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Rolling with the Startup Bus (photos)

For 48 hours, 150 "buspreneurs" are heading across America's highways to Austin, working hard to create winning start-up ideas along the way.

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Daniel Terdiman
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Bouncr

FIREBAUGH, Calif.--For two days, 150 entrepreneurs will be heading toward Austin, Texas, and the South By Southwest Interactive festival (SXSWi) aboard one of six Startup Buses. Over 48 hours, each "buspreneur" will become part of a team, and each team will vie to create the best start-up idea.

On Tuesday morning, the buses left their origins--two from San Francisco, and one each from Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, and New York. CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman is aboard one of the San Francisco buses.

The first order of business (after introductions) was pitches. For about 45 minutes, the bus-bound entrepreneurs stood at the front of the coach and tried to sell their new friends on their ideas. Then it was time to break into teams and actually choose which ideas to pursue.

Here, Jason Katzer, one of the people aboard the San Francisco bus I'm on, uses a marker to write down some of the planning for his team's project. Known as Bouncr, it's "bit.ly for e-mail."

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The bus arrives

One of the two San Francisco buses pulls up in front of the location where about 60 entrepreneurs will board for their journeys to Austin, Texas.
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Waiting to board

At just 7 a.m. this morning, people were already full of energy and excitement for the journey that was about to begin.
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Out comes the technology

Given that the Startup Bus is full of tech-industry entrepreneurs, it's no surprise that there is a huge supply of tech gear aboard the bus. It took only a minute on board before the gadgets appeared--laptops, cameras, smartphones, Flip cameras, and more.
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Showing an idea

Jason Katzer (left) explains an idea on his computer to a fellow "buspreneur."
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Crew

Each participant was given a Startup Bus laminate.
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Brainstorming

After about 45 minutes of pitches, the group quickly broke up into brainstorming teams, with everyone standing in the aisles.
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Jonas makes an announcement

Jonas Huckestein, one of the "conductors" running the various Startup Buses, makes an announcement aboard his coach.
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Listening to pitches

The group, most of whom got little sleep last night, listen patiently to about 45 minutes of idea pitches.
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Discussing with notes

Now broken into teams, the "buspreneurs" quickly got down to business and began brainstorming their ideas, taking notes, and creating flow charts.
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Explaining

Sepi Nasiri, aboard the San Francisco Startup Bus, explains an idea to her team.
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Laptop cover

The laptop cover of one of the "buspreneurs."
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Grab a Snuggie

Participants grab free Snuggies before boarding.
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Provisions

The buses are stocked with provisions.

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