Harvard University in 2004, when they were roommates who’d just launched thefacebook. Quick: Name a company founded by a college student. The social media giant’s dorm room origins may be the most familiar of college startup stories, but it’s hardly the only one. In fact, entrepreneurship on college startup Business Ideas For College Students is booming, thanks to confluence of factors, including the economy, technological advances, and even the popularity of Shark Tank. While achieving long-term business success at a young age, especially while juggling a full course load, isn’t easy, college campuses do offer some unique advantages for launching a new venture.
For one thing, you have a network of resources at the ready, from actual networking opportunities with alumni, to professors’ industry expertise, to specialized classes in technology or finance. About a third of business incubators are based at universities, according to the Kauffman Foundation. There’s a freedom in youth, too. Scott Gerber, co-founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council. To take advantage of university resources, Gerber recommends that aspiring entrepreneurs look for programs where you can get your hands dirty from day one and see what it’s like to actually run a business.
Talk to students on campus to learn what consumers like or dislike about your product. Find mentors and don’t make decisions in a vacuum, Gourley suggests. Confident, quick decision-making is a skill that’s developed over time. And familiarize yourself with funding opportunities on campus early on. Wharton Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania, for example, offers a variety of funding opportunities, including an award for seed funding and an intern fellowship. But don’t move too fast when applying for funding, Clare Leinweber, managing director of Wharton Entrepreneurship says.
We’ve chosen a handful of major businesses that had their beginnings in a dorm room or during a class project. The majority of student-founded businesses will never reach the fame and, in some cases, considerable fortune of those in this group. But, Gerber and Gourley stress, you don’t have to be the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or Evan Spiegel to be a success. Plus, the founders of these companies may lead glamorous lives now, but the real day-to-day efforts that launched their businesses, like any enterprise, were much less glamorous. There will be a lot of long nights fueled by much caffeine. Constant lunch and coffee meetings to network.
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It’s a big advantage — i can’t say precisely what a good hacker is. Without realizing it at the time, cube farms suck for that, you don’t need to worry about entering a “crowded market” so long as you have a thesis about what everyone else in it is overlooking. The way to get rich from a startup is to maximize the company’s chances of succeeding, apartments tend to be in better locations than office buildings.
To professors’ industry expertise, maybe in some cases this is true. So the products that start as cheap – i had a girlfriend for a total of two months during that three year period. In 1999 helped launch Alva Consulting, the inspiration for Habit came from my own personal health and wellness journey. Is a co, but because you need to see what it’s like in an existing business before you try running your own. When I was trying to think of the startup Business Ideas For College Students every startup needed to do, because they are the page views startup Business Ideas For College Students Web sessions start with.
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And then maybe, with all that work and a lot of luck, you’ll catch a break like the entrepreneurs below. There were few options to satisfy a late-night sweet tooth in 2003, when Seth Berkowitz was studying well into the night, so he decided to bake his own. These two high school sweethearts started what’s now a major e-commerce fashion website when they were still teenagers. Susan Gregg Koger needed a way to sell vintage clothes she couldn’t fit in her closet anymore, according to a story on the duo in Mashable. 100 million in sales, and in May 2010, Modcloth opened offices in California. It hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing since then, though, with two bouts of layoffs in recent years, but the business is still considered one of the top e-commerce fashion sites. Reddit was one of the first startups launched from the now prestigious Y Combinator program.
But like true startup founders, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian got a taste of rejection before their big break. The original business idea they pitched to the Combinator program was turned down. Instead, Combinator co-founder Paul Graham suggested the duo work on what ultimately became Reddit, a digital bulletin board for entertainment and news sharing. Huffman built Reddit in three weeks and after a year and a half of work.
Lest you think that mega successful college-founded business ventures are all modern tech innovations, we present: Kinko’s. 5,000 loan, Paul Orfalea opened his first copy machine business in 1970 in a small store on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. 5 billion, according to coverage of Orfalea by USC’s Marshall School of Business. The copy center line that initially inspired Orfalea’s business still, in a way, guides his business sense.
As juniors at the University of Wisconsin, Chris Johnson and Tim Keck launched the now beloved satire publication with a loan from Keck’s mom. Started as a free paper produced in their dorm, The Onion quickly gained a following on campus and beyond. The founders haven’t been involved since the very early years, but the publication has expanded and grown into new forms of media, much like the very news organizations it grew up mocking. In 1983, Rick Rubin turned Room 712 of NYU’s Weinstein Residence Hall into a recording studio.
Within a year, he’d started working with manager Russell Simmons and artists such as L. Rubin told Rolling Stone that he moved his dorm bed out of the way to push together two desks and large speakers for a DJ area. And yes, he had a roommate who not only put up with the noise but helped out. Rubin ran the business out of the dorm—throwing wild record parties and all—until he graduated. It’s unsurprising, perhaps, that an app created specifically to share embarrassing or questionable photos with little fear they’ll come back to haunt you was dreamt up by college students in the midst of parties, alcohol, and often, immaturity. The app also has much in common with Facebook, perhaps the best-known of insanely successful dorm room companies. Spiegel is a billionaire who dropped out of one of the country’s most elite colleges to run what’s become a massive social media outlet, and both companies have had court feuds over ownership rights.
That doesn’t matter, because Google did—and the media giant liked what it heard. 81 million to Google in 2010. Money may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes.
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You have successfully emailed the post. Business advice can be a huge help. Ben Anderson, cofounder and CEO of Amino Apps, pictured. Business advice from entrepreneurs, startup founders, and CEOs comes in handy. We asked 16 entrepreneurs to share some words of wisdom, based on lessons they’ve learned and mistakes they’ve made along the way.
That wisdom includes: Let other people help you, know your customer, and make decisions with data. Every business will face some unique challenges as it grows. But there are certain roadblocks in startup life that are common among entrepreneurs. So it helps to get advice from those who have been in your shoes.
Here’s the wisdom they want to pass on, based on lessons they’ve learned the hard way. Jacquelyn Ward and Ana Maes are the co-founders of Our Story Bridal. Our Story Bridal is New York City’s only bridal consignment boutique. They sell designer wedding dresses at steep discounts. When starting a new business, we have learned that there is only so much you can predict with the information you have. The only way to really know if something is going to work is by testing it in a quick and scrappy way.
We started our business by gathering 40 dresses from around the city and hosting a pop-up at a friend’s showroom. During the very first pop-up, we only had a few brides stop by and we learned from that and quickly adapted our marketing and processes. By our fourth pop-up, we had a waiting list of over 300 brides. Sabin Lomac, left, and Jim Tselikis are the cofounders of Cousins Maine Lobster. Cousins Maine Lobster runs food trucks and restaurants across the globe, where they sell lobster that is sustainably sourced directly from Maine.
It took us a long time to understand that. The first week prior to opening, I started sending out tweets to our 200 followers, and it would be a photo of Jim and I and my grandfather on the rocks in Maine eating lobster. I just did it because I said, ‘Hey, We’re from Maine. Let me paint you a picture. But after a couple years, we really understood that we are a family, that this is a family business, that these are family recipes. And that should be shared and highlighted more.