Raleigh speed dating meetup
It’s very early, still dark out, and I was on my way to a competition.
I was in the backseat of an Uber heading through midtown Manhattan.
It’s actually…actually I do have a little bit of a surprise for you. ERIC: So this whole thing sort of reminded me of a season of “Road Rules,” the old MTV show.
Your hand’s shaking a little bit from the adrenaline.
I’m just like, you know, it’s the calm before the storm for me right now, and like I’m just not really sure what we’re getting into. So like me doing this is just like very outside of my element. UNIDENTIFIED BUS RIDER: That’s an annualized interest rate of, like, 1000 percent. My parents only figured out I was going, like, two days ago. Otherwise we’re going to keep on wasting time until day three. ASH: OK, so then I know that we’re all on the same page when we talk about blockchain. But for Adam, who can actually build stuff with blockchain, it’s an answer to an existential question: How do I live a meaningful, impactful life?
ERIC: Have you spent this much time away from her before? This is my first time away from them, like, for an extended period of time. I’m getting nervous right now just talking to you about this, right. And what happens on the bus at this point is just…chaos. Designers, developers, people with marketing experience. Some riders are trying to convince others to just combine ideas. But I like your idea, and I think it might actually work with my idea. ERIC: Slowly, the aisle starts to clear, and the riders form little colonies in different parts of the bus. ANNE-GAIL: Yeah, this is the first time being on a bus with 20 strangers, at 60 miles per hour, going to a city I’ve never been to before. I have been trying to avoid doing that I guess, because I just thought you know it’s a three day bus ride, let’s all have fun, but now I’m a little bit agitated because I’m super competitive. We need to stick to it, we need to like perhaps, maybe, I don’t know, like pick some leadership. FRANK: I’m pretty sure all of us want to agree and move on exactly one idea. To most of us, it’s just another backend, a database we can’t fully grasp. His friend, teammate, and fellow Clevelander, Parker, walks ahead of us. PARKER: There’s a lot, there’s a lot of like emotions.
Yes, so it’s three days on the bus, on the road, launching the company while you’re on the bus. It’s your standard charter bus—blue carpeted seats, little lights and ac vents up top—Wi-Fi that works most of the time. The mentors rather adorably call themselves “conductors,” though they aren’t the ones driving the bus. This voice welcoming everyone aboard is Madelena Mak. ERIC: It’s first thing Monday when everyone arrives and loads on the bus. ERIC: Up towards the front, I see someone with a look on his face like he might need to number two. He’s sitting with his leg folded under him, his arm over the seat, keeping mostly to himself. ANNE-GAIL: I have no idea where I’m going to be in 10 years. So they’ve come up with this rough idea, a bitcoin lending app. FRANK: You can’t kill the idea and then get mad that he’s proposing an alternative. ASH: I did not say that we’re not proposing alternatives. He’s 30 years old—tall, skinny, with short brown hair. I’m like a career working guy, you know, like I’ve always had a good job. And this trip, on a bus full of unknowns, it’s a small version of the life they’ve been hoping for. Not sure what we’ll make with it, but, we definitely want to use cement. They’re talking over Anne-Gail and the rest of the team. ADAM: Well, I’m…I’m new to this thing I’m new to hackathons and startups. And when I say passed out, I mean like awake and then black out. I’d gotten three hours of sleep for a full month at that point. I knew exactly what my future would be exactly what my career would be. ERIC: But now that Anne-Gail is focused on tech, things feel different. And now there’s so much potential for me to build things that actually change things. But that’s a little like saying we want to spend the next five days working with cement. ERIC: The panel is responsive, they like the idea, and they offer a few suggestions to make it better. Colleen Lavin says she came up with the idea when she got on the bus this morning. And it’s on the Internet, so it is instant and the fees to transact on the networks are extremely low. They slog through the next minute or so and then they take questions. ASH: I’m not only killing the idea, but you all agreed that this is way out of scope so not killing something that you are, you’re holding tight on and being like… ERIC: The voice asking about alternatives is Frank Caringi. And at this point he and Ash start to dominate the conversation.
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And they say their parents had pretty rigid ideas about what track to follow. And at some point, the pressure of all that really started getting to Anne-Gail. But we have three days to do this, so what we need to do is drill into something that’s really feasible. ERIC: We head to a ballroom, with giant windows and a panoramic view of the U. Team Daisy, the funeral planning app, they’re the first up to pitch. CAL COSTANZO: So there’s one thing here that we all have in common. FRANK: What this provides is a method for people to invest their cryptocurrency, gain interest on it, and do so by investing in small businesses anywhere. PARKER: Can we build a product around the idea that nobody knows how the hell to use cryptocurrency and why it’s valuable. ERIC: It’s pretty clear things are going off the rails. But now I feel like there’s this whole new wave of things happening. I feel like as, you know, as a person, I’m really realizing my potential. You know right now it’s cultivated in the Startup Bus, you know, which I signed up for, it was like last week.