University of California, Berkeley




November 6th to 8th, 2015 at NextSpace

(Applications for the 2015 program have closed. Look out for updates on future 3DS Berkeley programs!)

3 Day Startup is a 72-hour learning-by-doing campus workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment.



NTR Lab has been helping businesses scale their software development, fast and risk-free, for the past 15 years. NTR works closely with customer company management to build a distributed software development team and create the process to make the software work.

The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship is a program and the primary locus for the study and promotion of entrepreneurship and new enterprise development at the Haas School of Business. Lester sponsors the UC Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, Entrepreneurial Best Practices Series, and the A. Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series.

NextSpace Berkeley (NsBE) offers a range of coworking alternatives in the heart of Downtown Berkeley and is hosting the 2015 program of 3 Day Startup at Berkeley. The NextSpace community is a melting pot of members representing the startup scene, B2B services, digital advertising, technology, software development, and more.

Bonsai AI is an artificial intelligence company focused on the next generation of true, general purpose intelligent machines. The coming era of intelligent computing will be a change on a par with the advent of the Internet, and Bonsai AI is building the operating system and tooling used to power and program these systems.





Bootcamp (1-2 weeks before program date): Participating students meet, get introduced to key entrepreneurship principles, and learn best practices for maximizing the 3 Day Startup program experience. 

Day 1: Participants arrive – with or without startup ideas – and a facilitator leads the group through dedicated brainstorming, preliminary pitches/feedback, and team selection modules. Some teams work late into the night while others prefer to rest up in preparation for Day 2. 

Day 2: Customer discovery (teams exit the building or hit their phones to talk to potential customers), structured mentorship, intermediate pitches, and feedback sessions. Day 2 places heavy emphasis on business model generation utilizing the Lean Canvas. 

Day 3: Continued execution (including pitch workshops) leading into final pitches and prototype demos to an esteemed panel of mentors and investors. 


Application Deadline: Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

The program is free but you must apply to get in. 3DS is open to grad and undergrad students of all years, majors, and experience levels. Admissions are rolling, so please apply ASAP to increase your chances of participating.

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What does the weekend look like? You and 39 other students will start a technology company over the course of three days. We rent work space for a 3 days, invite 40 students with a wide range of backgrounds, cater food, drinks, snacks, and coffee, pick the best idea for a software startup during the Friday brainstorming session, and release a minimal prototype by the end of day 3. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend.

If I participate, what do I get out of the weekend? The worst case scenario is that you will work with brilliant people from numerous disciplines toward the common goal of building real companies and products. Great connections happen at 3 Day Startup: cofounders meet, complementary skill sets collide, and friends are made. The best case scenario is that you will be a cofounder of a wildly successful new tech startup.

I’m a student majoring in X. Should I even consider applying? The short answer is: yes. Our past participants have spanned everything from a freshman in psychology to a freshly minted PhD in Neuroscience. If you’re at all passionate about startups and technology, it is likely that you will be a valuable participant.

Can I apply even though I am not a student? Absolutely. While the majority will be students, we are definitely open to having some (very strong) non student participants.

What kind of ideas are allowed? Ideas with scalable business models are strongly preferred.  We also optimize for ideas that will require a strong software base. Our selection criteria for ideas are (1) your amount of passion and (2) the amount of research on your own idea that you perform before your interview.

What about food? Sleep? 3DS caters all meals, drinks, and in-between snacks. Sleep is optional. Participants can bring a sleeping bag, or they can go home to rest.

What is your rate of success? First of all, check out some of the companies that have been started by graduates of 3 Day Startup here. Our main metric for success is how many of our alumni found companies that take investment, generate revenue or enter incubators.  It is common to hear the word “startup” get thrown around.   When we say startup, we mean the real thing: companies that are making money or taking investment. Per program, 3 Day Startup result in more successful startups than any other weekend entrepreneurship event. We have run 130+ programs in the US and internationally, and those have given rise to 79 companies that have cumulatively received over $79 million in funding. 29 companies from 3DS have been accepted to accelerators such as Y Combinator, Tech Stars, 500 Startups, Capital Factory, Austin Technology Incubator and Dreamit Ventures. On average, each 3 Day Startup program has generated more than one successful startup.  This includes programs in mature and nascent university entrepreneurship ecosystems. More FAQs here.






For questions about the UC Berkeley 3DS program or sponsorship inquiries, please email our lead organizer at



Thanh (Lam) Le: Lead Organizer

Lam is third-year Business Administration major at the Haas School of Business interested in both healthcare and psychology. She loves to stay active and meet new people!

Clarissa Tan: Co-Organizer

Clarissa is a second-year intending to double major in Business Administration and Economics. She believes in social impact and hopes to build skills that will help her create positive change. In her free time, Clarissa likes to swim and go on food adventures with her friends!

Priyanka Potdar: Co-Organizer

Priyanka is a second-year double majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology and Economics, interested in the interface between health technology, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. Outside of school, she plays classical piano and volunteers for breast cancer awareness and education with her sorority!

Maryssa Ziegler: Co-Organizer

Maryssa is a third year majoring in Political Economy. She is interested in entrepreneurship, entertainment, and fashion! In her free time, she’s most probably eating brunch.

About Us

3 Day Startup’s mission is to kickstart new student-run companies and build entrepreneurial capabilities in students and their university communities. Learn More

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