The Dobie Center, a dorm complex at the University of Texas at Austin, is 27 stories tall and boasts a cafeteria, a movie theater, and a pool. Twenty-five years ago, a young resident of the tower decided to make and sell low-cost PCs from stock components. Michael Dell scrounged up $1,000 and turned his room into a mini assembly line, and the rest is history. In the years since Dell launched the world's best-known college start-up, more students have followed his lead. Below, you will meet 16 of them. As these profiles (written by campus journalists) reveal, an enterprising kid like Michael Dell is no longer the exception to the rule.

 

Justin Cannon

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Saying All the Right Things

Justin Cannon (left), Chris Varenhorst, and Scot Frank have created software that helps foreign-language students refine their pronunciation skills. Read more

Matthew Brimer

YALE UNIVERSITY

MySpace Meets World of Warcraft

Matthew Brimer, a Yale senior, and several friends, founded GXStudios in 2007. More than 60,000 have played their game GoCrossCampus. Read more

Brian Laoruangroch

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

A New Life for Old Phones

Brian Laoruangroch is the 24-year-old founder and CEO of Green Mobile, a company that buys, sells, trades, and repairs used mobile phones. Read more

Zac Workman

INDIANA UNIVERSITY

A Jolt of Energy, Minus the Crash

Working with a fruit-punch recipe that has been in his family for years, Zac Workman came up with Punch Energy Drink. Read more

Jessica Mah

UC BERKELEY

A Place to Find Great Internships

Last fall, Berkeley junior Jessica Mah came up with the idea for InternshipIN - a website to help eager students and start-up companies find each other. Read more

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Bottled Water You Can Feel Good About

Ben Lewis donates a portion of every sale to charity, and lets customers choose to direct their donations to children's causes. Read more

David Wachtel

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Smells Like Team Spirit

In the fall of 2007, USC senior David Wachtel put up fliers around campus advertising a package deal for students traveling to the Bay Area. Thus, College Weekenders was born. Read more

Caroline Rooney

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

A T-Shirt Line With Great Word of Mouth

As a sophomore, Caroline Rooney still has a full course load, which makes it hard for her to focus on The Bearon, her burgeoning T-shirt business. Read more

Danny Klam

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

The Doughnut King Of Texas

University of Houston senior Danny Klam often begins his day at 3 a.m., opening one of the three Simply Splendid Donuts and Ice Cream stores he owns. Read more