WHAT HAPPENS AT A 3DS PROGRAM?
Bootcamp (1-2 weeks before program date): Participating students meet, get introduced to key entrepreneurship principles, and learn best practices for maximizing the 3 Day Startup program experience.
Day 1: Participants arrive – with or without startup ideas – and a facilitator leads the group through dedicated brainstorming, preliminary pitches/feedback, and team selection modules. Some teams work late into the night and others prefer to rest up in preparation for day 2.
Day 2: Customer discovery (teams exit the building or hit the phones and talk to potential customers), structured mentorship, intermediate pitches and feedback sessions. Day 2 places heavy emphasis on business model generation.
Day 3: Continued execution (including pitch workshops) leading into final pitches/demos to an esteemed panel of mentors and investors.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does the weekend look like? You and 39 other students will start a technology company over the course of three days. We rent work space for a 3 days, invite 40 students with a wide range of backgrounds, cater food, drinks, snacks, and coffee, pick the best idea for a software startup during the Friday brainstorming session, and release a minimal prototype by the end of day 3. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend.
If I participate, what do I get out of the weekend? The worst case scenario is that you will work with brilliant people from numerous disciplines toward the common goal of building real companies and products. Great connections happen at 3 Day Startup: cofounders meet, complementary skill sets collide, and friends are made. The best case scenario is that you will be a cofounder of a wildly successful new tech startup.
I’m a student majoring in X. Should I even consider applying? The short answer is: yes. Our past participants have spanned everything from a freshman in psychology to a freshly minted PhD in Neuroscience. If you’re at all passionate about startups and technology, it is likely that you will be a valuable participant.
Can I apply even though I am not a student? Absolutely. While the majority will be students, we are definitely open to having some (very strong) non student participants.
What kind of ideas are allowed? Ideas with scalable business models are strongly preferred. We also optimize for ideas that will require a strong software base. Our selection criteria for ideas are (1) your amount of passion and (2) the amount of research on your own idea that you perform before your interview.
What about food? Sleep? 3DS caters all meals, drinks, and in-between snacks. Sleep is optional. Participants can bring a sleeping bag, or they can go home to rest.
What is your rate of success? First of all, check out some of the companies that have been started by graduates of 3 Day Startup here. Our main metric for success is how many of our alumni found companies that take investment, generate revenue or enter incubators. It is common to hear the word “startup” get thrown around. When we say startup, we mean the real thing: companies that are making money or taking investment. Per program, 3 Day Startup result in more successful startups than any other weekend entrepreneurship event. We have run 130+ programs in the US and internationally, and those have given rise to 79 companies that have cumulatively received over $79 million in funding. 29 companies from 3DS have been accepted to accelerators such as Y Combinator, Tech Stars, 500 Startups, Capital Factory, Austin Technology Incubator and Dreamit Ventures. On average, each 3 Day Startup program has generated more than one successful startup. This includes programs in mature and nascent university entrepreneurship ecosystems.