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3-Day Startup Helps Launch New Entrepreneurs

Teams Pitch Ideas for Renewable Energy, Consumer Apps

Spot Deals team

March 29, 2018

During the 3-Day Startup at Brandeis IBS, students dove into the entrepreneurial pool and came to the surface 72 hours later with a viable startup plan.

After a day of brainstorming, preliminary pitches and feedback, and team selection, Brandeis teams worked through customer discovery, structured mentorship and business model generation, culminating in final pitches on Day 3 before a panel of external judges.

Most of the 3-Day Startup contestants were from Brandeis IBS and the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. The winning team advancing to the second round of the MassChallenge Accelerator Program for startups was African Women Energy Solutions, which aims to provide renewable energy for rural African communities. The team included Weiwei Jiang MA ’18.

Students shared their impressions of the event:

“As business students, we’re trying to drill down to specific details to see if everything works, but our mentors said, ‘Keep it as basic as possible.’ That was really good advice.”
— Sai Praneeth MA ’19. His Spot Deals team worked on an app to connect consumers to relevant deals using real-time offers, gamification and augmented reality.

“The most important key is to listen, especially when it comes to the Q&A, so you can go back and try to make your idea better.”

— Priscilla Rwandarugali (Heller School) of African Women Energy Solutions.

“The biggest takeaway is to be very persistent and work hard because we have a very short time to improve and finish our presentation. We need to collaborate, communicate and be efficient to succeed.”
— Jordan Sitbon (EDHEC Biz School, participating in the Brandeis IBS Exchange Program). His team, Game of Shows, developed a concept for an app that lets TV viewers engage more deeply with their favorite show by betting with their friends.

“It was challenging, rewarding and exciting. I learned it isn’t all about making something by yourself; it’s about working with others and finding the right project and the things you really enjoy.”
— Kate Mao (College of Arts & Sciences), a member of the Game of Shows team.

Judges were Regina Au, principal, new product planning/strategic commercial consultant at BioMarketing INsight; Chandra Briggman, director at Venture Cafe Kendall; Karthik Krishnan, co-founder and CEO at MentorWorks; and Itamar Zur, founder and CEP of Veho Technologies.

The event was sponsored by Brandeis IBS’s Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship and the Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center.

African Women Energy Solutions
The winning African Women Energy Solutions team (left to right): Weiwei Jian MA '18, Gbenga Oni, Enet Mukurazita, and Priscilla Rwandarugali.