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3 Day Start Up


Over the weekend of 15-17 November, University of Edinburgh’s Launch.ed held the UKs first ever 3 Day Startup (3DS) event. A non-profit hailing from Austin Texas, 3DS have so far staged 55 events across 4 continents, at universities including MIT, Harvard and Cornell, spawning 41 student startups collectively raising $14.5M in investment, with 22 3DS-originated companies accepted to top accelerator and incubator programs.

3 Day start up runs a high-energy weekend to help students turn their ideas into companies. They do this by taking students from different disciplines and guiding them through the early stages of starting a company. Over one intense weekend, participants in the 3DS Launch.ed event brainstorm ideas, conduct market validation, devise business models, build prototypes, and pitch to investors and successful entrepreneurs. The result is an experience that inspires innovation by requiring participants to actually build and launch companies.

 Some of the businesses pitched on Sunday included a new app to eliminate queues at coffee shops, a 3D-printed insole for ski boots, an app for teaching anatomy to medical students, a new cream for improving the appearance of stretch marks, and a letting service for students who want to find spare rooms in a family environment.

Two things stand out from the weekend. Firstly, the quality of the pitching on Sunday was remarkable - especially given that ideas had been chosen and teams formed little more than 48 hours previously. And while perhaps not all the businesses pitched will go on to ‘make it’, it was clear that  the 3DS experience had had a huge positive impact on the students in terms of entrepreneurial skills and mindset.

 Secondly, the programme was run with a philosophy of cooperation, not competition – the prize being the benefit of participation in the programme itself,  teams were encouraged to be open about their ideas, and participants were free to move between teams according to their interests and/or need for their skills. More photos of the event can be found on the launch.ed site. 

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