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This spring, 3 Day Startup will welcome their inaugural cohort into the Ultrapreneur Fellowship.


3 Day Startup’s Ultrapreneur Fellowship (ULTRA) is a nod to the signature products of the Johnson Products Company, Ultra Sheen and Ultra Wave. The Johnson Products Company, founded in1954 by George E. Johnson, was the first black-owned business to be traded in the American Stock Exchange.

George E. Johnson came from humble beginnings as the child of sharecroppers. As a teenager, he dropped out of high school to help support his family by working full-time as a busboy and at a bowling alley. However, Johnson never lost his desire to strive for a better life.  He later found his passion for chemistry, which ultimately led to him creating one of the most successful cosmetic companies to date. In 1944, He turned a $500 loan (equivalent to about $7,600 today) into a multi-million dollar company.

Disconnected youth are teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school.  When this occurs, young people are cut off from people, institutions, and experiences that would otherwise help them connect personally and professionally.  The Covid-19 pandemic has caused youth disconnection rates to spike dramatically. Based on youth unemployment data from the Bureau for Labor Statistics, it is estimated that in 2020, as many as nine million young people were out of school and out of work.  Those with the fewest resources have been left even further behind their peers and face the highest barriers to reconnection; low-income youth of color being the hardest hit group.

Chandell Stone, VP of Programs stated “The goal of ULTRA is for each young person to emerge reinvigorated and well-informed on how to create a prosperous economic future for themselves through entrepreneurship – regardless of their background or circumstance.  Our youth must be equipped with entrepreneurial mindsets and skills to be prepared for whatever the world throws at them. Young people need urgent assistance closing skill gaps, reconnecting to education systems, and gaining a foothold in an evolving job market.”

What Happens during the Ultrapreneur Fellowship?

The Fellowship program is a startup and career accelerator that re-engages and prepares opportunity youth to succeed in the future of work and a global economy. The program helps Fellows discover and monetize their unique strengths by observing opportunities in the market and founding profitable businesses. The hybrid accelerator immerses youth in vital human, financial, and knowledge-building resources.  Ultimately, Fellows exit the program having gained real experience, career certifications, and a powerful network of mentors and champions.  

According to SmallBizGenius, the gig economy is expanding three times faster than the US workforce as a whole.  Statistics show that the number of independent workers is growing three times faster than the total US working population, which indicates a bright future for the gig economy. Moreover, compared to non-freelancers, independent workers are better equipped to weather the coronavirus storm. (Forbes, Upwork).  ULTRA is designed to prepare youth mentally and technically to pursue entrepreneurship when they recognize business opportunities or out of necessity during challenging times. 

3DS Board Member, Ben Pfeffer, shared the following:

 “Solving upward mobility issues is no small feat, but education through upskilling and mentorship is a great place to start. I’ve witnessed the impact entrepreneurship education has on young people of all backgrounds. The skills developed over time lend themselves to more than just business applications. The Board looks forward to working with young people in ways that provide the skills necessary to find meaningful, and life changing employment opportunities.”

Empowering Opportunity Youth

ULTRA is youth-focused and impact driven. Through ULTRA programming, 3DS will demonstrate the power of utilizing entrepreneurship education as a solution for upward mobility by integrating digital upskilling, mentorship, and apprenticeship learning into an accelerator experience.  Creating opportunities and experiences like ULTRA are centered in equity and inclusivity for opportunity youth who have the drive to build things and impact their communities positively where they are through who they are.  In doing so, we amplify youth voices and accelerate their potential. 

Ultra represents resilience. 

Ultra represents ambition and defying the odds. 

Ultra represents the promise in our youth

We hope that our mission and team motivates you to support our work! 

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