New York And Silicon Valley Tie On SXSW Startup Bus Challenge

TripMediWhat happens when busloads of nerds flock to SXSW? A startup challenge, that’s what. Coming up with a viable idea under time pressure then launching a prototype just as fast before the all-important pitch is familiar territory for most digital entrepreneurs. What made the Startup Bus Challenge different was the setting–busloads of coders and really smart guys from San Fran, Chicago, Miami, New York trying their bestest to launch a great product.

The objective was in the three days it takes to reach Austin for the SXSW festivities, each bus should come up with a new product that not only has traction but can wow the six judges taken from the entrepreneur-venture capital scene.  Come pitch day the presentations were ferocious, but the ultimate championship had to be divided between the homegrown talent in the New York bus and their rivals at Silicon Valley.

What the New York bus came up with is TripMedi, a portal that wants to give the booming medical tourism sector a major boost. TripMedi allows patients who want to avail of medical service abroad to research prices, doctors, and recommends from other users before they buy an airplane ticket to somewhere, like India. In fact, more than a thousand have joined its mailing list since the prototype came online last week. Though the judges weren’t exactly keen on the name of the product, its functionality, convenience and position in a multibillion dollar industry (that’s growing each year)  made it a big win.

The Silicon Valley bus shared the glory too with their WalkIn service for restaurants. But who wants to read about Silicon Valley anyway? (In case you do, open the source link down south for the good stuff.)