Many cities have action-packed, weekend long educational programs to promote an entrepreneurial ecosystem and hopefully build startups, but few continually take place at universities around the world. 3 Day Startup, 3DS for short, is a program designed to be fully hands-on, bringing in top investors and entrepreneurs, with an aim to start tech companies over the three day period.
3DS started out as a student organization and is now a non-profit which has spread to 30 universities in countries such as U.S., China, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Israel and Chile. While the events usually take place at universities, you do not have to be a student to attend. Over 40 events have taken place to date and this weekend, from November 2nd through 4th, the University of New Orleans will be hosting its second 3DS event.
Dr. Vassil Roussev played a large part in getting 3DS to come to New Orleans last fall. He is the founding faculty advisor for 3DS NOLA and will continue to help students in this entrepreneurial ecosystem. Worldwide, the program continues to grow and has already seen 33 companies created and has raised a total of $8.5 million in investment. 16 of those 33 have been accepted into accelerator programs.
Before these successes, the problem was that students were not collaborating across majors and sharing ideas, according to Madeline Vu, Program Manager for 3DS. In an effort to combine groups and bring together business majors with science majors and so forth, 3DS was founded by two computer science PhDs at the University of Texas – Austin, Joel Hestness and Thomas Finsterbusch, in 2008.
The program is not competition-based like many others, rather a chance for students (and non-students) to bring their ideas to life over a short period of time. 3DS NOLA encourages students to stick around the city and start their own technology firms rather than travel elsewhere to do so.