Intensive experience: UTSA students to start technology companies in three days
By KC Gonzalez
Public Affairs Specialist
For the first time, The University of Texas at San Antonio will host its own “3 Day Startup,” an intensive technology business startup experience that will be from 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25 through midnight, Sunday, Oct. 27 in the Business Building at the UTSA Main Campus.
Organized by UTSA student organization Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) with support from the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE), 3DS at UTSA is designed with two specific goals in mind: kick-start new technology companies to the point where they are ready to enter business incubators or accept seed funding, and build entrepreneurial capabilities in students and the university community.
The concept behind 3 Day Startup (3DS) is simple: start a scalable technology company over the course of three days. This weekend, nearly 40 UTSA students and alumni from different disciplines — business, computer science, design, engineering and liberal arts — will be guided through the early stages of forming a new venture.
Fueled by free food and caffeine, participants in 3DS will spend an intense weekend brainstorming ideas, conducting market validation, devising business models, building prototypes, and pitching to actual investors and successful entrepreneurs. The result is an experience that inspires innovation by requiring participants to actually build and launch companies of their own.
“Participating in last year’s ‘3 Day Startup’ at Geekdom was an eye-opening experience for me as a young entrepreneur,” said David Lamar Willis, B.B.A. ’13, a UTSA entrepreneurship alumnus. “Ideas are flowing everywhere at full-throttle speed. It’s like a 24-7 adrenaline rush. I’m excited to see what ideas will come from the entrepreneurial minds of UTSA students and alumni.”
Professionals within the technology entrepreneurship community in San Antonio will serve as mentors for the teams. This year’s mentors include Michael Girdley of Codeup.com, Cole Wollak of FlashScan3D, Nathan Roach of RAM Law Firm PLLC, Ev Kunetsov of Rackspace, Richard Ortega of TrueAbility, Andrew Trickett of the UTSA Texas Sustainability Research Institute and Anita Leffel of the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship.
“3 Day Startup” at UTSA is sponsored by the 80/20 Foundation.
“3 Day Startup” was founded in 2008 at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally a student organization, “3 Day Startup” is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The program has spread to other schools in North America, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia. In 2012, 3DS expanded to San Antonio for the first time and was hosted at Geekdom in the Weston Centre in downtown San Antonio. 3DS San Antonio will take place again this year at Geekdom Nov. 22-24. UTSA is the newest San Antonio host site for 3DS.
CEO is a UTSA student-run organization that seeks to create an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting student entrepreneurs in launching businesses. CITE is an interdisciplinary center of the UTSA College of Business and College of Engineering that fosters the growth of entrepreneurs and new technology-based ventures through education, experiences, resources and support.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 31,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service.
The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property — for Texas, the nation and the world.