7 Important Lessons From My 3 Day Startup Experience (2015)

4 minutes read

Last 2 week’s weekend was one of the best I’ve had in quite a long time (my best weekends are usually those filled with learning or experiencing something new). I got to attend 3 Day Startup for the first time.

Thanks to Edinburgh University and Launch.ed for making the event possible.

University of Edinburgh 3 Day startup 2015 image
What is 3 Day Startup?

3 Day Startup (3DS) challenges students to start companies over the course of 3 days. They get to work in teams, conduct market research, etc.

On the last day, teams get to pitch for funding, mentorship, etc.
At 3DS, students progress through a series of modules in a learning-by-doing environment that include:

  •    Ideation
  •    Team Formation
  •    Customer Discovery
  •    Rapid Prototyping
  •    Pitch Workshops

Companies that have been launched by 3 Day Startup alumni include: Medtep, Edgecase, Timehop, Tamyca, etc.

3 Day Startup is free

I didn’t pay a dime to attend the event. The best part is that we were fed 3 times a day and spent the rest of the day sharing ideas and learning new things.

What I Learned From The 3DS’s Event At Edinburgh University

The first is:

Be Open To Rejection

When your idea is rejected, it may not be because it is not good enough but maybe you didn’t pitch it properly or people didn’t believe in it. So, do not feel like it is the end of the world if your pitch is unsuccessful.

Presentation Matters The Most

You may have a killer business idea, but if your presentation sucks, you would not get the interest or support it deserves.

Team Work is great

It is awesome when your are working with the right team towards a specific goal.

Time Constraints Creates Focus

Most teams developed their ideas, completed their market research and came up with an amazing pitch in less than 72 hours.
This is in accordance to Parkinson’s law which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

It’s Better For people to choose their teams

We were giving a chance to choose our teams which I believe was a great idea because people should be given the freedom to choose what vision to support.

You Can Meet Amazing Individuals

I was exposed to brilliant and amazing people at the event, some of whom I plan to work with in my personal projects.

 3 Day Startup Edinburgh--Giovanni Olakunori Collage

You May Be Dropped From Your Team(Don’t Take It Personal)

You might be a great contribution to your team but don‘t think it guarantees a place for you in the team going into the future.

My team worked on “Raindrop App”, an idea for an app that will make it easier to connect with people either in large or small groups.

When it came to the issue of marketing the app, I recommended to the team leader about using YouTube video ads, Google search ads, etc. Well, he didn’t mention any of those as marketing strategies in his pitch.

In fact, he didn’t mention any online marketing strategies which was quite surprising to me, because the world is going digital and most businesses would soon be online.

I voted for his idea throughout the way and helped to fine-tune it.

I interacted with a popular local businessman I believed would be beneficial to the team. I even shared his email address with the team.

I had the zeal to work with the team till the final product is produced even though there was no app nor its working prototype.

I never complained about working in the team, nor acted in a way to show disinterest

However, it appears I wasn‘t needed which I thought is fine.

The team leader removed me from the secret Facebook group of the team. He also removed my privilege to send email through the “company’s” account.

Here’s the message I received from my “team leader” a couple of days after the end of 3 Day Startup Edinburgh:

Hi Giovanni,

I just wanted to thank you again for all your hard work this weekend. It truly has been a pleasure working with you but as I am trying to downsize I cannot make use of your talents right now. I don’t want you to commit to Raindrop but not have a clear role or responsibility. It would be a shame to waste your time and efforts. I truly hope we can collaborate in the future, best of luck and stay in touch!
Anthony Yip message image

I’ve moved on to other things and even though the going hasn’t been easy,  some businesses I started a few months after the event are still alive whereas Raindrop is dead.

Most business ideas never get executed upon

There are many business ideas that get generated, but I noticed not none existed a few months after the event.


The whole event was a great experience for me. I left with a huge bank of knowledge, even though I paid £0 to attend the event.

Subscribe now to get summarised alerts of new posts by email.


Giovanni O.C Olakunori

Giovanni Chinecherem Olakunle Olakunori(commonly known as Giovanni Olakunori) is an aspiring data scientist at heart, business developer and educator with a deep interest in ancient philosophy, healthy living, and developing economies. He’s the founder of LarnEdu, a community that inspires and supports lifelong learning especially in underdeveloped nations. He currently lives in the UK after living in 4 other countries across Europe and Africa. You can read more about him or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see his public posts about how much he loves hot Kenkey and Jolof rice.

2 Responses

  1. Dukes says:

    More reason I don’t want to be under anybody. If he could treat you this way, imagine how cruel it would be if it was a real job.

  2. Nigar says:

    Great points Gio. Move forward, I trust you are into bigger things now. You have even been successful with this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend