Whoever said that college students are too young to start their own business was certainly wrong. In fact, some of the best-known companies these days have been founded by bright minds while they were still in college.
However, success doesn’t come easy and all these college success stories we hear about today have all started with a lot of struggle and many sacrifices. If your students are thinking about starting their own business, these success stories might be the exact motivation they need to realize their dream.
College years give your students the best opportunity to give their entrepreneurship skills a try. Now, they have the time, the environment, and the enthusiasm and energy typical to youth. These college success stories might inspire them to give their own business idea a try. As their mentor, you can recommend them several good guides to learn from that will help them get started in the business landscape.
Here are the 6 most reputable companies that have been founded by college students:
Founder: Bill Gates and Paul Allen
Microsoft can certainly be called an empire of the business landscape and it is one of the most famous success stories you will ever hear about college students starting a company. What made the story even more viral was the fact that both of the founders of Microsoft didn’t even graduate college.
The two programming little geniuses met during middle and high school and little did they know at that time that they will be the founders of a billion-dollar empire enterprise. After Bill Gates joined Harvard University, he was convinced by his partner, Paul Allen, to drop out of college and pursue their work for the computer software company full-time.
The name of the computer software company is one of the most famous worldwide as it was the enterprise that paved the way for today’s modern technology.
Founder: Mark Zuckerberg
One of the most used and controversial companies these days is the Social Media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Initially, the famous social media platform was called FaceMash and Mark Zuckerberg founded it together with his college fellows, from the Harvard University, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.
FaceMash, which later became Facebook, has been started by the 5 college students as a way to connect with other college fellows. And what started as a socialization dilemma for a few college students was meant to reshape the way people connect with their peers forever.
The growth of the Facebook platform was incredibly surprising as it took only 7 years for the, initially, sophomore dating site, to become a site with more than 1.39 billion active users.
Founder: Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian
Reddit is a very popular website with more than 330 million users in 2018. It was founded as an information sharing site but what has made it really popular compared with other sites of its type is the fact that the two founders found a way to engage their users: users can vote on the content. So, depending on how many votes a post gets, the closer it will get to the top of the first page.
Reddit founders have been the first ones to include in their websites what is now known as the “upvote” system. It has huge power to engage active users which is why, nowadays, the site has over a billion page views every month.
Obviously, like any other success story, the two grads from the University of Virginia faced many challenges and struggles when starting their company. However, luckily, the two were funded by Y Combinator which helped them invest more in growing their enterprise.
Founder: Jerry Yang and David Filo
Founded in 1994, Yahoo! was originally only a list of the favorite websites of its two founders Jerry Yang and David Filo, two PhD candidates at Stanford University. The two founders struggled for many years to grow their business when they realised its potential. However, ultimately, the company is now one of the largest and most popular websites.
Yahoo!’s list of sites grew and so did the number of the website’s active users. So, by November 1994, more than 170,000 people were visiting the site every day. So, David Filo and Jerry Yang understood the potential their platform has and continued to make their site even more complex and interesting for its users.
Founder: Michael Dell
What is now the number one shipper of PC monitors in the world and the sixth largest company in Texas by total revenue used to be a company that started with only $1.000 initial capital.
Michael Dell started to sell PC components and upgrade kits right from his college room under the company name called PCs Limited in 1984. One year later, as his business started to attract more and more customers, he dropped out of school to pursue his enterprise full-time.
Founder: Arash Ferdowski and Drew Huston
Remember those times when you were unable to send large files through emails? Such frustrating times. But, then, a miracle called Dropbox appeared and we no longer had to struggle to share our files with others. The two co-founders of Dropbox were college students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when they decided to create a revolutionary system that would allow them to store and share large files.
Nowadays, the file sharing service has over 13.6 million paying customers and has paved the way for better collaboration and teamwork in offices and schools.
Even the founders of the most reputable companies today have faced a number of challenges before reaching success. They had no or very little initial capital, but they have all believed in their business vision and dream. So, your college students can also create their own business based out right from their dorm room.