3-Day Startup: New companies for five students, wisdom for all
Areas of Study , Entrepreneurship , Entrepreneurship Society , Event Recaps , Stories Student Organizations & Clubs | May 01, 2012 | Nicole Gesualdo
Five scalable tech startups.
Last weekend, 40 students from throughout New York City — including three from Fordham — came together in downtown Manhattan for 3-Day Startup, a rapid-fire incubator for new technology businesses that accelerates from the idea stage on Friday to fully realized companies on Sunday. Whether a participant was a graphic designer, software developer or business student, each had a passion for creativity and entrepreneurship.
Students pitched their ideas on Friday night, and the top five were chosen democratically. They spent Saturday developing the ideas and approaching potential customers on the streets of the Financial District for one-on-one interviews. This helped the students to figure out what needs people faced and how they might respond to a certain product — making the young entrepreneurs better able to develop a solution. The event ended on Sunday night, when all five teams pitched their fleshed-out ideas to a panel of investors and other entrepreneurs.
Dan Sperling (GSB ’12) puts it in a nutshell: “Here I was, in an office in the Financial District, with altruistic mentors, advisors and a structured plan on how to guide us through the process of starting these companies.”
Two of the five chosen ideas came from Fordham students: Sam Hysell (GSB ’14) and Brandon Long (GSB ’12). Brandon’s concept, The Halo Net, uses web and mobile technologies to offer social support to people grappling with personal challenges. Brandon said he saw friends falling into bad habits such as anorexia and alcoholism, and he realized they had no action plan for overcoming their struggles. As a socially conscious entrepreneur, he set out to resolve that — and, over the course of the weekend, came up with The Halo Net.
Thanks to teammates and mentors who helped with critiques and development, student participants made more progress on their business ideas in three days than many had in months.
3-Day Startup believe utilized three core features that any professional can apply in their own development.
Getting help from mentors. Sean O’Connor (GSB ’12) said that “by having experienced mentors check in with us throughout the event, we were able to refine the scope of our venture much quicker than we otherwise would have.”
Surrounding yourself with passion. Bringing together so many like-minded people, both students and professionals, created an energy that can be hard to come by. Surround yourself with people who are already where you want to be in five years. Their passion and expertise will help force you to learn and adapt.
Utilizing established processes. Professionals in every industry feel as if they are often going into uncharted territory, yet chances are there is somebody who has done it before. The keys to their process can be easily applied to your own journey. “Emulating” sounds like a bad thing, but 3-Day startup participants learned that taking an idea already on the market and making it better can yield great rewards. The iPhone, for example, wasn’t the first smartphone, but it pulled together the best aspects of all other smartphones into one.
Students who participated in 3-Day Startup found it to be an awesome experience. Even people not interested in starting their own business can benefit from its principles: learn from mentors, seek out others with passion, and stop hating and start emulating!
Sam Hysell (GSB ’14) is studying business economics and sociology. He is fascinated by the potential business has to have an impact on society. He writes regularly at www.getserious.me. Photograph courtesy of the 3-Day Startup web site.