Over the weekend of 21-23 October, the University of Bath hosted the acclaimed Texas-based spin-out company, 3 Day Startup (3DS), to provide three-days of enterprise support for young entrepreneurs at the University.
Vice-President of Programmes, Chandell Stone, a serial social entrepreneur and graduate from Y Combinator – a prestigious American accelerator for startups – who began her career working with low-income students in the Bronx and Harlem, facilitated throughout.
The hugely popular event attracted 180 applications from undergraduates and postgraduates across the University for the 50 places available.
Those successful were invited to attend the 3DS event which took place in the East Building, where the University’s new Enterprise Lab has recently opened. The students pitched their business ideas to the group, which then broke-out into eight student teams with mentors provided to rotate and mentor each team.
Mentors included Ian Tarr, the University of Bath Alumni who funded the University’s Tarr Bioinformatics Laboratory; Anna Gidney, Business Support Officer from the Faculty of Science; Siobain Hone, Enterprise Education Manager from SETsquared Bath; Laurent Perge, Innovation Advisor for the University’s West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-Up Programme; Lily Smith, Head of Product and Growth at the Bower Collective; and Marie Lou Merceron, Senior Project Manager at Splunk.
Siobain Hone, Enterprise Education Manager for SETsquared Bath, says:
3 Day Startup is a fantastic opportunity for a quick hit of enterprise education. Students with an entrepreneurial mindset can test out the viability of their business ventures and carry them forward – adapting where necessary to meet the market through customer discovery and rapid prototyping. Most importantly, they are learning new business skills along the way.
There were panels to provide feedback to the students on their presentations from panelists Gavin Eddy, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor who is Founder and CEO of both Forward Space and Coherent; Ben Floyd, Founder of Guide AI; Emily King, Events Coordinator for SETsquared Bath and organiser of this year’s GradInvest Programme, and Professor Jonathan Knight, Vice-President for Enterprise at the University of Bath.
Professor Knight says:
We have a thriving entrepreneurial student community at the University of Bath and it was fantastic to see such a strong response to 3DS – an inclusive event open to all our students. This helped to not only develop the strong calibre of business ventures but to foster an outstanding and inclusive community at Bath.
The majority of students who attended are now being progressed to the longstanding Bath Entrepreneurship Programme from SETsquared Bath, offering online workshops, speaker events and competitions throughout the academic year.
Previous 3DS successes include Jinghui (Helen) Liang, Co-Founder of startup company LabCycle, who met her fellow University of Surrey Co-Founders at a SETsquared 3DS where they formulated the startup idea and business venture. Jinghui went on to receive the Alumni Innovation Award 2020/21 and will be pitching for up to £250K at GradInvest this year.
Going forwards it is hoped the successful 3 Day Startup event will become an annual fixture and adapted and rolled for other groups, such as Early Career Researchers at the University.
Student testimonials from 3DS:
Natasha Birk, University of Bath Alumni and Founder of the Ethical Beauty App: “3 Day Startup inspired me to look at my business differently and to continue being creative and innovative at every phase!”
Oscar Angel Alvarez, Department of Computer Science: "I thought I needed the perfect idea to start a business. I was wrong. All I needed was methodology, teamwork, and divergent thinking to come up with a great solution for any given problem."
Charles Cotton, Department of Mechanical Engineering: “Insightful experience into the world of entrepreneurship and how to craft solid pitches for investors."
Undergraduates and Postgraduates: Join the teams network for the Bath Entrepreneurship Programme