More than 70 students of all disciplines — from undergraduates to PhD candidates — joined the online startup program on July 15, 17 and 20, learning from industry leaders and getting the chance to cultivate their own entrepreneurial project.
“Students may walk away with the foundations of a new venture, but first and foremost will have a new way of looking at problem solving, creativity and making a lot with a little,” Griffith University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project Coordinator Simon Barclay said.
“3DS enables students to work with brilliant people from numerous disciplines toward the common goal of building real companies and products.”
Keynote speakers included Go1 CEO and founder Andrew Barnes and co-founder and Griffith law alumnus Chris Eigeland. Go1 is a rapidly growing Australian startup and is a learning platform, picked up by Microsoft and Salesforce, with well-known international clients like University of Oxford, Suzuki and Asahi.
Andrew said it was important to identify a gap in the market before getting carried away with developing a business.
“You don’t want to start a startup in search of an idea,” Andrew said.
“You want to have the idea, almost have it as a burning passion and a hobby before you even get to the point where you want to incorporate a business.”
Chris said entrepreneurial ventures could be incredibly tough and told students not to compare their journey to other people’s.
“Through our journey of growing Go1, we’ve met hundreds of founders of successful companies… and they all come from very different walks of life, their companies are at very different stages, different education backgrounds, different cultural backgrounds,” Chris said.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself.”
“It’s very easy to look at someone like Elon Musk and think “genius” but it’s about the team around him and how he is able to mobilise people.
“Ultimately at the end of the day building a business comes down to people, and can you bring the right people with you on the journey.”
Chris advised students to build connections while at university, both with academics and peers, and he said he made sure to make friends from varying disciplines.
“Surround yourself with interesting people, who share similar value sets and you have interesting conversations with, so as you do go on this journey, you have multiple perspectives around you to help you solve problems,” he said.
“It can be quite easy to get caught up in a single line but ultimately you’ll be better off building those relationships and having a diverse set of colleagues and mentors.”
Participants spent time working on their own startups, from the conception phase, to building on their ideas and finally, a pitch. They also heard from River City Labs General Manager Pauline Fetaui, who runs her own startup CheeHoo – a fully integrated life and virtual personal assistant app.
Second-Year Bachelor of Design student Lauren Curtis enjoyed the 3 Day Startup for its inside look on how to go about an entrepreneurial project and guidance from people have successfully created startups of their own.
“I gained more of an insight into the details that you have to think about before you pitch to potential investors, like market strategies, revenue funnels and so on,” Lauren said.
“I really liked that there were mentors that gave feedback along the way, during the refinement process of the details of the startup idea.”
The program, normally conducted in person, was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Simon said that didn’t stop great connections being made.
“Co-founders meet, complementary skill sets collide and friends are made,” he said.
“The best-case scenario is that student could become a co-founder of a wildly successful new tech startup.”
To participate in future 3 Day Startup events, register your interest online.