The StartupBus is an annual invitation-only event where coders build a startup in the time it takes to drive to the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. Once at the show, they present their idea to angel investors. This year, the bus was traveling from Florida.
The event was almost ruined when in the wee hours of Sunday night, the house they were staying at in Austin got robbed and “tens of thousands of dollars” of laptops were stolen. Mitch Neff, the Bus’ organizer tweeted about it a 3 a.m.
So.. #StartupBus Florida house got robbed tonight of tens of thousands of laptops/electronics. That’s #sxwproblems
— Mitch Neff (@MitchNeff) March 9, 2014
Lucky for the Startup Bus Microsoft had been monitoring the SXSW twitter stream and came to the rescue. Microsoft delivered a bunch of Surface tablets and Dell and HP laptops running Windows 8.1. The coders also received shoes from Creative Recreation and Herschel backpacks courtesy of Microsoft. The stolen laptops were mostly Macs, the coders said, but they were happy to get the Windows replacements. The stolen laptops were mostly Macs, but it seemed everyone was pretty happy to receive some PCs.
Microsoft has also been monitoring the hashtag #SXSWProblems and giving out free Windows Phones and rides to and from the airport. Airbnb is another notable company helping out people through this hashtag. Here are some examples of people tweeting about getting free stuff from Microsoft:
— Ben Hunt (@benhunted) March 8, 2014
— Diana Hilton (@didiimnida) March 9, 2014
— Shane Reustle (@reustle) March 8, 2014
Not too surprising that this has gotten little coverage in the mainstream press. But I hope this allows people to see the good Microsoft does.