What is special about student founders?
College campuses are melting pots of diverse ideas, cultures, and perspectives. Being exposed to different viewpoints helps entrepreneurs to identify gaps in the market, think creatively, and develop innovative solutions.
Also, college students all face setbacks and challenges, such as balancing coursework with extracurricular activities and part-time jobs. These experiences help students develop resilience, persistence, and grit, which are essential traits for successful entrepreneurs.
Do student founders really build successful enterprises?
Successful startups founded by college students often come from larger, well-known universities:
- Facebook - Founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, Eduardo Saverin, Chris Hughes while they were students at Harvard University.
- Google - Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University.
- Snapchat - Founded by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown while they were students at Stanford University.
- Dropbox - Founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi while they were students at MIT.
- Reddit - Founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian while they were students at the University of Virginia.
- WordPress - Founded by Matt Mullenweg while he was a student at the University of Houston.
- Tumblr - Founded by David Karp while he was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
- Dell - Founded by Michael Dell while he was a student at the University of Texas at Austin.
- Stripe - Founded by John and Patrick Collison while they were students at MIT and Harvard, respectively.
- Quora - Founded by Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever while they were students at Harvard University.
But those are the kinds of schools that already have some support for entrepreneurs. What about smaller schools where the students are on their own?
There are also many successful startups founded by students from small under-resourced colleges. These students especially benefit from the full service founding platform provided by Founders Palace. Here are a few:
- DuraSafe - Founded by John Rangel while he was a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. DuraSafe produces locking systems for boats and fishing equipment.
- VistaCab - Founded by three students from Dickinson State University in North Dakota. VistaCab is a taxi-hailing app that connects riders with drivers in small towns and under-resourced areas.
- Proxio - Founded by Janet Case while she was a student at Southern Oregon University. Proxio is a real estate marketing platform that connects agents and brokers with international buyers.
- Enzymedica - Founded by Tom Bohager while he was a student at Eckerd College in Florida. Enzymedica produces natural digestive health supplements.
- NaturaLawn of America - Founded by Phil Catron while he was a student at University of Maryland, College Park. NaturaLawn provides organic lawn care services.
Success can come from anywhere, and students from small, under-resourced colleges can have just as much entrepreneurial spirit and drive as those from larger universities. Entrepreneurship can happen anywhere, and a strong idea and the right execution can lead to success, no matter the size or location of the college.
How can The Founder Palace help my fund expand its social impact?
Most of our founders come from small communities where elite college campus accelerators are unknown. You can contribute to economic growth and job creation in the communities where you invest.