We’ve had quite the summer here at 3 Day Startup! We traveled to Austria for our first-ever ATA Roadshow, hosted our 4th annual Global Roundup Conference, and on top of all that, we hosted 34 rising Austrian entrepreneurs for our Austria to Austin 3.0 Exchange program! Thanks to our expanding relationship with the US Embassy Vienna, we held two separate Austria to Austin exchanges this year: Foundations and Checkpoint. Our Foundations exchange is centered around the 3DS Foundations program, created for early-stage entrepreneurs. Checkpoint is designed for intermediate level entrepreneurs actively working on a venture. Now that both exchanges have ended, we’re excited to reflect on all we accomplished and the amazing impact of both programs.

The Foundations exchange started off strong with a 3DS program facilitated by our very own Nick Chagin. We were thrilled that all 20 of the ATA Foundations crew pitched their preliminary ideas on day one of the program. On day two, our participants improved and refined their ideas by working through the Lean Canvas, going out for customer discovery, and receiving feedback and advice from our expert mentors. After hours of discovering, pivoting, and revising, all five teams — Pricely, Key Changer, EdVenture, Pet Stop, and ExerSlides — were ready for their final pitch. The #ATAFoundations group did a fantastic job presenting a wide range of innovative ventures to our panelists, including Ashley Jennings, Daniel Lucio, Jessica Vollman, and Preston James. As if that wasn’t enough, two of our courageous participants, Patrick Perlinger & Sophie Zechmeister, gave insightful and engaging talks at Nerd Nite! The first week started off strong, but the team’s dedicated and enthusiastic energy persevered throughout the entire exchange.

Thanks to our supportive network, the exchange participants met with representatives from a diverse range of Austin stakeholders working in tech, culinary, government, creative, and social impact. We had fourteen full days with this group of innovative entrepreneurs, and not one second was wasted. Every day was packed with site visits, roundtable discussions, cultural experiences, and engaging with leaders and mentors in the Austin community. The Foundations participants got an inside look at the inner-workings of the City of Austin, hearing from experts in public policy, workforce development, creative culture, diversity, and inclusion. We heard countless startup stories and words of wisdom from Austin-based founders like Fernando Marri from Boteco, Maggie of Maggie Louise Confections, our own founder and CIO, Cam Houser, and many more. Site visits included Whole Foods, Walmart Tech, Dell, Texas Tribune, HomeAway, and even a day trip to San Antonio for tours of Geekdom and Rackspace! These site visits provided an exclusive look into these diverse, influential, and innovative companies.

One of the biggest highlights of the exchange was the opportunity for the Foundations crew to attend the 3DS Global Roundup Conference. They participated in all three days of workshops and keynote speakers, and made connections with entrepreneurs from around the world. Believe it or not, between the networking, tours, and entrepreneurial growth, the participants got to experience all the treasures that keep Austin weird. We tasted brisket from the famous Franklin’s BBQ, took a dip in Barton Springs, watched the Congress Bridge Bats fly, and so much more! The participants were able to expand their international mindset and gain an understanding of what makes Austin’s culture so uniquely inspiring.

Getting to know the Austrian leaders in the Foundations exchange was an absolute pleasure, and watching them grow their global network and develop as entrepreneurs was inspiring. The entire 3DS team looks forward to seeing their impact expand as they bring their new insights to the ATA Community and the Austrian entrepreneurial ecosystem. We want to show our sincere gratitude to those who helped make this exchange so successful and rewarding. To the many inspiring Austin mentors, businesses, and of course, our partnership with the US Embassy Vienna: thank you all so much for your continued support of 3 Day Startup and entrepreneurial education. We are excited to continue building bridges of innovation between the US, Austria, and around the world!

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