During the week of April 13-19, 3 Day Startup partnered with Stanford’s Epicenter and the NCIIA to launch 3DS Springboard across nine universities. 3DS Springboard is an interactive workshop focused on the beginning steps of launching a company or a project through on-campus innovation. Over four 90-minute sessions, students joined the 3DS team and Epicenter University Innovation Fellows on their campuses to start a company, a project, or a movement.


Modules included ideation, customer feedback, and a pitch session. Participating students arrived on day one with either preformed ideas or the passion to help kickstart a project with their peers. Students spent an hour brainstorming ideas with each other and narrowing down a handful that should move forward based on a framework suggested by the 3DS team. Ideas chosen ranged from an app that helps you wake up in the morning to a movement that helps prepare teachers and students for dangerous incidents such as school shootings.

In module two, the 3DS team went over lean startup principles, guiding students to form hypotheses using the lean startup canvas. Students then spent 24 hours engaging in customer discovery to validate their initial ideas by hitting the streets, conducting surveys, or reaching out to their networks for feedback. Participants then returned the next day to discuss their learnings with each other in order to leverage the benefits of cross collaboration.

After establishing a firm grasp of their business models by working with the lean canvas, students met for module three. In this session, the 3DS team discussed best practices, pitch structure, and overall guidance for delivering a concrete elevator pitch. Students then had 24 hours to draft the structure of their pitches and produce a 3 minute pitch video.

Leading up to module four, students promoted their pitch videos among their networks of peers and mentors. The videos with the most votes qualified to pitch at the big reveal. The top teams from each university pitched live to a global audience of 3DS mentors and entrepreneurs who viewed the live stream webcast as guests. Final ideas ranged from a nonprofit that promoted wellness and learning through active sports to boxer briefs that protected men from electromagnetic waves emitted from cellphones.

To view all the final projects and to learn more about the Epicenter University Innovation Fellows that led the program at their respective universities, visit 3DS Springboard.