Make entrepreneurship ubiquitous at the university level.
Kickstart new student-run companies and build entrepreneurial capabilities in students and their university communities.
Founded by a group of cross-disciplinary students frustrated with the unexpressed potential for startups in the university environment, the initial 3 Day Startup program took place at the University of Texas in 2008. That inaugural program gave rise to Famigo, the first of many 3DS companies to raise venture capital and release a successful product.
The student organization incorporated as a nonprofit in 2010 and began expansion to universities across the globe. While early programs focused on strictly technology- and web-enabled startups, demand has led the team to expand the program to function across broader entrepreneurial endeavors. Schools have hosted 3DS programs focused on themes such as social innovation, energy, culinary, hardware, and more.
Foregoing a grant-supported model, the founders developed an earned-revenues strategy—3DS charges universities, governments, and corporations to deliver programs—which allowed the organization to grow in a scalable and sustainable way while preserving mission autonomy. Running 3DS as a successful business operation keeps entrepreneurship in the organizational DNA and allows the organization to remain faithful to the philosophy of learning-by-doing.
A 3DS Program For Every Ecosystem
After 132 programs across five continents, the 3DS team tunes and calibrates the program for specific goals ranging from company creation to learning outcomes. For example, Harvard and MIT face different entrepreneurship challenges than schools surrounded by more nascent entrepreneurial ecosystems. Below are just some of the challenges that exist in university entrepreneurship settings.
The Practice of Entrepreneurship
Students want high-energy, hands-on experiences to explore entrepreneurship with other like-minded students.
Administrators have trouble finding credible teams for venture challenges and accelerators.
Mindsets and Attitudes
Many students still think you need an MBA and a rich uncle to start a company.
While the demand for entrepreneurial education is crossing disciplinary lines, non-entrepreneurship professors often lack the experience and resources to introduce entrepreneurship.
Universities lack theme/industry specific programs. 3DS programs have addressed themes such as social innovation, big data, wearables, the travel industry, and more.
Professors lack the time and resources to develop practice-based teaching to complement in-class curricula.
Real Company Creation
Students want to learn how to start real companies by starting real companies.
University communities of students, faculty, and administrators experience isolation, remaining disconnected from powerful global networks of entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors.
Countries Across 6 Continents
Accelerator and Incubator Acceptances
Companies Launched by 3DS Alumni
Million $ Raised by Alumni
MBA, University of Texas
Bart, the former wireless director at the Austin Technology Incubator and a Techstars alumnus, started dressing like a non-engineer in the year 2013.
MBA, University of Texas
When he’s not in CEO-mode or teaching as a professor at the University of Texas, Cam spends his time producing rap beats and electronic dance music.
CS PhD candidate, University of Wisconsin
Joel enjoys building custom race car engines and crunching data for fun.
JD, University of Texas
Ruchit grew up in Saudi Arabia and is a good sport when people mispronounce his name.
MS, Environment, University of Wisconsin
When he’s not helping students start companies, Maia writes stories and makes art of world leaders with fruit baskets on their heads.
BS, Engineering, University of Houston
Before joining the 3DS team, Carlos participated in the first 3DS program at the University of Houston and ran a WordPress consulting firm. He enjoys the finer things in life like traveling, a good Malbec, and a fine cigar. Pinkies up.
BS, Business, Creighton University
Alexis, founder of 3DS Creighton University, takes advantage of her Airline Brat status by jet-setting around the world whenever possible.
BS, C.S. and Economics, University of Texas
Previously a developer for Microsoft, Alex gets excited about getting real and going big (for example, he tripled the size of 3DS UT-Austin program team to thirty students). When he’s not 3DSing, he is writing C# code or maintaining an amazing head of hair.
Program Manager, Enterprise
BS, Biotechnology, University of Texas
Jackson is an Austin, TX native and an extreme extrovert. He’s passionate about a lot of things, however, finding creative ways to keep his cell phone battery from dying and producing professional aerial video are among his favorites.
Program Manager, Enterprise
Ben Cantey is a passionate entrepreneur who lives for learning and tinkering with the status quo. If he’s not answering emails he can usually be found at a craft brewery or out for a run. No, he doesn’t have a mustache…
MS Computer Science, University of Texas
Thomas is ex-Google [x], cofounder at Cape Productions, and really into Teslas.
SE Asia Program Lead
MS Software Engineering & Mathematics, MPh Sociology Lund University
After building seven successful startups (some of which hit the $B’s), when asked about humility Efraim says he is “working on it.”