This past month, 3 Day Startup delivered the first of 6 programs in an exciting new partnership with IC2 and the Austin Tech Incubator (ATI): 3DS Water. The first of these programs was delivered from November 3-5th, 2017 at Capital Factory, the center of gravity for entrepreneurship in Austin, TX. It brought together students, community members, and experts to solve problems and create innovations dealing with water sustainability.
With increased concern in Texas and across the country about water access, sustainability, and purity, it is high-time to start developing innovations and applying an entrepreneurial approach to a universal problem. 3 Day Startup is proud to be a part of that initiative and to be able to guide the bright minds and changemakers that will be creating the next great solutions.
Charles Upshaw, 3 Day Startup’s primary partner at ATI’s Water RIOT initiative, had this to say about the programs and their potential to drive water innovation: “Water RIOT’s partnership with 3 Day Startup is a critical component of our program’s goal to inspire entrepreneurial pursuits of water-related businesses in the state of Texas. The water industry is inherently conservative and risk-averse, and water researchers and engineers working on solutions are often not taught to think entrepreneurially, so there is a mindset of slow progression and deference to what has worked before. Our goal is to break the water sector out of that mindset with the energizing 3 Day Startup training courses. We hope that through these programs participants will gain the skills, confidence, and perspective needed to take the plunge on turning a water startup idea into reality.”
At our first 3DS Water program, participants worked on six diverse ideas ranging from canning water to make it more sustainable and easily recyclable, to a system that can more easily detect water leaks in your home, to a drone company that measures farm fields to discover which areas are in need of water and which areas are more heavily saturated. It was incredible to watch these ideas expand and evolve over the course of the program and become viable ventures that address real, critical problems.
For final pitches, we brought in industry and entrepreneurship experts Jeff Levine, Sarah Spear, Nick Spiller, and Mark Sanders to provide actionable feedback and help the 3DS Water participants move forward with their ideas. Several of the teams, including Canned Water, are already planning their next steps: developing mentor relationships and strategizing how to take their products to market.
The remaining 5 3DS Water programs will take place across the state –– with the next one in Houston –– in a combination of university and enterprise settings.
We are excited to see the ideas presented at these programs continue to take shape and create outsized impact in their communities.
3DS developed this programming as part of a grant that ATI received from the United States Department of Commerce to build out the Water Riot Program. This funding is a part of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies initiative that seeks to engage with and grow innovators across the country through high-impact, proof-of-concept programs.This initiative marks 3 Day Startup’s third partnership with the US Government. In the past we have engaged with the Department of State and the Department of Energy to deliver programming, and we are honored to now include the Department of Commerce in that list.