STEMpreneur 2016

What is the STEMpreneur series?

The STEMpreneur series began with a simple question: If so many high school students are interested in learning more about technology and engineering as well as entrepreneurship, why isn’t there a program that exposes them to these concepts in a hands-on manner? What started out as a conversation with our friends from 3 Day Startup on how we could create a unique experience for local high school students turned into our first STEMpreneur series in 2015. Based on the tremendous success of that inaugural event, we’ve decided to run the series again in 2016! Just like 2015, the second annual STEMpreneur series includes:

  1. Pi Bytes – A four-Saturday camp that teaches students concepts in computer science, electronics, and engineering using the Rasperry Pi platform.
  2. 3 Day Startup – An intensive entrepreneurship program where students go from concept to polished pitches in the course of a single weekend.
  3. No program fee for students – Both programs are offered ABSOLUTELY FREE thanks to our generous sponsors and partners that are willing to help make this program a reality for high school students in our community.

Media Coverage from Spring 2015

npr marketplace

What Our Participants Had to Say

Don’t just take it from us, let our previous students do the talking!

“Pi Bytes was a fun course where I met many like-minded students. It helped me replenish my rusty Python skills and learn how to use Python to interface with the RPi’s built in GPIO.

“3 Day Startup was a fantastic course! I learned more about business and product development in 3 days than I had previously in my life. As an engineer, this dispelled my misconceptions that marketing was easy; I have a newfound respect after this course and plan to continue to learn about business to supplement my engineering learning. My advice to students: The mentors don’t hate you or your idea, despite their constant revision of your ideas; they are pushing you, your team, and your idea to be the best it can be. I had a wonderful time and hope to develop Make A Bot into a company!”


Junior, Westwood High School

“I have learned many things from 3DS: to keep a team focused and together, to grab necessary information out of a box, and to repeal any plan when faced by a wall. Our team actually went from a ‘phone case ping pong paddle’ to a ‘virtual ping pong app’, then jumped to ‘Project Lobby’, where we match people to projects and vice versa. So never be afraid to change the ‘master piece’, because there will always be another ‘master piece’ right around the corner…”

Hosei Nakajima

Junior, Bowie High School

“Pi Bytes was the first time that I got to create a game with LED lights. I was able to take the Raspberry pi home and recreated the program I worked on in class and gave it to my 4 year old brother as a present. He absolutely loved it and it was so great seeing his face light up like that. I am so thankful to have been a part of that camp; the teachers were helpful, kind and knowledgable. I never would have learned how amazing coding can be without the Pi Bytes camp.

The 3-Day Startup was an amazing experience; it was challenging, exciting, and a real eye-opener. My team and I worked great together and we all learned valuable marketing, pitching and entrepeneurship skills that we will take into our future.”

Noelle Rivera

Senior, Westwood High School

Space is limited, so start your application process today!

Program Details

What is Pi Bytes?

Pi Bytes is a short and intensive course for high school students that covers basic concepts in computer science, programming, and electronics on the popular Raspberry Pi platform in a collaborative, project-based environment. Designed to be consumed over 4 consecutive weekends, the course introduces students to the Pi, the Linux operating system, Python programming, and electronics.

Typically a final project such as a traffic light controller is designed by the students, though students can choose their own projects. The core skills taught in Pi Bytes are sought-after in the real-world and are highly marketable.

What is 3 Day Startup?

3 Day Startup is a learning-by-doing weekend workshop that teaches entrepreneurial skills to students in an extreme hands-on environment. 3 Day Startup has been run at Universities on 5 continents. This would only be the 2nd time that they offered a high school version of the program.

Bootcamp (1-2 weeks before program date): Participating students meet, get introduced to key entrepreneurship principles, and learn best practices for maximizing the 3 Day Startup program experience.

Day 1: Participants arrive – with or without startup ideas – and a facilitator leads the group through dedicated brainstorming, preliminary pitches/feedback, and team selection modules.

Day 2: Customer discovery (teams exit the building or hit the phones and talk to potential customers), structured mentorship, intermediate pitches and feedback sessions. Day 2 places heavy emphasis on business model generation and coding.

Day 3: Continued execution (including pitch workshops) leading into final pitches/demos to an esteemed panel of mentors and investors.

Key Program Dates

Pi BytesJan 30, Feb 6, Feb 13, and Feb 20 (1pm-5pm)Connally High School
3 Day Startup BootcampFeb 20 (9am-11am)Connally High School
3 Day Startup WeekendFriday Feb 26 (6pm-10pm)
Saturday Feb 27 (9am-9pm)
Sunday Feb 28 (9am-6:30pm)
Capital Factory

STEMpreneur Application Process

The application process consists of the following steps:

  1. Submit an online application (via the link below) for either one or both of the two program components based on your interests
  2. If selected, you will be contacted to schedule a required phone interview
  3. Successfully complete your phone interview

PLEASE NOTE: Due to limited space we urge students to apply as soon as possible. This will also help ensure that interviews are completed by the deadlines.

ComponentApplications openApplication deadlineNotification deadline
Pi BytesDecember 1January 9January 16
3 Day StartupDecember 1January 30 (EXTENDED)January 30


Space is limited, so start your application process today!


What does the weekend look like?

You and other students will start a technology company over the course of three days. We rent work space for a 3 days, invite 40 students with a wide range of backgrounds, cater food, drinks, snacks, and coffee, pick the best idea for a software startup during the Friday brainstorming session, and release a minimal prototype by the end of day 3. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend.

Isn’t this for college students?

The standard 3 Day Startup program is run at universities around the world. The STEMpreneur program is a special program for Austin high school students.

If I participate, what do I get out of it?

The worst case scenario is that you will work with brilliant people from numerous disciplines toward the common goal of building real companies and products. Great connections happen at 3 Day Startup: cofounders meet, complimentary skill sets collide, and friends are made. The best case scenario is that you will be a cofounder of a wildly successful new tech startup.

I have no experience. Should I even consider applying?

The short answer is: YES. Our past participants have spanned everything from a freshman in psychology to a freshly minted PhD in Neuroscience. If you’re at all passionate about startups and technology, it is likely that you will be a valuable participant.

What kind of ideas are allowed?

Pretty much anything! A lot of participants choose ideas in the software/technology niche, but we’ve also had students come up with a start up selling cheese. We just want you to be passionate and have done your due diligence (and didn’t come up with it on the car ride to 3DS).

What is your rate of success?

First of all, check out some of the companies that have been started by graduates of 3 Day Startup here. Our main metric for success is how many of our alumni found companies that take investment, generate revenue or enter incubators. It is common to hear the word “startup” get thrown around. When we say startup, we mean the real thing: companies that are making money or taking investment. Per program, 3 Day Startup result in more successful startups than any other weekend entrepreneurship event. We have run 130+ programs in the US and internationally, and those have given rise to 79 companies that have cumulatively received over $79 million in funding. 29 companies from 3DS have been accepted to accelerators such as Y Combinator, Tech Stars, 500 Startups, Capital Factory, Austin Technology Incubator and Dreamit Ventures. On average, each 3 Day Startup program has generated more than one successful startup. This includes programs in mature and nascent university entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Thank you to our STEMpreneur 2016 partners and sponsors!

Our Partners

3 Day Startup

Connally High School

Capital Factory

Our Sponsors

Cirrus Logic


Sams Club

Encotech Engineering Consultants

Special Thanks to

Systems & Materials Research Corporation

Financials OnTap

Tech Ranch

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