Facebook, Google, FedEx, Dell, and Microsoft are all companies conceived of by college students. Frederick Smith got the idea for FedEx while researching an economics paper whiles getting his bachelor’s of economic at Yale. Michael Dell began upgrading computers from his dorm room while studying pre-med at the University of Texas at Austin. Investopedia shares the key ingredients behind these success stories for the entrepreneurial-minded college student.
1. Fill a Need
What could you create that would make people’s lives simpler, easier or more enjoyable? This is a simple, but fundamental business premise. Mark Zuckerberg, perhaps the richest 26-year-old in the world, began with the simple desire to provide his fellow classmates at Harvard with a student directory that included photos, something that many colleges provide. He began by hacking into Harvard’s server to retrieve the images necessary, but soon got shut down by the administration. His next strategy evolved into the Facebook we know today, with user-submitted content.
2. Use College to Pursue Larger Goals
It’s easy to loose track of the bigger aim in college while worrying about the next big exam and writing the paper that’s due tomorrow morning. Investigate how you can take courses that you are truly passionate about, and can lead you to the career you really want. For example, Larry Page and Sergey Brin pursued PhDs in computer science at Stanford because they knew they wanted to make finding information on the Internet at accessible at possible. Thus, Google was born.
3. Think Outside of School
If you can’t find a way to pursue your entrepreneurial interests in your course work, don’t hesitate to work on side projects or turn them into a part-time job. Like Michael Dell selling upgrades from his dorm, this multimillion-dollar weren’t necessarily related to their founder’s college majors.
4. The Degree Might Not Be Everything
Dropping out of college to follow a business venture is not a choice to take lightly, but it must be acknowledged that Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft and Zuckerberg also left college to focus on Facebook. In the end, these entrepreneurs didn’t let finishing a college degree get in the way of their business success.