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3 Day Startup students go digital in first virtual bootcamp

3 Day Startup students go digital in first virtual bootcamp

Last month, over 50 students from across the SETsquared partner universities came together for the annual 3 Day Startup (3DS) bootcamp organised by SETsquared’s Student Enterprise Practice group who support budding young entrepreneurs and their ideas.

Over 72 hours, the students undertook an intensive business start-up challenge which included ideation, customer discovery, rapid prototyping and pitching. For the first time, the event was delivered entirely online. During the bootcamp, students pitched over 30 of their own ideas on day one, which were shaped and transformed into nine fledgling team-based companies by day three. At this point the ideas were pitched to a panel of 15 seasoned entrepreneurs, business experts and mentors for feedback and coaching.

The nine business ideas were as follows:

  • Tinder for Houses: A platform to improve student’s search for housing
  • SideHustlr: A creative collaboration platform that connects aspiring creatives
  • Ethical Products Platform: Collates sustainable & ethical suppliers, materials and resources in one platform
  • DigiMe: Allowing users to gain control of the personal data they exchange with social media giants
  • LiDA: A sensor providing autonomous cars with low-cost sensor arrays
  • 3D Supermarket: Provides 3D maps around supermarkets to locate hard-to-find products.
  • Mental Health Community: A place for people to share emotional issues and match with someone who can listen to them
  • Charity Crowdfunding via Blockchain: Using blockchain to make online crowdfunding platforms more transparent
  • Cosmetics Deposit: A deposit system to reduce the plastic waste of cosmetic products

Participant Harry Ellis, from team SideHustlr said:

“I am really grateful to have had the chance to represent the University of Bristol at the 3 Day Startup Programme. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other ambitious and like-minded students, all eager to make a success of themselves and the current situation we find ourselves in. And to add to that, this virtual event, which is usually hosted in-person, worked really well online. I would without doubt recommend this experience to any student and aspiring entrepreneur who is considering it”.

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 5th 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, Southampton in 2019 and Bristol this year.

Overcoming the challenges of taking the programme online was no easy task, and the team in Bristol worked hard to ensure that the transition was as smooth as possible. Different platforms were used to allow for online break out rooms and chat channels to enable the students to collaborate as they would have in person.

Forming part of the judging panel this year were graduate entrepreneurs and University of Bristol students Konstantina Psoma and Roman Bromidge, who won the University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition for their software company Kaedim earlier this year. The prize included 12 months’ business incubation at SETsquared Bristol. Also on the panel was the founder of 3DS, Cam Houser.

SETsquared Student Enterprise Chair, Siobain Hone, said:

“3DS and the Basecamp Enterprise team pulled off an amazing virtual Start-Up weekend with students registering to sharpen up their business ideas and take them through to pitch perfect”.

“Moving everything online and reorganising the whole programme was a huge task and Maia Donohue in Austin, Texas and Katie, Faye and Lauren at Bristol did a fantastic job.  Our students are still buzzing from the weekend and we hope to see some of them follow their ideas through to GradInvest next year”.

3DS has proven to be a successful springboard for students to take their ideas forwards into growing businesses. Most recently Wiggly Line grew out of the Exeter event. Founders James and Ty went onto pitch at SETsquared’s Gradinvest and pitched in Hong Kong to represent SETsquared in HKEPIC19.

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

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