Frequently Asked QuestionsThe one-stop hub for all the information that you need to apply for the Austria to Austin Student Startup Exchange. Make sure that you read through these answers before you submit your application. Apply
What’s the difference between the 3DS Foundations Exchange Program and the 3DS Checkpoint Exchange Program?
Great question! The Foundations Exchange Program is designed for early-stage entrepreneurs, while the 3DS Checkpoint Exchange is designed for intermediate entrepreneurs. Take a look at the “What Will Happen at the Exchange?” section to determine which program you should apply for. Note: Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we are only able to accept one application per individual.
What will my time in the U.S. look like?
If you’re accepted to the 3DS Foundations Exchange Program, you will embark on a high-energy, boot camp-intense, international entrepreneurial journey with 20 other standout Austrian university or Fachhochschule students. You’ll spend over two weeks in Austin where you will start early-stage companies, attend the 3DS Global Roundup (our annual conference where you’ll meet the world’s great doers, thinkers, and makers at universities around the world), gain exposure to one of the most innovative cities in America, and learn how to transform your community back home! Alongside building your entrepreneurial capabilities, you’ll enjoy traditional Texan pastimes and excursions. Get ready for some fun in the sun. Want to know more about what to expect? Take a look at a sample schedule here!
If you’re accepted to the 3DS Checkpoint Exchange Program, you will spend 10 days in Austin with 14 other standout Austrian university or Fachhochschule students. During your time in Austin, you’ll take your existing idea or venture to the next level through the 3DS Checkpoint program, where you’ll learn rigorous, repeatable processes that help you navigate an angel network, get accepted into a top accelerator and grow through mentorship. You’ll spend significant time with mentors and members of 3 Day Startup’s Global Network. Additionally, you will take part in exciting cultural activities around the city. Check out a sample schedule here!
If I participate, what do I get out of the program?
Exchange participants gain familiarity with American culture, access over two-hundred 3DS alumni, mentors, investors, and community members at the 3DS Global Roundup Conference, validate the early-stage businesses they create in every facet of the Austin and San Antonio entrepreneurship ecosystems, and learn how to build robust communities of innovation and creativity through curated site visits and program activities. The skills you learn will enable you to found an international or domestic startup, launch new social impact initiatives, reshape Vienna’s corporate landscape as intrapreneurs, and become community leaders by expanding your home country’s entrepreneurial perspective.
What does the selection process look like?
The selection process consists of two rounds of screening and a final in-person interview in Innsbruck or Vienna. In the first screening phase, applicants who completed the entire application according to the application requirements and best fit our evaluation criteria will be invited to the second screening stage. Applicants will be notified by January 26, 2018 if they have been invited to the second screening stage. It is your responsibility to watch your Inbox and Spam folder for this notification and complete the second application by Friday, February 2, 2018. By February 20, 2018, selected applicants will receive an invitation to schedule an in-person interview, which take place in late February and early March in Innsbruck and Vienna. By Wednesday, March 14, 2018, we will notify selected participants and they will have 48 hours to officially accept their spot.
I have a previous commitment and I can’t attend the entirety of the exchange program. Can I still apply?
Unfortunately, no, you must be able to attend the entirety of the exchange program to apply or participate. However, we’d still love to work with you! You can attend our annual Global Roundup, organize a 3DS program at your university or Fachhochschule, or apply to our flagship 3DS UT Austin program. Click here to contact us!
Do I need to live in Austria to apply?
Austrian citizens and Legal Permanent Residents are encouraged to apply. If you have a special circumstance, please list your current country of citizenship and describe the details of your situation in the “What else do we need to know about you?” section. Students must be in good academic standing to be considered. Note: Online transcript/Sammelzeugnis must be attached to application.
How old do I need to be to participate?
We welcome applications from those who are between 18 and 28 years old on January 5, 2018. To best meet program goals, the selection committee will strongly consider years of experience, education, and future aspirations.
I’m a student majoring in X. Should I even consider applying?
Participants will be selected in order to represent diverse educational and personal backgrounds from all areas of academic study. If you’re interested in founding an international or domestic startup, launching a new social impact initiative, reshaping Vienna’s corporate landscape as an intrapreneur, becoming a community leader, or expanding Austria’s entrepreneurial perspective, it is likely that you would be a valuable participant.
I’m not a current student. Can I still apply?
Unfortunately, no. All applicants must be currently enrolled at an Austrian university or Fachhochschule OR be a citizen of Austria, enrolled at a university or Fachhochschule outside of Austria, planning to return to Austria after graduation.
How would I get there?
This program is fully funded by the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. 3DS will plan the international travel from Vienna, Austria to Austin, Texas. Selected participants will not be permitted to modify their flights from Vienna to Austin, though they will have a one-time opportunity to request modifications to their return flight in order to extend their time in the U.S. Applicants must hold a valid passport issued by the country from which the applicant is applying. However, as a reminder, If you are not an Austrian citizen, you must be a permanent resident of Austria.
How much does this cost?
All expenses will be covered through the US Embassy Vienna’s Transatlantic Leaders Initiative (international travel from Vienna to Austin, domestic travel for in-country program activities, lodging, required health benefits plans, most meals). Participants will also receive a stipend (issued during the program) to help cover meals that are not provided or any extra expenses the participants choose to incur. Note: If exchange participants require changes to travel (e.g. to Vienna for arranged travel to the U.S.), then they will be financially responsible for those modifications. Additionally, participants will be financially responsible for any medical expenses incurred during their time here.
Where would I sleep?
3DS will make all housing arrangements for participants. You will reside with one same-gender participant in a shared accommodation.
What would I eat?
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided daily, and snacks will also be provided. A stipend will help cover any snacks or meals not included in the program. We’ll be sure to quickly expose you to Austin’s culture through its unique food scene!
What if I get hurt?
All applicants will be covered by a travel health insurance policy that meets the requirements and standards for a J-1 visa. These include:
Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the J1 visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
We understand insurance is a complex and important matter. As such, applicants selected to participate in the exchange program should communicate any concerns directly to exchange program staff.
Which email address should I use to apply?
We strongly encourage applicants to use a personal email account whenever possible, as several university or Fachhochschule accounts have presented international communication issues in the past. Please also be sure that whichever email address you use to apply is an account that you monitor regularly. There will be no extensions or exceptions made for missed deadlines or correspondence.
How do I know you received my application?
You should receive an automated confirmation email (which will also include a copy of your application for your reference – please be sure to check it for accuracy!). If you received the confirmation email, you should be all set, assuming you completed the entire application and met all requirements! If you have not received the confirmation email, please check your Spam folder. If you are invited to the second screening stage, you will be notified by January 26, 2018 via email.
I forgot something/made a mistake on my application! What should I do? Can I email you with additional information?
Unfortunately, the only way to add something to your application is to resubmit your entire application. Please note that we cannot make any changes to your submission and will not accept any information sent via email. (This includes any corrections to birthdates)
I’ve been invited to continue in the second screening phase. Anything I should know?
First off, congratulations! As you may have read, the second screening phase requires applicants to respond to essay prompts by video. In order to have your videos reviewed, please be sure that you submit your videos by the deadline, that your videos do not exceed the maximum time limit (even by just one second!), and that your videos are not set to private. (Note: Unlisted videos are allowed). Sorry, but any submissions that fail to meet any of these requirements will not be reviewed.
What type of consent will I need to give if I’m selected to participate?
Those selected will be required to sign and return a participant contract detailing expectations, consequences, and an assumption of risks associated with participation. You will need to review, sign, and return this agreement within 48 hours of your invitation to participate.