3 Day Startup works with students from all over the globe to help them kickstart their startup ideas into viable companies. During SXSW, 3DS hosted a pitch workshop for students from the University of Tokyo. The purpose of the workshop was to help students further refine their elevator pitches for a global audience. Most of the participating teams already had working products or early traction from investors or customers.
Participating students were part of Todai to Texas, a program aimed at bringing the brightest student startups from the University of Tokyo to exhibit at SXSW.
Participating teams included:
OpenPool, an open source project that transforms the traditional billiards experience into an interactive visual experience
Skeletonics, a wearable life-sized robotic exoskeleton
Moff, a wearable smart toy that responds to gestures
BOMB, an interactive device for novice musicians or students. The wireless device synchronizes musical scale and tempo (BPM) between multiple devices.
Axelspace builds micro-satellites and space solutions for commercial use. The team launched their first commercial nano-satellite into orbit in 2013.
AgIC transforms a home printer into circuit board manufacturing equipment.
Prior to the pitch workshop, participating teams sent a a 90 second video of their pitches for review. Members of the 3DS team provided initial feedback in regards to pitch structure, delivery, and content to prepare students for the final workshop where they would pitch to a panel of distinguished individuals.
The panel included Josh Pierce, VC and Founder of Socratic Ventures, Hesam Panahi, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston and Founder of RED Labs, Jonathan Adams, Associate Professor at Florida State University, Andy Zimbroff, Accenture Venture Partner at Texas Venture Labs, and Cam Houser, CEO of 3 Day Startup.
The workshop consisted of two parts: a business module feedback session, where panelists provided feedback on the business model and viability of the startup and a content and delivery feedback session, where panelists focused on the content and delivery of the pitch.
For many participants, the business module feedback session opened discussion of new acquisition channels or even new ways of thinking about customers. This customer-centric method of feedback is also reflected in 3 Day Startup’s full-immersive program, where students must validate that they are solving real problems for their customers in order to build viable startups.
The content and delivery feedback session pushed some students out of their comfort zones with the intent of arming them with best practices for pitching to an international audience. This was the first time some of the participants had to pitch their startups entirely in English and answer questions in English.
“Their feedback on our exit strategy was very insightful. While I had vaguely thought that we were to increase our users to increase our company’s valuation, the panelists advised us to start with the reason why a company would want to to buy or invest in a startup like ours and then develop a strategy toward that. This advice made us think about our exit strategy more deeply again.” – Participating University of Tokyo Student
It was an honor to host such talented students during SXSW and welcome them to the global 3DS network of student entrepreneurs, startup gurus, and other key influencers. 3DS continues to facilitate relationships between both burgeoning and developed startup ecosystems through its collaborative programs. If you are interested in organizing an immersive 3 Day Startup program or a short workshop at your university, please shoot us an email!