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Ithaca College Professor Takes Bus - and Starts Company - on Trip to Texas

 ITHACA, NY — As the saying goes, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. For Adam Peruta, an assistant professor of strategic communication at Ithaca College, that will certainly be the case.

Peruta is journeying by bus to the SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive Festival, and during the 72 hours and 1,500 miles between their point of origin in Washington, D.C., and destination in Austin, Texas, he and his fellow “buspreneurs” will have to conceive, build and launch a startup company.

It’s all part of being invited to join the Startup Bus, a part of the festival in which out-of-the-box thinkers and entrepreneurs — complete strangers to one another — work together to build a startup from the ground up. In addition to Washington, busses are heading to Austin from nine other cities across the United States and Mexico. Those on board each bus will be competing as a team to come up with and then present a fully functional, publicly available product to a high-profile panel of investors and entrepreneurs when they reach the festival’s Startup Village.

“It was a semi-rigorous process to get on the bus,” said Peruta of his selection to be part of the program. “I had three interviews with three separate bus conductors — past buspreneurs who are now in charge of a bus — and then given the task to create a game in less than 48 hours. It’s going to be a crazy adventure.”

Running March 9–13, the annual SXSW Interactive Festival is an incubator of cutting-edge technologies, showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the creative community has to offer. This is the third year for the Startup Bus competition.

Peruta teaches courses in the Roy H. Park School of Communications focusing on creative strategies in advertising and interactive media. He has been involved in cofounding a number of startup businesses, including RateMyClass.com, OneClickGrocery.com, OneClickVideo.com and most recently CustomGrocery.com, a company that licenses software to grocery stores and entrepreneurs who wish to start their own online grocery delivery services.

And lest anyone worry that the rigors of a long bus ride might be a little too much for him to bear, Peruta is an elite ultra-endurance triathlon competitor. In 2010 he became just the 17th person to complete both the Ultraman Canada and Ultraman World Championships in the same year.

Peruta’s bus took off from the nation’s capital on the morning of Tuesday, March 6. You can follow the progress of his team at http://startupbus.com/americas/tribes/washington-dc and find out how to follow his journey via Twitter at www.peruta.com/.



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