3 Day Startup event is a 72-hour, hands-on workshop experience for Texas A&M University students of all majors. Within this three-day period, students are coached, mentored and begin executing on the critical first steps necessary to make any business idea grow successfully. Beginning on Friday afternoon, students pitch their own business idea, and teams are formed around the ideas most highly-supported by the other student participants. Then these student teams will work day and night to prepare for their final pitches on Sunday in front of a “Pro Panel” of entrepreneurial experts who have launched successful businesses across a wide array of industries. The constructive criticism and advice provided by volunteer mentors and entrepreneurs throughout the weekend provide the students with a framework and path to work toward launching a new business.

Beginning on Friday afternoon, students pitch their own business idea, and teams are formed around the ideas most highly-supported by the other student participants. Then these student teams will work day and night to prepare for their final pitches on Sunday in front of a “Pro Panel” of entrepreneurial experts who have launched successful businesses across a wide array of industries. The constructive criticism and advice provided by volunteer mentors and entrepreneurs throughout the weekend provide the students with a framework and path to work toward launching a new business.

During the weekend of March 31- April 2, 43 entrepreneurial-minded Aggies from all over campus gathered at Startup Aggieland to participate in the spring semester’s 3DS Program. More than 30 Aggies pitched their business concepts on Friday, and the student participants selected their favorite five ideas to pursue throughout the weekend.

Saturday was dedicated to brainstorming, mentorship, feedback sessions and outside-the-building customer discovery, while the teams spent Sunday finalizing their plans and pitches. With the critical information gathered by each team, necessary pivots were followed and students began to understand the effort required to create a business. The program’s risk-free environment and fail-fast mentality fostered engagement, passion, team building, and networking on a significant scale, and within a very short amount of time.

Making the cut for this semester’s program were start-up plans including a live streaming music website, a mailbox sensor with a corresponding messaging service, a police gun holster with GPS tracking and communication capabilities, a software platform assisting food pantries with inventory management, and a diabetic test kit that attaches to a smartphone case.

“3DS is always one of our most popular entrepreneurial programs, and certainly one of the most intensive,” sais Blake Petty, director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays. “It has such a powerful impact on participants, forcing them to work through some of a startup’s earliest challenges, issues and market traction, all over the course of just one weekend. Most impressive is how many Aggies take their first entrepreneurial steps during 3DS, and leverage their experience to begin a meaningful journey toward launching their own business.”

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship celebrated its 10th consecutive 3 Day Startup Program this semester, hosted throughout the weekend at Startup Aggieland, and culminating in Pro Panel Pitches and a networking reception in the Cocanougher Center in the Wehner Building. Dinner was provided by BJ’s Restaurant, and a 10th birthday cake was cut in recognition of the milestone, alongside program sponsors Cattlesoft & Clarke Erskine, Aggie Class of ’69.