3DS Healthcare: Texas Business Foundations Summer Institute

On July 9th, the Texas Business Foundations Summer Institute (TBFSI) at the University of Texas at Austin embedded a healthcare-focused 3 Day Startup into the curriculum with over 50 students.  Participants in the TBFSI program are used to intense days, working from nine to five during eight weeks of their summer vacation. Their interests are quite different from the business, design, and computer science students in most 3DS programs.  With backgrounds ranging from pharmacy and biology to psychology and geoscience, each participant is working towards earning a business certificate that they can pair with their specific science-related expertise.

Day 3 Team Exercise: Students attempting to build the tallest marshmallow tower.

(Day 3) Team Exercise: Students attempt to build the tallest marshmallow tower.

The objective was simple: develop a sustainable healthcare company in 3 days.  Teams began each day with exercises like “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to build teamwork skills and a product innovation exercise involving random household objects that students sold as coffee stirrers to practice storytelling.  Afterwards, students quickly dove deep into developing their solutions to society’s biggest health care concerns such as obesity, autoimmune disease, and EMRs (electronic medical records) lack of standardization.

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Professor Houser (left) and Professor Vindis (right) showing a complete lack of diversity with their matching wardrobe.


Diversity and Teamwork

With Gallup’s recent release of Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder, progressive entrepreneurial ecosystems across the nation are adding this tool to their arsenal of personality assessments.  These tests provide a valuable framework to explain one’s strengths, weaknesses, and the value one is adding to a team, project, or organization.  For the 3 Day Startup Healthcare Program, participants were broken up into teams based on their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment results and coached to lead with their strengths. Through the (MBTI) method, diversity was evenly spread.  The students could see the value they were adding to their teams.  Joe Gerstandt, a thought leader in diversity and inclusion, says “diversity is a driver of innovation.  When everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking at all.”  Actively creating situations where teams can work in a more diverse environment will increase creativity and yield a space more conducive to high performance.  In higher education, team building through MBTI and other methods should not be a rarity.  Experiments such as these can develop effective tools to increase self-awareness and how to work in a team.

Competitive Intelligence How-To

It is easier to talk about why collecting information on a market is important rather than to how to actually do it.  Thankfully, Laura Young, Co-Founder of Bizologie, was there to give teams a roadmap of how to find the information they were looking for.  Having a background as a Librarian at the University of Texas and a research analyst at Austin Ventures allowed her to develop a process of competitive landscaping to take the guesswork out of the process.  The list of resources she has created is a great tool for entrepreneurs to kickstart their competitive landscaping.  Understanding the competition is just as important as understanding what one’s company brings to the table.

Triumphant smiles at the end of the program.

Triumphant smiles at the end of the program.


Tufts Hosts First 3 Day Startup Healthcare Program

3DS Healthcare

Tufts University recently hosted its first 3 Day Startup during the weekend of April 12th.  This program was unique in a couple of ways as it focused on innovation in the healthcare industry.  Additionally, a large percentage of participants were preparing for careers in the healthcare industry, not only as physicians, but as a range of other roles in the industry.

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Born in Dorms: CentriCycle, Improving Healthcare in Rural India

3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series, Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus.

CentriCycle, UMichigan

CentriCycle, UMichigan

Carolyn Yarina, a senior chemical engineering student at the University of Michigan co-founded CentriCycle with fellow student social entrepreneur Alex Thinath in August 2012.

CentriCycle is a non-profit working to improve healthcare in rural India through the implementation of sustainable diagnostic technology and disease education. In India, one out of every three people live in rural areas and lack local access to basic healthcare. “We have identified one key factor in the increasing disease incidence as the paucity of point-of-care diagnosis in rural villages in India,” says Yarina.

CentriCyle is launching its first device in India later this year: the CentriCycle Centrifuge. A centrifuge is a device that spins at high speeds to separate blood constituents. Once blood is separated, simple paper strips known as rapid diagnostic tests (RDT’s) can be used to diagnose diseases such as HIV, syphilis, and malaria. “Our device is hand-powered, affordable at $25, and enables point-of-care diagnosis in less than 5 minutes. Our total Indian market is $11.5 million,” says Yarina.

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