College years are, for some people, nothing more than a huge blur thanks to all the partying and late-night pizzas. However, there are those who managed to use this wonderful time of carelessness and freedom to come up with an idea that will turn into a huge enterprise in the following years.
Even though it might sound impossible due to the, basically, non-existent budget, coming up with a business idea in college is very much doable. If you don’t believe us, check these examples out.
Of course, we can’t begin a story about ultra-successful businesses that trace their roots back to college days without mentioning Facebook. This social media giant was born in a Harvard dorm room, originally as nothing more than a closed social hub for Harvard students. However, once its owner left Harvard, he took his little pet project with him and turned it into a multi-billion-dollar worth enterprise. Don’t get us wrong, dropping out of college is in no way a good idea. So, unless you’re the next Mark Zuckerberg, stay in school!
Even though not as popular, and not nearly as successful as Facebook, this 9.8 million-dollar enterprise is another example of college-born businesses. 9gag is a Hong Kong-based social media hub, founded by the group of five friends, one of whom was a University of Hong Kong student, Ray Chan. The idea behind this website was to create a platform that will serve as an alternative to email, for sharing various funny user-generated content, as well as content from external social media websites. With nothing more than a great idea and “just for fun” mentality, this website became super popular, super-fast.
Adam Fasullo was a very ambitious young man who decided that a single college degree is simply not enough. So, instead of partying his college nights away, he decided to obtain a bachelor’s degree in both IT and business. However, unless you are attending Hogwarts and have a time turner, being at two places at the same time is not doable. That’s why our boy Adam decided to create a useful platform called Thinkswap where ambitious students like him could exchange and compare notes. The platform reached a huge success and evolved from a personal study library into a booming community of knowledge-hungry Australian students.
Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston came up with a brilliant idea while studying at MIT. They’ve created Dropbox out of pure frustration about the email’s inability to share large files. This amazing file-sharing service allows its users to exchange and store files both small and large on a web-hosted platform. The company, of course, quickly became the leader in the industry, with millions of individual users across the globe.
Insomnia Cookies is another brilliant example of the capabilities of a young mind. Like many students, Seth Berkowitz was a night owl, sick and tired of late-night snack delivery options. So, to him, a logical course of action was to start baking cookies late at night in his dorm room and deliver them to his fellow students in need. As the demand grew, he decided to take it to the next level, and after presenting his business idea to an investor that saw the true potential of it, he secured the necessary funds and expanded his business. Nowadays, there are more than 80 bakeries all over the United States delivering milk, cookies and brownies to students and other customers until the early hours of the morning, as it turned out that students are not the only ones with a sweet tooth when the night falls.
These were just some of the examples of brilliant college student ideas that grew into large business enterprises. What’s common for all of them is that none of them was originally designed to bring huge profit and wealth; instead, they were all born out of pure need to make the college life a bit easier for everyone. So, if you’re thinking about trying your luck in the business world, focus on helping others rather than getting rich fast and who knows – you might end up becoming the next Zuckerberg, Chan, Fasullo, Ferdowsi, Houston or Berkowitz.
Cooper Klein is an entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing. He’s mostly interested in real estate and interior design.
In order to spend more time with his family, Cooper decided to take a break, and he’s currently working from home as a blogger for SmoothDecorator , Hills Guide, and several other sites.
You can find him on Twitter.