Imagine a place where students transform into entrepreneurs, where first-year undergraduates join Ph.D. students to create new start-up companies and initiatives. These teams devote hours to producing a perfect start-up—from the initial brainstorming phases to the final strategic touch—that is eventually judged by prominent members from the business arena. Students here learn to be free-thinkers, leaders and motivated participants of a global economy.
All it takes is three days and an incredible amount of free food and coffee.
On April 4-6, Brandeis International Business School (IBS) will become this place as the hosts for the Brandeis 3-Day Start Up Challenge. Brandeis IBS is one of only 40 universities worldwide to host this event, a testament to the spirit of entrepreneurship on college campuses. While the event is still a few weeks away, the deadline to participate is March 10.
The 3-Day Start Up is open to all students, designed to welcome multidisciplinary teams who seek to think outside the box. Students will turn their abstract ideas into reality, creating functioning prototypes, beta-customer responses and initial business plans. Students will also have the opportunity to receive feedback and mentorship from successful venture capitalists as well as local entrepreneurs.
Mentors include professionals such as Janice Caillet, Co-Founder and Chief Catalyst at iSTARTUP.cc, and professors like Grace Zimmerman and Ben Gomes-Casseres. The judges as of now include Joanna Meiseles, Senior Director Programs and Operations at MassChallege Inc., Jane Ives, Director at Grameen Bank, Kyle Alspach, Technology Editor at the Boston Business Journal, and Dan Bergstresser, Associate Professor at Brandeis IBS.
Last year’s challenge inspired imaginative start-ups such as “Beansprout,” a game-based mobile app that rewarded users’ eco-friendly food purchases, and “Seekr” an online service for job listings.
This year, the possibilities are endless.