Engler Startup Experience

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September 23-25, 2016

What is the 3DS Startup Experience?

3 Day Startup is a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment.

1 week prior: Participants are contacted and will receive some planning materials and Q & A time to begin preparing to maximize their 3 Day Startup 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 entrepreneurs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What does the weekend look like? You and a team of students will start a company over the course of three days. We provide work space for 3 days, invite students with a wide range of backgrounds, cater food, drinks, snacks, and coffee, pick the best ideas for startups during the Friday brainstorming session, and pitch the business model 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.
  2. 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. You'll learn real entrepreneurship skills and get to interact with industry leading mentors. 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 startup.
  3. I'm a student majoring in X. Should I even consider applying? The short answer is: yes! Past participants have spanned everything from a freshman in psychology to a freshly minted PhD in Neuroscience. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to startups, what unites all of the participants is a common interest in entrepreneurship. If you're at all passionate about startups, technology, and solutions, this event is for you!
  4. 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.
  5. What kind of ideas are allowed? Ideas with scalable business models are strongly preferred. Our selection criteria for ideas are (1) your amount of passion and (2) the amount of research on your own idea that you perform.
  6. What about food? Sleep? 3DS caters all meals, drinks, and in-between snacks. Sleep is optional. Participants can bring a pillow, or can go home to rest.
  7. 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.
  8. What should I bring?  Your laptop, power cord, favorite coffee mug, business cards, a second monitor or keyboard (basically anything to help you be productive), and lots of creative energy!
  9. How do I prepare? Start by doing some research about start up tools – you can start with the 3DayStartup Blog at http://3daystartup.org/blog/. The more prepared you are when you come into the weekend, the more successful you will be. If you plan on pitching an idea, we suggest that you dig in and do enough research on it to give a persuasive speech to attract a successful team. And then practice our pitch!
  10. But the Huskers are playing! The football team has an away game this weekend, and we will probably broadcast the game, but you should be more worried about possibly building the next big startup!