Imagine: You walk into a conference room in a crisp suit, ready to lead Monday morning’s meeting at your selfmade business, of which you are the CEO. You are the picture of ease, confidence and business. You are an entrepreneur.
Does that sound like your future plan? At the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, programs like 3 Day Startup can put you on the track to success no matter your age, major, background or classification. An entrepreneur doesn’t fit one specific mold—and the 3 Day Startup program is here to prove it. Over the course of three days, from Oct 4-6, 40 students will build a company from the ground up and present a business prototype by the end of day three.
3 Day Startup is an international program first founded by a group at the University of Texas at Austin with a vision that all students could ignite their potential through the experience of entrepreneurship. Seeing the change in students, Texas A&M was inspired to give Aggies the same experience and opportunities. The McFerrin Center is one of the original schools to host this international program. 3 Day Startup (3DS) is an opportunity for students to truly experience entrepreneurship, along with all the steps, failures and frustrations of launching a company. By participating, students can figure out what they want to do and what they’re ready for. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend.
All of the Mcferrin Center programs present you with opportunities, but the 3 Day Startup really lets you look behind the curtain and get a taste of what it’s like to launch a company from the ground up. “There are a lot of things you have to take into consideration,” Stephanie Burns, McFerrin’s Communications Coordinator, says. “There are a lot of different variables and logistics that you have to think about when you’re launching a business, and it’s really hard to know what those variables are when you’ve never engaged with anything related to entrepreneurship before…3 Day Startup gives you a safe place to play around with those ideas and play around with those variables.”
3DS is a unique, free opportunity for students to receive training that include modules, experiences, networking, and of course, free food! Don’t worry about being prepared: You don’t have to know anything going into the 3 Day Startup—you can just start from ground zero, and throughout the weekend, you can learn and change your mindset as you move forward. The only prep you need is to have an interest in entrepreneurship and the expectation of learning a lot!
This experience will only push you ahead. “3 Day Startup will equip students with the tools and the right mindset to be an entrepreneur one day,” says Audrey Fadal, Program Coordinator at the McFerrin Center. “[Students] can really learn the process for how to start their own business in just 72 hours…It mostly gets them in the right mindset to be entrepreneurs moving forward.”
But will it affect a freshman differently than a senior or grad student, and vice versa? “Not really,” comments Fadal. “We hope every student gains the same mindset. It really just depends what they take away from it. You can learn to be an entrepreneur when you’re a teenager or college student…each person’s journey is completely different.”
What about non-business majors? Entrepreneurship is not just for business majors! Non-business majors sell themselves short when they think entrepreneurship is something they can’t do. As Burns points out, “We need the creative problem solvers that liberal arts develops, we need the designers and engineers from the college of engineering, we need the developers from architecture, and we also need the researchers from Ag—you need a really diverse team in order to succeed in life in general.”
But isn’t there something that needs to be done prior to participating? Burns suggests beginning to write down your ideas the week beforehand. “What’s really cool about 3DS is we don’t give the participants the business ideas beforehand. They’re all provided by [the students] who actually have to pitch the idea…so starting writing it down.”
Although it does sound daunting to start a business in such a short amount of time, students will learn what can be accomplished when working really hard in a short amount of time. As they experience the hardships and rewards of business startups, students will also be able to network with mentors, investors, professors, and working entrepreneurs.
If you’re passionate about new beginnings and discoveries, this will be a valuable experience for you. Not only do students have access to professional connections for free, but the weekend also provides an opportunity to cofound a new tech startup. “3DS looks REALLY good on your resume,” stresses Burns, saying that former students have been hired for internships and full-time jobs just because they put the 3 Day Startup on their resume.
Learn by doing. Create a business. Challenge yourself to grow as an individual. At the McFerrin Entrepreneurship Center, you can put your ideas on paper. It all begins with the courage to present yourself to the world. Come find out the details of this whirlwind weekend of entrepreneurship from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2 at the McFerrin Center.
Applications are open from Sept. 2-17, and the 40 selected will attend the 3DS Bootcamp October 2. The Fall 2019 3DS event will take place from Friday, October 4 to Sunday, October 6.
Apply for the 3 Day Startup at the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship at http://bit.ly/3DSFall2019.