Students race to launch startups at 3-day event in November

Vanderbilt students will race toward creating real businesses in a three-day sprint at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center in mid-November.

Building on a successful, inaugural 3 Day Startup event in the spring, the student organization Vanderbilt Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society (VINES) is host – again – to the global program that challenges budding entrepreneurs to take a tech startup from idea to prototype to pitch in about 49 hours.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.

Dedicated Vanderbilt space at the NEC.

The Nashville event takes place from 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, at the NEC. Pitches before a panel of judges will take place Sunday evening in Featheringill Hall’s Jacobs Believed In Me Auditorium.

Participants will create business models, prototypes and investor pitches as well as focus on commercialization and professional networking. More than a dozen entrepreneur mentors will be on hand to help.

VINES founder and engineering student Ben Draffin had the idea to bring a weekend accelerator to campus after attending numerous “Hackathons” on campus, in the Nashville community and in Palo Alto, Calif.

“Anyone who participates and generates a real idea, (3DS) works with them to get legal advice and connections to existing industry people,” Draffin said. “3DS has a big network that, if you really take something from the event and want to run with it, they’ll help you.”

In the spring, of the more than 40 participants accepted to the first 3DS event, 25 were Vanderbilt students.

3DS incorporated as a nonprofit in 2010 and began expansion to universities globally. While early programs focused on strictly technology- and web-enabled startups, demand has led the team to expand the program to function across broader entrepreneurial endeavors. Schools have hosted 3DS programs focused on themes such as social innovation, energy, culinary, hardware, and more.

Vanderbilt co-hosts include the Center for Student Professional Development, the Managerial Studies Program, and the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization. AT&T and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center also are co-hosts.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering