Word on the street is that Chicago is becoming one of the best places to conceive, build, and launch an incredible startup. But with the announcement of StartupBus Chicago, we now have an opportunity to prove it, by competing head to head with cities better known for nurturing great startups.

StartupBus is an annual, premier and exclusive competition that invites only the nation’s top entrepreneurial cities to compete against one another. A team of Hackers (Developers), Hipsters (Designers), and Hustlers (Product, Marketing, PR) are challenged to create a viable company in 72 hours while traveling 60mph on a bus. The destination: SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas. The teams will then find out if their hard work over those three days of developing products and refining pitches will pay off against the other chosen regions.

Chicago previously participated in the very first StartupBus in March 2011 against: San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Cleveland, New York, and Miami. After a brief hiatus in 2012, StartupBus Chicago is back to represent for the Midwest, and to show that Chicago is one of the best places to start a company.

To kick-off the return, StartupBus will begin with a “Battle Royale” on February 9th at 1871 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participants will compete head-to-head in three rounds. This event will serve as the process for selecting the area’s best talent, who will then be awarded cash prizes and a coveted spot aboard the bus; to represent Chicago in the final competition against other regions at SXSW interactive.

Here at Technori, we know the talent and passion that encompasses Chicago starters, which is why we hopped on board the StartupBus Chicago team with 1871, DevMynd, Doejo, and Give Forward. We’ll be covering the entire StartupBus Chicago journey for you! You can follow along for the event happenings and the teams’ struggles and “aha!” moments that will hopefully lead to them to success.

Interested in competing or getting involved? Here are ways you can:

Hackers, Hipsters, or Hustlers: Register to compete.

Startup Enthusiast: Register to attend Battle Royale.

Sponsors: Contact the team for opportunities.

Interested in judging a round? Fill out this form.