Your campus, whether traditional or online, is the perfect petri dish for a startup. You have a plethora of resources at your fingertips, mentors for the taking and (depending on your target audience) likely thousands of potential customers. This is where you might meet your business partner, an investor or even employees.
Both college students and entrepreneurs are insanely busy, but you'll never have the energy or opportunities you do in college that go so well with startup culture. Plus, you're probably not tied down with kids, a marriage, a full-time job you can't leave or other commitments. Student loan payments haven't started yet. Play your cards right, like these startups that began in college, and you might just make the transition to the real world seamlessly:
1. Facebook: No "startup from college" list is complete without at least mentioning Facebook. Everyone knows the story, many have tried to replicate it and some have come close. The lesson here: Utilizing virtual offices, technology and what you know is key for college startups.
2. Apple: Okay, technically this was founded by Reed College dropouts. Still, another story we all know is also one that mistakenly "encourages" college students to give up their degree to chase their dream. Few people make it big like Jobs and Wozniak. Instead, focus on balancing college with your startup venture, just in case a Plan B is necessary.
3. Future Freshman LLC: Haven't heard of this startup? It was the precursor to Snapchat, which was founded by Kappa Sigma brothers at Stanford University. Famously saying, "I wish the photos I'm sending this girl would disappear," Snapchat was born when two of the three founders were Juniors, and the rest is multi-million dollar history.
4. Initiative Apparel: What started as a way to pay for college for two Las Vegas teenagers, Initiative Apparel has become a staple for many in the 16-24 age category. The founders got their own screen printing hardware, began creating unisex shirts and are moving into gender-specific apparel items as we speak.
5. Baro: It's the first (successful) rental system that works on-demand for high tech products like cameras. Founded by New York University student Hannah Salwen, it's expected to bring in $40,000 by the end of the year, which is a decent chunk to go towards tuition and fees. She specializes in delivering rentals to NYC residents, of course.
6. Scholly: For just 99 cents, you can download Scholly and get access to every single feasible scholarship on the planet. Chris Gray was a senior when his app started to explode, which he created after his own frustrations trying to find scholarships. The Drexel University student was awarded $1.3 million in scholarships, and he's eager to help others do the same.
However, there's another way to maximize your funds in college: Trade, barter, sell and buy used. Utilize a platform like Flippze that's customized to your campus, guaranteeing safer transactions and better matches. Making money is one part of the equation, but keeping it and stretching it is often overlooked. The real key to any entrepreneur's success is the ability to make their money work for them.