Contributor: Shai Haim, Lead Organizer at 3DS Technion
While most Technion students were busy looking for opportunities at the career fair held last Wednesday, 35 guys and girls decided to do things a little differently and make their own opportunity by founding a startup.
What is 3DS Technion?
3DS Technion is a practical workshop during which participants experience the early stages of a startup: from picking an idea and “selling” it to potential teammates, building a team, defining a product, to pitching to investors. The workshop uses a format developed by students at The University of Texas in 2008. The organization is now a nonprofit that has since grown to more than 80 programs on four continents. The aim of the workshop is to give students the opportunity to experience what it means to start a company.
3DS Technion by the Numbers
After an application period and a marketing effort to the Technion community, more than 100 people applied to take part in the program. Unlike other workshops, 3DS is always free for participants, but students are interviewed and vetted before acceptance. This year, 35 people were accepted, representing undergraduates as well as MScs and PhDs from 15 different disciplines, including architecture, industrial engineering, management, computer science, electrical engineering, physics, and MBAs.
Throughout the program participants received guidance and advice from top notch mentors and industry leaders. This year’s mentors included Raanan Gewirtzman, ex CEO of Broadlight (acquired by Broadcom) and Shai Wininger, the CTO and Co-Foundre of Fiverr. It is important to note that the workshop is not a competition, rather a platform to create strong diverse passionate teams that can rise to the challenge of starting early stage companies.
The program was enabled by the support of leading industry companies. Supporters include GKH Law, one of the biggest law firms in Israel (handled the Waze deal) and Microsoft Ventures (Gold Sponsor). Microsoft Ventures has backed the program for the second year in a row and CTO Neta Haiby-Weiss participated as an mentor throughout the weekend. This year’s Platinum Sponsor was Cisco, who supported this program as part of its effort in promoting student entrepreneurship within the Arabic community.
Seven ventures were created during the event and two of them are automatically advancing to the next Biztec competition stage:
DonkeyTrails – A new search experience for the travelers who are looking for challenging adventures and would like to combine them with volunteering activity to get closer to the local community. Sounds like a niche? Well it is, however it is big enough to provide a service to millions of travelers worldwide. The team believes that with the their appealing and intuitive visualization platform, in combination with better search options, can help them become the market leader in this category. Team: Gili Keselman (Architecture), Noa Vishlitzky (Psychology, Haifa Uni), Dori Medini (CS), Gilad Resisi (CS), Evan Abel (StartUP MBA), Lisa Palmberger (Industrial Engineer exchange), Shai Rozenberg (EE+Physics).
RideOShpere – A new platform for carpooling. The group leader, Raphi Stein, was already operating a ride sharing group on Facebook and realized that the platform is just not up to par with the task. Raphi already tried developing a platform to support this task outside of Facebook and during 3DS, he brought this experience and insight into to building a better platform. Team: Raphi Stein (CS), Tamar Apper (Architecture), Nathan Nacamuli (Civil Engineering), Elad Joseph (Material Engineering), and Gil Maman (an external developer).
Praxeum – Probably the geekiest name of all of the teams — named after the Jedi Academy in Starwars. The team aims to streamline technology and education methodologies to bring the 21st century into the classroom by allowing teachers to communicate with students and gain meaningful insights into the learning progress. Team: Amit Raveh (EE), Inna Grijnevitch (EE), Ronen Abravanel (Physics), Ilan Mann (StartUP MBA), Tomer Batash (MD).
Fitter – The team wants to give the online shopping consumer the option to see how a garment would look if they were able to try it on. With computer graphics, computer vision, and creative experts on the team, they are set out to make an impact. This team made it to the Biztec competition. Team: Matan Sela (EE), Aaron Wetzler (EE), Daniel Mankowitz (CS), Gabi Vitale (Architecture), Miron Epshtein (Industrial Design), Thuong Tran (MBA).
NQ – The NQ team aims to bring a solution that will allow visitors at theme parks to virtually wait in line instead of having to physically stand for long wait periods. Team: Itay Rosenberg (Math+CS), Efi Shtain (Math+CS), Jona Pletzer (MBA exchange), Leeoz Avni (Mechanical Engineering), Yuval Borenstein (EE).
Jobee – Many students are familiar with the situation where they have some free time during which they would be happy to earn some cash, but they lack a method of finding that job opportunity. Jobee is set to solve this by creating a the first marketplace for local in person microjobs, versus providing online virtual employment that other companies offer. Team: Omar Massarwa (CS), Hasan Abo-Shaly (CS), Rotem Gabay (EE).
HearWize – For those that wear hearing aids, it is a task to tune and service your device. This is currently done in a special clinic in a controlled environment. HearWize wants to change that and aims to transform the hearing aid service market. The team will continue to work on this idea in the Biztec competition. Team: Oren Dvoskin (MBA), Eli Meirom (EE), David Bensadoun (MBA), Roman Kaplan (CS), Deborah Benguira (Biology)
Next event will be on January 2015! View pictures of the program here.