We know what you are thinking … not another one! It seems that nowadays you can't swing the proverbial cat without hitting a bus that has been converted into a bus-iness incubator or accelerator of some sort.
But since EE recently launched its Cash on Tap mobile phone service to pay for travel on London buses and the announcement of an Aussie bus hack-a-thon, we thought it was only right bus-related news should come in threes.
Ampion Venture Bus
Ampion Venture Bus is a deceptively simple idea: a group of startup-type folk (AKA 'buspreneurs') hop on a bus and set about conceiving, building and launching a startup over a five day period. As the bus makes its way from A to B, it stops off in various towns and cities where the passengers are given the opportunity to interact and collaborate with the top entrepreneurs and investors based there.
It is billed as one of the most intensive tech business incubators in the world and has already hit the road right across the world including Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas. Now they are headed back to Africa to complete their most ambitious programme of events to date.
This year, Ampion Ventures, the NGO behind the project, alongside their partners Afrilabs and VC4Africa are pulling out all the stops to bring together young African change makers and self starters with tech experts from all over the world during four journeys right across the continent with the aim of creating startups with fantastic potential.
In the coming months Ampion Venture Bus will be shuttling across 4 new African routes which are;
East Africa (October 2014)
Tanzania to Rwanda
West Africa 2 (November 2014)
Nigeria to Ivory Coast
Southern Africa (November 2014)
Zimbabwe to South Africa
North Africa (November 2014)
Morocco to Tunisia
“Our goal is to reach even more entrepreneurial talent across the continent and empower young people determined to pursue world changing ideas using the power of digital” says Fabian Guhl, Managing Director of Berlin Based Ampion Ventures.
What’s not to like? Unsurprisingly, the project was an incredible success last year and became the starting point for a number of businesses. These included Sterio.me which engages African learners with a free call to reinforce learning outside of the classroom; Workforce an online planning software for employers; and Bribed, a most unusual startup which tells you the going rate for bribing a public official in a whole range of locations across the world... odd, but useful!
There is now an open call for entrepreneurs, investors and mentors from all over the world to take part. It’s a great opportunity for anyone wishing to flex their entrepreneurial muscles ... with a healthy amount of adventure thrown in for good measure! If it sounds like your kind of road trip, pop yourself over to the Ampion Ventures website to check out all the details of how to get involved.
By Eoin O'Hara (follow him on Twitter here @StartacusEoin)