?


11h CET: all buses depart!

After departure, each buspreneur will get the mic to pitch the ideas he wants to work on during the bootcamp. Once everyone has pitched their ideas, teams are formed around the most popular ideas on each bus.

Teams start to think about the problem they want to solve and about how they want to solve it.

Once a team settles on a name, they're entered into the StartupBus Game. This game allows people that aren't on a StartupBus to participate in the bootcamp and buy and sell shares of the startups born on the buses.

Teams have to be fast because the bus is crossing the continent and stops in cities where the teams have to pitch their idea.

Day 2 of the StartupBus bootcamp.

We'll see startups having trouble defining their vision and mission, while other startups are moving fast and are doing customer validation during the stops.

Wireframes are being drawn by the UX designers on board and the developers start working on their prototypes.

The last 24 hours of the bootcamp...

Sleep deprivation is kicking in. Some hustlers are getting tired of their own pitch while others keep on iterating to find something that sticks. They desperately want to achieve what happened on the 2015 New York bus: finding a seed investor and having to go into stealth mode.

Developers and designers are working non-stop on getting their prototypes to work on their mobile phones or in the cloud.

At 11h CET it's the end of the 72 hours: demo time for all startups born on the participating buses, at Corda INCubator in Hasselt.

All day long every startup gets 3 minutes the opportunity to demo their product and show what traction they have achieved. What startups actually closed some sales?

Corda INCubator in Hasselt, Belgium

The jury selects the 10 best demos and buspreneurs can network on the Corda Campus in Hasselt. In the evening all buses drive to Cologne and the buspreneurs help the 10 best startups with improving their demos.

Day 1 of Pirate Summit, Europe's craziest startup conference. 1200 carefully selected attendees, of which 200 investors, and among them 120 buspreneurs.

In the morning 10 startups of StartupBus get the chance to pitch their startup on stage.

When the night comes it's time to see the burning man. Party time!

Day 2 of Pirate Summit.

Time to say goodbye to your new BFF's! Even though it's a goodbye, the buspreneurs now become part of a global network of thousands of StartupBus alumni that have gone on to change the world.

What is StartupBus?

Entrepreneurial ecosystem

StartupBus is building a global entrepreneurial ecosystem through unique experiences and inspirational connections, where each year and all over the world, change-makers get the chance to prove their entrepreneurship skills.

Initiation rite

Not just an event, the annual competition also acts as a feeder and initiation rite for those joining the StartupBus community.


StartupBus produces the most intense startup bootcamp in the world, where top talent learns as ‘buspreneurs’ how to build the next generation of technology companies over the course of a 72 hour bus ride.


Each bus has about 25 carefully selected strangers of software developers, designers and hustlers! They have to work together like a boss.

Coding & development

We find it important to be able to demo your prototype by the end of the 72 hour road trip.

Build it & then sell it

StartupBus is not only about building a great product, it's also about being able to sell it to your customers. Ready to pitch?
StartupBus Belgium 2015
Featured on Belgian national tv

Our Buses

We currently have seven buses lined up. Apply now and select the bus you're interested in.

Want to depart from another country?

Unlock your country!


StartupBus Europe 2016 is a team effort. Each bus has a Conductor and a team of Producers. All Conductors are directed by our Directors.
Let's roll!

Steven Beeckman
Calling all buses!

Optibus Prime
Fuck it, let's ship it

Passionate to the last pixel

Keit Kollo

Global scoreboard



Startup ecosystems connected


StartupBus wouldn't be possible without its partners.
Pirate Summit logo
Destination partner

Destination partner
Corda INCubator
Semi finals partner

Semi finals partner
  • I came up with my idea for using audio tags to precisely target relevant advertising aboard the StartupBus. Now, I have a public-private partnership, I've signed Jay-Z's Roc Nation and I'm nominated for an award at SXSW Interactive.
    Rodney Williams
    Lisnr, Founder
  • As a veteran of the tech industry, I can say that StartupBus epitomises the solidarity community that members of our burgeoning industry should be striving for. From the top down, StartupBus is a great community to be a part of, and I consider myself privileged to have been part of the story since Day One"
    Simon Anquetil
    apphappening, CTO
  • Thanks to StartupBus I became a true entrepreneur and I'm now ready to pursue my own idea.
    Wendy Geeraert
    guide2property, Founder


Our participation fee starts at 319 EUR/300 GBP for early birds. As time goes by we raise the fee. Have a look at the bus pages to find out the exact pricing.

The participation fee includes the bus ride from the bus' departure city to Pirate Summit, the coaching on-board as during the stops as well as your Pirate Summit conference ticket.

The participation fee does not include the accommodation as this needs to be paid at the hotel.

We also have corporate tickets available for companies that want to make their employees more entrepreneurial. Please reach out to directors@startupbus.com for more information about this.

About StartupBus Europe

StartupBus Europe 2016 is one of three annual competitions of StartupBus. The first European StartupBus drove from Amsterdam to LeWeb back in 2011.

Want to partner with us?

Email: directors@startupbus.com

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