Technion 3DS 2020 Event Info
|Date / Time||December 31, 2019 – January 3, 2020 (event starts on Tuesday, December 31, at ~6pm, then Wednesday January 1, at ~12pm and concludes on Friday, January 3, around 2pm)|
|Support||Light food and drinks will be provided throughout; you bring lots of energy, and your own pillows for (infrequent) naps|
An overview of the event's schedule (in more details):
|Tuesday Dec 31||~6pm||Gathering, briefing, idea pitching|
|Wednesday Jan 1||~1pm-~4pm||Idea selection, team formation, Idea assessment|
|Wednesday Jan 1||~4pm-~7pm||Mentor sessions|
|Wednesday Jan 1||~7pm-very very late||Work|
|Thursday Jan 2||8am-very very late||Work, meet customers, mentors|
|Friday Jan 3||8:30-2pm||Work on pitch and pitch to the panel|
Before the Event: Recruiting and Workshops
Before the event begins, we will have solicited applications from across the Technion and expect to receive a few hundred prospective participants from across a range of different fields (often 25+). After reviewing these applications and conducting interviews, the top forty or so students are invited to participate.
The Event Begins
On the morning of the event, the participants arrive at the 3DS event site motivated to start new technology companies: students bring pre-built technology or simply an idea for a startup. These technologies and startups are usually at early stages; technical feasibility and business models are unproven. In the first few hours, participants discuss and evaluate their business ideas in smaller groups. During this analysis phase, mentors from around the community are brought in to provide their insights. Later that evening, participants vote on which ideas (usually 8-10) will become the focus of the event and participants decide which projects they want to work on.
Fueled by free food and caffeine, the participants begin to convert their abstract notions of entrepreneurship into the actual practice of innovation late on Wednesday night. The participants begin to execute – business students model potential revenue sources and test marketing strategies, computer science students write code for prototypes, designers create branding and user interfaces, and everyone engages potential customers. The 3DS organizers coach students as they talk to over 200 prospective customers over the course of an event. Mentors roam about the event questioning assumptions and helping teams move their ideas forward. Wednesday and Thursday are packed with action – these days are a microcosm of what it is like to run a startup, with the highs of successfully creating early prototypes and the lows of discovering a better positioned competitor that already dominates the market.
Friday Pitches and Prototype Demos
The ideas that have survived thus far are revealed at the pitches and prototype demos on Friday noon. A panel of venture capitalists, angel investors, and accomplished entrepreneurs offers feedback. The presentations include functioning prototypes, beta customer responses, and teams comprised of with highly skilled and motivated people. The feedback is constructive and extensive: panelists ask tough questions, identify strengths and weaknesses, and give candid advice for the road ahead.
Beyond the Event
The 3DS event ends Friday afternoon and the students leave their 3DS experience with the skills, plans, and beta products and services necessary to accelerate the growth of their businesses. The benefit to participants and their communities is ongoing. For those that choose to start companies, 3DS provides access to a world-class network of mentors that can provide advice in areas including venture capital, product design, and scaling new ventures. All participants take their knowledge and relationships back to their respective departments and colleges, thereby extending the entrepreneurial mindset to the rest of the university.