A few weeks ago, 23 Austrian students visited the Jackrabbit office to learn more about entrepreneurship and the tech ecosystem here in Austin.
3 Day Startup is a non-profit with the mission of kickstarting new student-run companies and building entrepreneurial capabilities in students and their university communities. Our CEO, Jonathan Rosenberg, was part of the first ever 3DS program in 2008 and has served as a long-time mentor for the 3DS Austin program. About one-third of our team are actually 3DS alumni and mentors.
The Austria to Austin Exchange is a two-week exchange with the goal of develop emerging entrepreneurs and leaders to facilitate relations between the U.S. and Austria. Participants go through a custom 3DS program, gain familiarity with American culture, get access to over 200 alumni, mentors, investors, and community members at the 3DS Global Roundup Conference, and learn about innovation and creativity through local site visits and activities.
During the participants’ time at our office, Jonathan Rosenberg (our CEO), Brendan Kelly (our Agile Project Manager and 3DS alumni), and myself (Manager of Strategic Partnerships, 3DS alumna, and now facilitator) talked about how 3 Day Startup influenced the origins of Jackrabbit and its growth today in three key areas: community, work, and culture.
Jackrabbit started in 2012 when Jonathan – dissatisfied with his current engineering role at a large Austin tech company – decided to take 4 months off with $20K in his savings account to see how far he could get in building a business. Jonathan wanted to run an experiment to explore and learn about the different types of product companies out there. He believed the best way to achieve this goal was to help people starting out with an idea solve their business and technology problems. His hypothesis was that this would be an effective way to get insights into different industries while still bringing in revenue quickly. Jonathan’s perspective was largely influenced by the principles taught at 3DS. In fact, the first person that he told about his idea was Cam Houser, one of the original co-founders and now CEO of 3 Day Startup.
With the support of the 3DS (and Capital Factory) community, Jackrabbit has grown into what it is today – a technology consulting firm that helps clients build the right digital products (mobile apps, websites, IoT software, etc.) for their business needs. Since we owe a lot of our success to the support of the Austin tech community, our team continues to volunteer our time and give back to causes that we believe in especially 3 Day Startup.
In terms of the services that we offer clients, we use tools that are grounded in 3DS principles. Some examples include educating clients about the importance of validating an idea early on to how to do rapid prototyping in order to learn quickly without wasting unnecessary time and money. We don’t just do design and development. We provide Product Strategy consulting to help clients pursue the right product vision and build solutions that the market actually demands – a core 3DS principle.
Lastly, 3 Day Startup strongly influences the culture at our company. From attitudes about cross-disciplinary collaboration, a beginner’s mind, the value of running experiments, and learning by doing, Jackrabbit embodies a lot of the key mindsets that 3 Day Startup promotes.
Ultimately, we’re grateful for the chance to host the Austria to Austin Exchange students and continue supporting an organization that we believe in.
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Author: Nina Ho heads marketing and business development at Jackrabbit. When she’s not wearing all of the hats, Nina enjoys playing basketball, running collective blue, cooking Vietnamese and Thai food, and breaking it down on the dance floor.