This post was written by 3 Day Startup CEO Cam Houser.
From November 5-7th, 3 Day Startup hosted the 20th edition of our Flagship program at UT Austin. As someone who has been there from the very beginning, I can say with total confidence that it has been one incredible ride to this point.
When 3 Day Startup first started out at UT Austin 9 years ago, it was the vision of a bunch of students who didn’t have deep histories of starting businesses, or a full understanding about creating a program. But they went on to deliver something that was life-changing for 40 of their peers and became their life’s work. And here we are — 20 programs later in this community — still working with incredible student entrepreneurs at UT to build opportunities and grow entrepreneurial learning.
Back then our ambition and ideas were bigger than our abilities. We were full of energy and didn’t know enough to second guess ourselves. We were not fully aware of our limitations or how hard the process was going to be, so we charged ahead. Though we had all worked in companies before and we had vague ideas about how this could work, we’d never designed educational programming. At that time we didn’t fully understand large scale ecosystems and how many lives this work would change. Or how meaningful startups are in growing individuals and communities.
The Austin program is close to our hearts not only because it’s where everything began, but because it is still organized by students. It is amazing to see students at the helm of the Austin program all these years later (shout out to Kishan, Leo, Matt, and Jessica for their incredible work!).
We work with all kinds of organizations now –– foreign governments, innovation groups, entrepreneurship centers, and communities. But the Austin program is organized and run by students, just like it was when we first did it almost 10 years ago. It’s special for us that, from our beginnings as students, we were able to grow, scale, and achieve incredible impact while respecting our roots in the flagship program.
To commemorate our 20th program, we put together a star studded panel to join us on Sunday, November 7th for final pitches. This panel had special ties to our first program and programs throughout our history. Bril Flint, an entrepreneur and investor who sat at the very first 3 Day Startup panel, Josh Baer who provided key support and was also one of our very first panelists, 3DS Alum and Nicely Noted CEO and Founder Perry Nelson, and Austin Technology Incubator’s Lisa McDonald provided incredible feedback to the teams.
Like all of our Austin programs, we had an awards ceremony where we handed out Golden RedBulls to all the teams as awards. And it’s great to me that, after all this time, that tradition lives on.
At UT Austin, we carry on traditions from the very first program. But now that we’ve been at 150 school in over 30 countries, we get to do it in a much more evolved way.
I’m so proud that we’ve been able to have this reach and come this far as an organization. I can’t wait to see what we do next. Huge thanks to everyone in the Austin community who helped us get this far!
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