BostInnovation (Jan. 20)
Great article about the boys from a Boston-based Business Innovation blog.
Four College Grads Use Kickstarter to Fund Charity Focused Roadtrip
Everybody who has ever seen a school bus has at one time had this thought: what if I just bought it, stripped the seats out and road tripped with my friends? Then the feeling passes because that would be a huge undertaking, and the dream slips away. But not for four recent college graduates from Emmanuel, Emerson, Connecticut College, and Suffolk (who all grew up together in Maine) who had the same thought — and actually followed through with it.
Corey McLean, Seth Brown, and Tyler and Silas Dunham decided to not only road trip across the country in an old school bus, but to turn it into a charitable project called Love, the Bus along the way.
As McLean told me, “We were initially going to try to make some sort of a commercial national scavenger hunt,” but they did not feel that would be an important enough task for their trip. They eventually settled on using the ‘marathon for charity’ platform, where sponsors pledge money to the racers instead.
“Why not make our summer the marathon, and rather than miles completed we have challenges that test more than just our lung capacity and pain threshold, but test our wit and creativity as well” McLean explained.
Love, The Bus is not only a road trip for charity, but it’s also going to be weekly web serieschronicling their challenges nationwide. Each week’s episode will feature a challenge for a local organization that will require between 10 – 24 hours to complete, and will work against a pledge of $24,000. The faster the challenge is completed, the more money remains for the organization that the challenge supports.
Almost every day they will be completing small challenges as well to raise money for local organizations, particularly ones that focus on education, getting individuals outdoors, and human services.
These challenges are by no means set yet though, because the guys will be accepting challenges four days a week on Twitter throughout the trip. The contributor that names the most creative challenge, as well as a relevant organization, will receive $500 to donate to the group each time.
They also will be issuing weekly challenges to their fans, and the person or group who submits the most entertaining and unique documentation of their challenge will win a whopping $2500 for an organization they support.
McLean explained to me, “we want to involve viewers in our episodes primarily via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which I think has the potential to develop into the coolest aspect of our show.” This aspect certainly will add a real unique interactive feel to the whole project.
Once the idea was in their head, the four friends went about developing a plan of action. Their research brought them to Kickstarter, an all or nothing funding platform that helps groups organize and execute funding for their plan. McLean told me, “the fact that the site uses an ‘all or nothing’ strategy for the projects they host forces the creators to put a lot more time into developing their idea, pitch, and presentation.”
Love, The Bus just reached its target goal of $12,000 on Kickstarter, but the more that is contributed the more challenges they will be able to complete and more donations they will be able to give along the way!
The four now graduates of Boston area schools (McLean – Emmanuel, Brown – Emerson, Tyler Dunham – Connecticut College, Silas Dunham – Suffolk) were all good friends from a very young age, growing up in Lincolnville, Maine where they have always been entrepreneurs.
While in high school they raised over $20K to design and build a terrain park in their hometown. So what started in a small town of 2,000 in Maine, is now going to be making its way across the country on a school bus.
We at Bostinnovation wish the Love, The Bus guys the best of luck on their trip!