Chief Executive Officer

3 Day Startup
Austin, TX
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
How to Apply
Please submit a resume and cover letter to the Waldron Search Candidate Portal
Where to Apply

Over a decade ago, a group of students at The University of Texas at Austin launched 3 Day Startup (3DS) to create a new way for universities to promote their students’ entrepreneurial concepts. Since then, more than 16,000 students in 35 countries have participated in 3DS programs, and 142 companies have been launched by our alumni, who have raised $208 million to date.

A nonprofit with an annual budget of $700K, 3DS supports 6+ staff producing more than 45 immersive hands-on entrepreneurship education programs annually. An 8-person Board of Directors includes veterans of our program, nonprofits, and the startup environment; backgrounds that enhance their strong stewardship and leadership. They strive to make entrepreneurship accessible to students all over the world through a wide variety of programs in high schools, universities, and companies, as well as through virtual cohorts, exchange programs and our signature Global Roundup annual event.

They begin the next chapter of 3 Day Startup celebrating these successes. 3DS is committed to their principles of innovation, intensity, and market growth as well as our values: dynamic and engaging; inclusive and equitable; research-based; technologically savvy; operationally lean and academically rigorous.

With the leadership of the next CEO, they will navigate a new set of priorities and opportunities, including:
• Expanding and updating our programming to demonstrate impact and address trends and student needs
• Growing partnerships with universities, companies, governments, investors and supporters
• Exploring new revenue streams and models to best serve budding entrepreneurs

At 3DS, the nonprofit, business, and education communities intersect and blend. Their new CEO will shape our organization’s future across disciplines as business, startup, and innovation interact in new and different ways worldwide; They expect great opportunities for entrepreneurial problem-solving as the world emerges from pandemic.

3 Day Startup is located in Austin, Texas. They are all working remotely right now, and they support a combination of working remotely and at our office downtown at Capital Factory.

Position Overview:
The CEO is 3 Day Startup’s chief visionary, strategist, and voice. The CEO steers and stewards the work of their talented staff and board. They ensure that the companies values, mission, and viability are at the forefront of all decisions. Externally, the CEO advocates for the 3DS mission, cultivates resources and collaborative partnerships, and increases their reach and impact.

Primary Responsibilities:
• Build and guide 3DS’ vision and strategy
• Practice and welcome innovation at all levels of our work
• Understand and track global movements and trends
• Gather critical data about startup success factors, market dynamics, and advances in various sectors to inform our work

• Demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm for their mission, vision, and work
• Welcome all voices in problem-solving and organizational development,
• Encourage staff to pilot and pursue ideas that support the 3DS mission
• Model inclusion, empathy, energy, and optimism
• Inspire others to join in their work as partners, investors, and champions

Partnership and Program Development
• Expand partnerships with other nonprofits, universities, and investors
• Attract essential decision-makers and influencers to support 3DS’ work
• Explore new programs outside of their standard entrepreneurship and exchange programs
• Continuously review metrics to inform improvement of programs and demonstrate impact

• Build revenue streams that add value to their mission and bottom line (and sunset those that do not)
• Build donor support to provide broader access to students
• Responsibly steward 3DS’ resources of all types—including financial, data, team, and intellectual property
• Speak passionately about their work as an ambassador and assembler

Ideal Candidate:
First and foremost, the ideal candidate is energized by their mission to make entrepreneurship accessible and to activate the entrepreneurial potential in students globally. They expect their next CEO to be emotionally intelligent and approachable. An ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate entrepreneurial experience, including successful development of business models and sustainable earned revenue streams. 3DS is looking for a track record of building collaborative external partnerships and influencing decision makers.

They are on the brink of big decisions and expect their CEO to be open to innovation and able to inspire people to think, act, and lead. We seek an advocate for 3DS’ mission and vision who can identify and manage risks, connect and develop internal and external champions, and sustain an inclusive and respectful team.


They are looking for a leader who can demonstrate the following:

Professional Experience
• Working within entrepreneurship and startups
• Engaging in the nonprofit community in a significant way—staff, board, volunteer, donor

Functional Expertise
• Leading teams of smart, dedicated people, seeking out and incorporating ideas from across the org chart and across sectors
• Fundraising in a nonprofit context, seeking major donors and grants
• Driving Business Strategy to:
Build and adjust business models for changing environments, seeking sustainable solutions; identify and manage risk; make data-driven decisions using the most effective metrics for key activities
• Navigating new technology comfortably
• Communicating effectively across a range of audiences, engaging in productive dialogue and challenging ideas respectfully

Personal Characteristics
• Action-oriented and confident
• Approachable and optimistic
• Backbone, heart, and voice for 3DS
• Integrity
• Inspiring, motivated, and motivating
• Calming energy

The salary range for this position is $140,000 – $160,000. We welcome candidates from a wide range of backgrounds who have the skills to fulfill this role regardless of compensation history.