Maybe it was the pushup contest in the parking lot on Saturday at midnight. Maybe it was the amazing venue provided by sponsor Rackspace (sorry about littering the floor with nerf gun ammunition). Maybe it was seeing 3DS Trinity 2010 alumni drop in to catch the final pitches/demos on Sunday night. Or maybe it was simply witnessing the transformation of students into entrepreneurs and watching some extremely well-done pitches and demos on Sunday night.  Regardless, there were a lot of reasons to feel great about the second San Antonio 3 Day Startup event with Trinity University.

The Procykel Team pitches on Friday night

The participants consisted of a mix of Trinity students and Rackers (for the uninitiated, “racker” = Rackspace employee). All of them brought talent, heart, and passion for startups. The Friday night pitches were stronger than usual, which is probably in no small part due to lead event organizer and Trinity entrepreneurship professor Dr. Cristal Glanchai. Her efforts at prepping the student participants were impressive. The cast of mentors this time around was stellar: Pat Condon (Rackspace founder), Dirk Elmendorf (Rackspace founder), Nick Longo (CoffeeCup Software founder), and Jason Seats (Slicehost founder) offered expert guidance and advice from the perspective of entrepreneurs who have been through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and emerged victorious. These mentors were some of the most passionate, engaged, and involved mentors to grace a 3 Day Startup event. We jokingly referred to them as the “Legion of Doom”.

Nick Longo, founder of CoffeeCup Software, has an “aggressive” mentoring style
Some highlights of this semester’s San Antonio 3DS event included:
  • 50% rise in applicants from last semester’s event
  • Friday night business ideas revolving around service companies related to dining, mountain biking, social networking, market places for college students, music sharing sites, review sites, and event planning
  • Extremely mature tech demos for a Saturday night, including the Eatsters team which used its demo to drive a real live user test at a restaurant later that evening.
The Sunday final pitches were attended by current and past 3DS participants, investors, entrepreneurs, and supporters of the San Antonio entrepreneurship scene
The teams presenting at the final pitches and demos were as follows:
Procykel: Custom bike configurator tool for bike shops
Eatsters: Marketplace connecting restaurant goers interested in meeting other diners to restaurants looking to fill more tables
Day of Good: Marketplace connecting volunteers and volunteer opportunities
NeighborFarms: SaaS connecting local producers (i.e., farmers who sell at farmers markets) allowing them to coordinate for CSAs and markets Simple profiles for developers
Full Closet: Company that solves sizing problems across brands and makes money from online retailers using the service
I’d like to close this post with a shout out to Oscar Hernandez, a 3DS alumni from 3Ds San Antonio Spring 2010. His startup, which was born and pitched at that event, is going strong: Check out Fandash!
UPDATE: accepted to 500startups! Mad props to the team

Other pictures from the event:

The Neighborfarms team cranks away. Note the whiteboarding chops.

Trey explains Full Closet

3DS teams are spending more and more time with the business model canvas

Kaitlin Brown in deep design thought

Cristal Glanchai, Professor at Trinity and lead 3DS Trinity Organizer

Despite what this photo suggests, Pat Condon and Dirk Elmendorf were valuable mentors over this 3DS weekend