Dartmouth recently launched its first marathon-style accelerator program, 3-Day Startup, in which student teams brainstorm, plan and pitch their business ideas.
The 75 student applicants chosen for the program come from a variety of disciplines, and on the first day the students were grouped into six teams based on shared interests. The teams then formed four larger groups assigned to pinpoint a problem encountered in everyday life and create a potential start-up based on a technology that solves that problem.
On the second day, the students conducted market validations, interviewing potential customers to test a product’s relevancy to a target market. They then drafted their first business plans, followed by two hours of mentorship from officials in the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer.
Finally, on the third day the students pitched their companies.
“Teams really got a lot out of this,” says program coordinator Austin Boral. “The teams received the contact information of their mentors, so they will be able to continue their interaction with the mentors.”
Many of the students hadn’t seriously considered entrepreneurship before, and 3-Day Startup served as a learning experience and a possible influence on their future careers.
“I was a little afraid this program would involve a lot of quantitative aspects, but it actually did not,” says Hui Cheng, whose prior experience is in the public sector. “I learned that [entrepreneurship] is more about creating, implementing and executing ideas, so it is a very strategic process.”
The Dartmouth Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer aims to make 3-Day Startup an annual event.
Source: The Dartmouth