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IncuBus aims to launch first startup incubator on a bus

Your Hidden Potential co-founder Rishi Chowdhury has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to open IncuBus, London’s first startup incubator on a bus

Based in Red Market, Shoreditch, IncuBus will be London’s first startup incubator on a bus for 16- to 22-year-olds as well as hosting a community space for meetups, pop-up shops and Code Clubs.Incubus

Chowdhury is launching the project with George Johnston, who he met while working at Huddle. The pair are looking to raise £35,000 in total, and are offering a range of options for potential investors (from a £10 supporter option up to a £5,000 bus advertiser option).

The IncuBus IndieGoGo campaign will be live until September 5, 2013.

IncuBus will take on five high-growth startup teams every six months, providing them with mentoring, workshops and introductions to investors. Participants will also be offered six-month internships at other startups, where they will be able to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship, as Chowdhury explains:

“We want to help people who are coming out of school and looking to start their own business, rather than going to university. We’ll offer them experience of working in a startup for six months, giving them contacts in the area, followed by six months on the bus, where they will be mentored and introduced to investors. We want to really get them off the ground and to a stage where they’re looking for their first round of funding.”


Though the amount has not been fully confirmed yet, IncuBus participants will be charged “around £3,000” for the 12-month service, which will include the paid internship, workshops, mentors and use of office facilities. In addition, once participants have completed the programme, their startup will need to agree to give away 10 per cent of the startup’s initial investment after leaving IncuBus.

George Johnston and Rishi Chowdhury
Incubus founders George Johnston and Rishi Chowdhury

“We’re looking for people that we think can handle it and start their own business,” says Chowdhury. “We’ll meet with every individual that applies to the programme to find out more about them and where they want to go.”

He adds that they will favour high-growth tech startups that can generate “lots of users in a short amount of time”. Chowdhury explains: “It’s really about the person and making sure that we’ve got the right people who can make it as entrepreneurs – the idea can always develop later.”

The ground floor of the London bus will be used as a community area, holding meet ups, pop-up shops, and even a Code Club – giving younger people the chance to learn to code.

“University is not for everyone,” adds Chowdhury. “We want to offer an alternative which helps the entrepreneurial types create a future for themselves and ultimately for others. By offering work experience and the opportunity to start a business, IncuBus offers the latest generation entering the world of work a boost and a chance to be their own boss.”