October 19-21, 2018 @ Old Dominion University

Strome Entrepreneurial Center


Do you want to help others through social impact? Are you interested

in entrepreneurship? Do you like the idea of being your own boss?


 If you answered yes to any of these questions, apply to participate in 3 Day Startup

(3DS)! 3DS is a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus program that teaches social

entrepreneurship skills to university students of all backgrounds and disciplines in

an extreme hands-on environment.


Orientation Video (1 week before program): The 3DS Orientation Video is sent to participants to introduce key entrepreneurship principles in social impact and best practices for maximizing the 3 Day Startup program experience.

Day 1: Participants arrive – with or without social impact 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: Day 2 places heavy emphasis on mission model canvas generation. Teams focus on beneficiary/stakeholder discovery (where they hit the streets –– or the phones –– and talk to potential beneficiaries and stakeholders), structured mentorship, rapid prototyping, intermediate pitches and feedback sessions.

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

Time to program








Time to apply









Application Deadline: Wednesday, October 10 @ 11:45pm

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

Fill out my online form.



What does the program look like? You and your fellow students will start a company over the course of three days. We provide work space, invite approximately 40 students with a wide range of backgrounds, and provide food, drinks, snacks, and coffee. But most importantly, we give you everything you need to go from selecting an idea on day 1 to presenting a minimum viable product on day 3. By the end of the program, you should have the skills, motivation, and network to move forward with your company –– now or ten years from now.

If I participate, what do I get out of the program? 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 startup.

What is social entrepreneurship? Social entrepreneurship aims to alleviate a societal, environmental, or ecological problem through selling a product or service. These entrepreneurs are driven to improve the lives of people through commerce. For example, TOMS shoes donates a pair a shoes to a needy child in a disparate country when a customer buys a pair of TOMS shoes. 

I’m a student majoring in something not business. Should I even consider applying? Yes! Our past participants span from first years to PhD candidates with backgrounds from English to engineering. Everyone is welcomed and everyone is valued. If you are passionate or curious about startups or helping make the world a better place, a 3DS program gives you just the push you need. And you’ll have a lot of fun along the way!

What kind of ideas are allowed? These program is oriented towards social entrepreneurship and social good. We will aim to focus around ideas that aim to tackle a societal, environmental, or ecological problem. Although this program focuses around social entrepreneurship, the lessons you will learn are transferable across other realms of entrepreneurship from for-profit to non-profit to B-corp.

What about food? Sleep? All meals, drinks, and in-between snacks are provided. Sleep is optional. 

What is your rate of success? First of all, You can check out some of the companies that have been started by 3 Day Startup Alumni here. Our primary success metrics are learning outcomes and companies launched. Per program, 3 Day Startup results in more successful startups than any other weekend entrepreneurship event. When we say startups, we mean the real thing: companies that are making money or taking investment. We have run 400+ programs in the US at schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT and internationally, and those have given rise to hundreds of companies that have received over $160 million in funding. 38 companies from 3DS have been accepted to accelerators such as Y Combinator, Tech Stars, 500 Startups, Capital Factory, and Dreamit Ventures. On average, most 3 Day Startup programs ––  in both mature and nascent university entrepreneurship ecosystems –– generate at least one successful startup. 




For questions about the 3DS Old Dominion program or sponsorship inquiries, please email our lead organizer Mallory Tuttle at mtuttle@odu.edu

About Us

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

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