Earlier this month, 3 Day Startup hosted its second program in Israel at Technion University in Haifa. 3DS Facilitator, Luke Carriere, recounts his experience working with students as they kickstarted their companies through the 3DS experiential learning model:

40 student entrepreneurs participated in 3 Day Startup Technion. It was an energetic, often sleepless three days where they shared their ideas and took action to turn them into viable ventures.

3 Day Startup supplements the classroom experience by providing an environment where budding student entrepreneurs can “learn by doing”. Over the course of 50 hours, students share their ideas, vote on the businesses they find the most compelling, and ultimately self organize into teams to create prototypes, perform market research, and formulate a business model under the guidance of expert mentors.

The 40 participants were chosen from over 120 applicants. While most students hailed from Technion, some were admitted from IDC, Tel Aviv University, and University of Haifa. Students included undergraduates, Master’s and PhD candidates, as well as Post-Doc’s. Their diverse backgrounds included fields of study that ranged from aerospace engineering, math, biology, business administration, to computer science, and design.

The program was launched by Daniel Freedman, Faculty Member in Electrical Engineering at  Technion and former organizer of 3 Day Startup Beijing. Other organizing members include Shai Haim, C.O.O of Startupbootcamp Israel and Technion alumnus. The following sponsors graciously donated to make the program free to students: Startupbootcamp Isreal, Microsoft R&D, IBM, Wix, GKH Law and BDO.

Early Wednesday morning, students listened to each other’s proposals, and voted to select eight ideas to run with for the remaining three days. Teams formed around the chosen ideas, and immediately started working. By Wednesday afternoon, most students were already out of the building talking to potential customers and users to test their hypotheses. On Thursday, they were guided by mentors from Technion, VisionTech & Horizon Semi, Microsoft, Mellanox, 34 Ventures, Tonara, IBM, Waze, BDO, Synergy.VC, Kaedan Capital, MATI Haifa, GKH, Tiltan, Oren / Zoran, Yahoo! Labs, Annapurna Labs, Wix, and TransSpot. It is notable that Uri Levine, President of Waze would take time to advise participants while finalizing a sale to Google for $1.1B.

On Friday afternoon, the program culminated in eight passionate pitches to a panel consisting of Ron Gura (eBay Social / Angel Investor), Jonathan Friedman (Lionbird Capital), Gil Canaani (Cannan Partners), Elisheva Yakobovich (Vertex VC), Mony Hassid (Qualcomm Ventures), and Amir Morad (VisionTek / Horizon Semi).

After the event, one participant thanked the hosts and said, “…for me it was such a formative experience that made me realize I really like the type of work involved in building a startup… [especially] getting involved in all aspects of a company — the business, marketing, the pivots and difficult decision making…”

About 3 Day Startup

3 Day Startup (3DS) teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment. In addition to supporting budding entrepreneurs, 3DS programs cultivate entrepreneurial communities that contribute to the growth of entrepreneurship ecosystems in the regions surrounding these university programs. This proven program provides students the tools they need to start successful companies. To date, more than 41 companies have come out of 3DS to collectively raise $14.5 million in investor capital and more than a dozen have been accepted to prestigious incubators and accelerators such as Y Combinator and TechStars.