3 Day Startup Sparks Entrepreneurial Thinking on Campus

3DS, 3 Day Startup, Norfolk Collegiate,Last week faculty, staff and middle and upper school students were challenged to identify a problem they saw in their lives, come up with a solution and create a way to share that solution with others. Maia Donohue, keynote speaker, senior program manager and conference director of 3 Day Startup (3DS), was the impetus for this investigative problem solving, and everyone who participated had a blast!

3 Day Startup delivers intensive, hands-on entrepreneurship education programs to students and faculty at campuses across the globe. They’ve developed an innovative thinking curriculum over the last nine years, having developed 350 programs in over 150 schools. Over that time, their network of student entrepreneurs and mentors has grown to over 12,000. In addition to being an energizing and inspirational three-day program for students, 3DS is a tested, proven model geared toward growing and developing a student’s critical thinking skills across all disciplines.

Before students heard from Donohue on Tuesday, faculty and staff spent Monday in an action-packed, professional-development filled day learning about the benefits of identifying problems, creating solutions and finding ways to make those solutions a reality. Faculty participated to give them the skills to incorporate this new knowledge into their classrooms throughout the year and in preparation for the June workshop for students.

After breaking into groups, brainstorming and going through nearly a day’s worth of strategic, entrepreneurial exercises, faculty groups had to present their newly created communications tools with their peers.

Students worked on similar projects on Tuesday, being tasked with identifying a problem, coming up a with a solution and pitching that solution as an idea for a company in front of their classmates—and they loved it!

I like the idea of ‘no matter how young you are, you can always become an entrepreneur,’” said one of Tuesday’s student participants Calie Quinn ’19. “I also liked the energy Maia brought and the fun exercises he made us do to create our new companies.”

Students created potential solutions to problems like kidnapping (by wearing a piece of jewelry that allows the victim to discreetly call 911) to being able to quickly find lost reading glasses (with the bridge of the glasses containing a GPS signal that would alert the user’s phone when lost).

“I want to help break students out of their own mental boxes.” Donohue said, “If I hear you love to write code, and that’s all you want to do, I’m going to encourage you to interact with people and try to sell that code. If you tell me you only love the interaction side, and you’re great at pitching, I’m going to tell you to learn more about code.”

Cooper Short ’24 thought the program was “really cool” and thinks it could “be helpful for students to learn how to create their own apps and businesses to help other people.”

Donohue stuck around after school on Tuesday to discuss 3DS with parents and answer their questions.

3DS will return to campus in June for an intensive, three-day workshop for rising seventh graders through graduating seniors to aid students on their journey to entrepreneurship.

Thank you to our Fund-An-Item donors for making 3DS on our campus possible!