Lead Organizer Spotlight: Meet James Gray from 3DS Austin

James Gray just graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. James is now working on the product and business development team at Sparefoot. He was also the lead organizer of the 10th 3DS Austin in Spring 2013 when he was still a student.


James says the most rewarding part of organizing the program was to see teams progress from start to finish. He also enjoyed trying new things during the organizing process, hearing input from fellow organizers, and trying to launch a bigger and better program than the previous 3DS Austin he participated in. “It was also really fun. We got to work with some really big sponsors like Intuit,” he says.

The Challenges

James says one of his biggest challenges was knowing when to delegate. “You may think you can do everything, but it’s more effective to delegate to a team so you can have more time to work on other things. You also want to make sure that the workload is evenly distributed between all members,” he says.

The 3DS Community

“I participated and helped organize 3DS programs in the past, but I never got full exposure until I became the lead organizer for this semester,” James says. He is still friends with much of his team, who are also interested in entrepreneurship. “I’m working at Sparefoot now because a fellow organizer posted a job posting on our organizing group. People in 3DS are really good at connecting each other and helping each other out.”

Advice for Future Lead Organizers

James thinks students interested in entrepreneurship should consider taking the 3DS Lead Organizer position on their campus. “It’s hard to get this type of experience anywhere else. Through 3DS, you get to meet a diverse group of people through a great leadership role. There are a lot of other leadership roles on campus for various clubs, but those roles are usually less engaging,” he says.

After 3DS Austin

After 3DS Austin, James relaxed for a bit and then immediately started working at Sparefoot. “Without joining the 3DS community, I wouldn’t be where I am today — Working with energetic people in a startup environment,” he says. “Even though Sparefoot has over 100 employees, we still treat ourselves as a startup. We can test and change our product and processes quickly. I enjoy that a lot.”

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