Western University of Health Sciences students will participate in a three-day workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills in a hands-on environment.
3 Day Startup Pomona will take place October 28-30, 2016 at Cal Poly Pomona’s Bronco Student Center. The event is sponsored by WesternU, Cal Poly Pomona, the city of Pomona and the Pomona Chamber of Commerce.
3 Day Startup is open to graduate and undergraduate students of all years, majors and experience levels. Pomona is the second California city to hold a 3 Day Startup, along with Berkeley.
Participants will meet on the evening of Friday, Oct. 28 and everyone will be encouraged to share ideas for a startup. The group will vote on the ideas, and the top seven or so will be selected. Participants get into groups based on the idea they are most interested in pursuing.
The ideas will not necessarily be products to sell for profit. Participants might also address social issues or have an idea to start a nonprofit, said Olukemi Sawyerr, PhD, 3 Day Startup Pomona Lead Organizer and director of Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Innovation Idea Lab.
Each group will flesh out its idea and come up with multiple solutions. In the process, students will learn important skills, including how to create a Business Model Canvas, a visual chart describing a firm’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers and finances.
“The goal is by Sunday afternoon, you develop a prototype and make your final pitch before a panel of investors, business people and entrepreneurs. They provide feedback and offer next steps,” Sawyerr said.
Mentors will help teams develop their ideas. The team will also go out into the community to talk with potential customers about their idea.
“Expect to make really good friends. Expect to learn a lot about how to take an idea to the market, whatever that idea is,” Sawyerr said. “You can expect to learn how to talk to customers. What you can expect not to happen is sleep.”
Students from all disciplines would benefit from participating in 3 Day Startup, Sawyerr said. The goal of the weekend is to provide tools to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which can be deployed at any job and in any situation. The entrepreneurial mindset has two important components: being able to recognize opportunity, and having the knowledge and courage to do something about it.
“Where others see a problem, you see an opportunity,” Sawyerr said.
Second-year College of Veterinary Medicine student Christina Trabanco, who is serving as WesternU’s student representative for 3 Day Startup Pomona, said the event offers WesternU students the opportunity to mix with more business-minded students and exchange ideas.
“I think this will help me consider opening up my own practice,” Trabanco said. “Otherwise, I’d be too shy and not confident in those skills.”
In addition to helping students, 3 Day Startup will benefit Pomona.
“The purpose of this event is to contribute on a very large scale to developing a vibrant enterprise ecosystem in Pomona. This is where we live, where we work, and where we go to school,” Sawyerr said. “We want to develop an ecosystem that supports innovation and the creation of new businesses.”