Contributor: Dan Otto is a student at William & Mary and was a participant at 3DS William & Mary.
The question we kept asking ourselves at 11:40 pm, 20 minutes before the due date of 3DS William & Mary application was, “Is it worth applying?” Looking back, we could almost laugh at ourselves for thinking that.
3 Day Startup (3DS) was an experience that we never expected to have. Initially, we didn’t know if it would be useful to us, but we thought it would be at least a decent opportunity to make some new connections over a weekend. Our startup idea had already been incubating for months prior to 3DS, so we initially thought this was going to be a way to get the opinion of others, and nothing more. In reality, we couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Zairge team at 3DS William & Mary
3 Day Startup works with students from all over the globe to help them kickstart their startup ideas into viable companies. During SXSW, 3DS hosted a pitch workshop for students from the University of Tokyo. The purpose of the workshop was to help students further refine their elevator pitches for a global audience. Most of the participating teams already had working products or early traction from investors or customers.
Participating students were part of Todai to Texas, a program aimed at bringing the brightest student startups from the University of Tokyo to exhibit at SXSW.
During SXSW Interactive 2014, 3 Day Startup hosted a panel to discuss a much debated topic among student entrepreneurs: “Should you drop out of school to start a company?” Some of the points discussed included, entrepreneurial timing, the university as a startup platform, and the culture of risk taking.
The diverse panel of individuals included, Mike Gibson, VP for Grants at the Thiel Foundation, Connie Bourassa-Shaw, Director of the University of Washington’s Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, and Andy O’Hara, Founder and CEO of Chiron Health. Cam Houser, CEO of 3 Day Startup, moderated the discussion.