Bar and Diamond


September 21st – 23rd, 2018

3 Day Startup is a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to young and aspiring entrepreneurs in an extreme hands-on environment.


Bootcamp (1-2 weeks before program date): Participating students meet, get introduced to key entrepreneurship principles, and learn best practices for maximizing the 3 Day Startup program experience.

Day 1: Participants arrive – with or without startup ideas – and a facilitator leads the group through dedicated brainstorming, preliminary pitches/feedback, and team selection modules. Some teams work late into the night and others prefer to rest up in preparation for day 2.

Day 2: Customer discovery (teams exit the building or hit the phones and talk to potential customers), structured mentorship, intermediate pitches and feedback sessions. Day 2 places heavy emphasis on business model generation.

Day 3: Continued execution (including pitch workshops) leading into final pitches/demos to an esteemed panel of mentors and investors.  

3DS Davidson Schedule

If you are applying for this program, make sure that your schedule is open for the following dates and times:  

Friday, September 21st: 5pm-9pm @ The Hub

Saturday, September 22nd: 10:00am-6:30pm @ The Hub

Sunday, September 23rd: 10:00am-4:30pm @ The Hub



Application Deadline: September 7th – 11:59PM

The program is free but you must apply to get in. 3DS is open to students of all years, majors, and experience levels as well as Davidson alumni. Admissions are rolling, so please apply ASAP to increase your chances of participating.

Fill out my online form.


What does the weekend look like? You and 39 other students will start a software startup over the course of three days. We rent work space for a 3 days, invite 40 students with a wide range of backgrounds, cater food, drinks, snacks, and coffee, pick the best idea for a software startup during the Friday brainstorming session, and release a minimal prototype by the end of day 3. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend.

If I participate, what do I get out of the weekend? The worst case scenario is that you will work with brilliant people from numerous disciplines toward the common goal of building real companies and products. Great connections happen at 3 Day Startup: cofounders meet, complimentary skill sets collide, and friends are made. The best case scenario is that you will be a cofounder of a wildly successful new tech startup.

I’m a student majoring in X. Should I even consider applying? The short answer is: yes. Our past participants have spanned everything from a freshman in psychology to a freshly minted PhD in Neuroscience. If you’re at all passionate about startups, innovation, or technology, it is likely that you will be a valuable participant.

Can I apply even though I am not a Davidson student? Absolutely. While the majority will be current Davidson students, we are definitely open to having some (very strong) non-student participants and alumni.

What kind of ideas are allowed? Ideas with scalable business models are strongly preferred.  But any types of ideas are welcome, and having an idea is not necessary for acceptance into the program.

What about food? Sleep? 3DS caters all meals, drinks, and in-between snacks. Sleep is optional.

What is your rate of success? First of all, check out some of the companies that have been started by graduates of 3 Day Startup here. Our main metric for success is how many of our alumni found companies that take investment, generate revenue or enter incubators.  It is common to hear the word “startup” get thrown around.   When we say startup, we mean the real thing: companies that are making money or taking investment. Per program, 3 Day Startup result in more successful startups than any other weekend entrepreneurship event. We have run 130+ programs in the US and internationally, and those have given rise to 79 companies that have cumulatively received over $49 million in funding. 29 companies from 3DS have been accepted to accelerators such as Y Combinator, Tech Stars, 500 Startups, Capital Factory, Austin Technology Incubator and Dreamit Ventures. On average, each 3 Day Startup program has generated more than one successful startup.  This includes programs in mature and nascent college entrepreneurship ecosys tems. More FAQs here.



For questions about the Davidson program or sponsorship inquiries, please email our lead organizer Liz Stevens at listevens@davidson.edu

About Us

3 Day Startup’s mission is to kickstart new student-run companies and build entrepreneurial capabilities in students and their college communities. Learn More

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