Organization:3 Day Startup

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So, what is 3DS?

3 Day Startup (3DS) is a student-founded organization that strives to activate entrepreneurial potential across the globe by offering free, experiential entrepreneurship education for students in any field. The skills and experience acquired during a three-day Startup weekend will prepare students to blossom in successful entrepreneurship ecosystems, especially technology-based ventures. By connecting students, educators and industry leaders- 3DS fosters a network of growth and has established an everlasting educational community that spans the globe!

You might be asking yourself, “How can 3 days be enough to learn entrepreneurship?” As one of the world’s leading entrepreneurial startup educators, the unique structure and experiential learning models employed by 3DS provide necessary resources equivalent to 6-9 months of training, in just one weekend! During the three day course, approximately 40 students from various disciplines will guide their startup ideas through the design thinking process, culminating in a final presentation to a board consisting of field experts and investors! 3DS provides participants with modules, contacts, team-builders, and other accommodations such as meals and free server storage.
More specifically, the 3DS Startup weekend itinerary consists of:

  • Day 1: Targets Ideation, Team Formation, and the Lean Canvas module
  • Day 2: Focuses on Customer Discovery, Rapid Prototyping, and Mentorship
  • Day 3: Encompasses How to Pitch, Final Pitch, and Joining the Network.

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Creating Success by Exploring YOUR Ideas

As a 501© nonprofit organization, 3 Day Startup delivers some of the best experiential entrepreneurship training with educational programs that accomodate students from around  the world! 3 Day Startup boasts a distinctly high success rate, with sponsored events resulting in more successful startups than any other three day entrepreneurship event. Startup Weekend provides an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs in the Tech & STEAM fields, and 3 Day Startup has led to over 41 technology startups acquiring over $14 million in investments!

By offering a variety of events and courses such as economic development, skill-building, accelerator/competition readiness- 3 Day Startup is tailored for high school and university students as well as those in the enterprise, intermediate and professional phases. 3 Day Startup is sponsored by Microsoft and Rackspace, where students receive free technology and server access for quick building! Although focusing on tech startups, 3 day Startup is all-inclusive and encourages participation by all majors at the university level.

The 3DS Startup weekend is unlike anything you’ve experienced before! 3DS rents out work space for the entire three day weekend and caters food and drinks, all while bringing together ~45 student participants and dozens of successful entrepreneurs and investors. On day 1, the participants select the best startup ideas during a brainstorming session, and then work throughout the weekend to deliver a prototype and pitch to investors on Sunday evening. With a focus on learning-by-doing, 3DS encourages interdisciplinary teams to talk with real customers, and act in the microcosm of what the startup world actually feels like.

Below is an example of a 3DS Startup weekend itinerary:


  • 2pm: meet & greet, split up into brainstorming groups

  • 7pm: dinner & pitch ideas

  • Decide on best idea(s), start working!


  • Customer interaction, coding, market validation, business plans, logos, etc.


  • 6pm: dinner & meet panelists

  • 7pm: pitch startup(s) to panel

  • Launch prototype, elect board

In addition to the Startup Weekend events held globally, 3 Day Startup annually hosts a 1- 2 week Entrepreneurship Exchange program. This year’s 3DS Exchange is being held in Austin, Texas and features dozens of esteemed speakers and opportunities to connect with mentors, investors, teachers, and other entrepreneurs. Aside from top-notch educational material, the 3DS Exchange provides students with global networking opportunities and the chance to meet potential venture startup investors.
Note on equity:

3DS non-profit organization will receive 0.5% of dilutable equity in any companies that are formed based around ideas presented during the final pitches, if a patent is sought and the company adheres to the structures of the FCC laws. The purpose of this is to protect ideas and founders by establishing a clear chain of legal ownership for the ideas.  The 3DS organizers never profits  from any pf the work you do!

Host a Startup weekend at your Campus

  • To begin planning a 3DS Startup weekend at your campus, please contact 3DS directly to receive guidance and instruction throughout the process. Online forms to request an event partnership or sponsorship are available at:
  • 2 - 3 Months of organization time is required to plan a successful event!

  • 3DS offers a grant program- apply to subsidize the costs and receive potential funding!

  1. To secure your event- "Unlock" your university by having 50 interested people

  2. 3DS will contact you and provide a 3DS mentor to help organize the event.

  3. Begin planning the actual Startup weekend by securing a date and venue.

  4. Secure sponsorships to cover costs of food, t-shirts, and any other expenses.

  5. Recruit applicants - this should be occurring throughout the entire process!

  6. Find mentors and panelists to serve at the actual event.

  7. Host the event, and be thankful you’re so well prepared!

Contact Information

Madeline Vu, Program Manager  -  

Cam Houser, CEO                            -

Written by: Kayla.barbour    &   Andrea_Claudio