It’s a concept that’s been brought up on and off for months now: What if a bus existed to help shuttle entrepreneurs from across the state to different events?
Then during his I/OWA conference talk Iowa Startup Accelerator organizer Eric Engelmann mentioned something about a startup bus, and just like that there was an Iowa Startup Bus Twitter account.
Now the wheels are turning to make an inaugural cross-state bus trip a reality with ISA’s Launch Day as a final destination.
“The whole idea of the Iowa Startup Bus is to connect communities not just around Iowa, but all over the region and the the entire U.S.,” ISA managing director David Tominsky told SPN. “The real purpose of the bus is to remove the typical barriers that exist with transportation. Trips like the Iowa Startup Bus trips from Des Moines and Cedar Falls are free. They will foster community while connecting communities.”
Two 55-seat buses, sponsored by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, will depart Des Moines and Cedar Falls on Thursday, Nov. 6 to bring supporters from across the state to Launch Day. Both buses also will serve as Technology Association of Iowa Tech Brews with pre-event libations available to riders.
“I think it’s clear the whole state needs to support Launch Day, and at the Technology Association of Iowa we focus on collaboration so we’re excited to put Tech Brew on wheels with the destination being Launch Day,” TAI president Brian Waller told SPN.
While the inaugural two trips will be on rented buses, organizers say that the Launch Day bus ride will serve as an experiment to gauge interest in purchasing a more permanent Iowa startup bus.
“If you had a free bus ticket to a amazing startup event in another community, would you get on that bus?” Tominsky said. “If we can fill 55 seats in Des Moines and 55 seats in Cedar Falls, we will have proven that multiple communities in Iowa see value in connecting communities.”
Want to hop abroad the Iowa Startup Bus? Register for your free seat and don’t forget to sign up for the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s Launch Day.
Des Moines & Grinnell Bus
The Des Moines bus will depart from Gravitate, 206 6th Ave. in downtown Des Moines, at 2:30 p.m. and will stop at Grinnell College (estimated time of arrival about 3:30 p.m.) on the way to Cedar Rapids for the Launch Day. The bus will return to Des Moines at the end of the night.
Cedar Falls Bus
The Cedar Falls bus will depart from the University of Northern Iowa, 8120 Jennings Drive (by the Business and Community Services Building), at 3:45 p.m. on the way to Cedar Rapids for the Launch Day. The bus will return to Cedar Falls at the end of the night.