3 Day Startup program coming to UNA for second year

Business students stand with Mitch Hamm (middle), temporary director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the grand opening of the Generator Oct. 17, 2015. The Generator is one of UNA’s business startup efforts.

by News Editor Anna Beahm

The College of Business is hosting the 3 Day Startup program again this year in hopes of helping students from various disciplines launch businesses in Florence.

The event begins 4 p.m. April 8 and ends 10 p.m. April 10. All food and snacks are provided for participants, according to una.3daystartup.org.

“We have all these students from different areas coming to UNA and a lot of them aren’t staying in the area,” said senior and assistant organizer

Christopher Aycock. “They’re opening businesses in Madison, or they’re going to Madison or Memphis or these technology hubs across the U.S. We want some innovation in (this) area.”

The worldwide initiative helps students and local entrepreneurs start a business in 72 hours.

Aycock said he was on one of the business teams last year.

“We had two strong teams,” Aycock said. “One of them, that I was a part of, had the potential to get funded. The couple guys decided they had too much on their plates, and it required too much commitment to keep going. That’s why we really want to get it going this year.”

This year, Aycock said he hopes students from many disciplines will sign up for the event.

The event is open to the public, but the department will accept students first.

Professionals and mentors from various disciplines come to the event to help students shape their business ideas.

“The main thing we noticed last year was that the large majority of participants were business students, which is fine, but you can’t have a diversified group of people that are bouncing really good, new, innovative ideas off each other if they all have the same basic knowledge,” he said. “That’s one reason why we really want to reach out to all majors.”

Even though UNA has not yet launched a successful business from the program, many other universities have started businesses using the program.

“So far, there have been 123 schools participate across 26 countries,” Aycock said. “There’s been 95 businesses successfully started from it and about $70 million raised in funding for these new groups from the 3 Day Startup program.”

Participating in the event can help students build a business because the whole weekend is structured around teamwork and success, said senior and Computer Information Systems major Richard Allen Stubbs.

“It’s a great environment for getting on your feet,” Stubbs said. “There are people everywhere who are interested in your success.”

He said he thinks the program can potentially sprout new businesses and create new jobs in Florence.

“The Shoals is a thriving environment for potential world changers, and that’s not limited to music,” Stubbs said.

Students can register for the event at una.3daystartup.org. The deadline to register for the event is 11:59 p.m. Feb. 29.