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3 Day Start-up kick starts 50 students’ entrepreneurial journey

3 Day Start-up kick starts 50 students’ entrepreneurial journey

October saw the Student Enterprise Practice group hold another successful 3 Day Start-Up (3DS) bootcamp.

Hosted by the University of Southampton at the Winchester School of Art, 3DS provided an intensive 72-hr business start-up experience which included ideation, customer discovery, rapid prototyping and pitching for 50 students selected from across the SETsquared Partners.

The 3DS process helped turn 50 ideas on the Friday night into eight nascent teams by Sunday morning each one with a budding business model that was then stress-tested with a pitch to an expert panel and strengthened with feedback, coaching and the experience of building a team.

SETsquared Student Enterprise Chair, Siobain Hone, said: “This year’s 3DS cohort was as strong as ever and innovative solutions and business models for sustainability, and reducing and recycling plastic were the basis of five of the eight businesses that pitched”.

Here is an overview of the eight ideas the budding entrepreneurs perused:

  • Recyclio – helping SMEs sort their own plastic for recycling
  • Deliverall – supermarket delivery from multiple stores
  • Lab Plastic Recycling – processing the recycling contaminated plastic lab waste
  • Small Steps – subscribe and receive samples of sustainable products to try before you buy
  • Student Skills – skills exchange for students via an online platform
  • Student XP – students getting temp jobs in start-ups to gain work experience
  • GoToZero – reducing packaging from plastic to reusable containers
  • Ponic Pod – indoor herb plants in hydro/aqua ponics

Participant Vicky Regan, who is studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, said: “I had an amazing time participating in the 3 Day Start-up, representing the University of Bath. Throughout the weekend we went through a variety of different modules from ideation, customer discovery, prototyping to final pitches. We worked relentlessly to develop and deliver a business model, marketing strategy and prototype that focused on solving the main problem that we identified.”

Vicky continues by saying: “I met incredible like-minded individuals, who shared the excitement and energy of aspiring entrepreneurs, all eager and open to learn from each other. I would like to say a massive thank you to all the mentors that gave us guidance, motivation and feedback to ensure the event was a success. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has the chance!”

The concept of 3DS was created by a group of students from the University of Texas in 2008 and now runs as a not for profit enterprise, with events taking place at universities around the globe.  This was the 4th year that the Student Enterprise Practice group have run 3DS. Rotating hosting round the Partnership, the event was piloted at Bath in 2016, Exeter in 2017, Surrey in 2018 and Southampton this year.  With Bristol set to host in 2020.

From past events companies such as Intro, created by graduates Tom and Max from The University of Southampton and The University of Exeter, have been born. Most recently Wiggly Line grew out of the Exeter event. Founders James and Ty went onto pitch at SETsqaured’s Graduate Acceleration Showcase and recently flew to Hong Kong to represent SETSquared in HKEPIC19.

SETsquared Student Enterprise Chair, Siobain Hone, comments: “I’m looking forward to seeing the teams develop and come back as future participants in our Graduate Acceleration Showcase and go on to join other SETsquared programmes in the future.”

Are you a student? From idea to starting up phase, find out how SETsquared partnership can support you on your entrepreneurial journey.
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SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey