The Startup Bus: A unique ride for one TheLadders employee

Posted by Todd Hoza

March 12, 2012

At TheLadders, we like to give employees every opportunity to grow.

Recently, my fellow Associate Creative Director, Jennifer Gergen, had an amazing opportunity come her way: She was accepted to participate in the Startup Bus.

The Startup bus is a really unique event. Designers and Developers in different cities board buses and travel to South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) in Austin. They’re formed into small teams and tasked with launching a new startup by the time they arrive.

The teams then compete by means of a social game based on investing in (fake) company stock.

This meant that Jen would have to take off work for a week, on very short notice. But when she asked our boss (Creative Director Todd Hoza) if she could go, he didn’t hesitate. He realized what a fantastic opportunity this would be for Jen personally and professionally.

Think of the skills she’d be honing: design, development, coordination, teamwork, project management… the list is nearly endless. Todd also realized that there was potential for Jen’s to win—and maybe not come back to work if her startup was funded!—but he was willing to take that chance because he knew what it meant to her.

It’s that kind of freedom that you get at TheLadders that you really can’t get anywhere else. The freedom to grow and to take advantage of unique opportunities.



For what it’s worth, Jen’s team did a fantastic job, making the final group with their startup, Happstr. Happstr is a social sharing site whose goal is to spread global happiness, an idea I think we can all get behind in these cynical times.

We wanted to congratulate her and her team on a great run! We’re sorry she didn’t win, but I have to admit: I’ll be posting on Happstr and sharing how happy I am when I see Jen walk in the door later this week. We can’t wait to have her back!

(You’ll be hearing from Jen about her experience when she gets back, don’t worry.)

Follow Happstr: @happstr

Follow Jen: @b9punk

Follow Bill: @wrbeard

Follow Todd: @hoza

 Bill Beard
 is the Associate Creative Director of Copy for TheLadders. He loves to travel, always has open, and always takes the cheese option when it’s offered. You can follow him on twitter: @wrbeard


Topics: #TheLaddersLife, TheLadders Dev