College is a great place to start a business. Think about it. It is a vibrant community of diverse people who want to change the world. They gather in places called classrooms to talk about amazing ideas, explore some of the worlds biggest problems, experiment, and to develop some of the mental tools needed to address needs in the world. Add to that a group of scholars who are there to mentor and guide you, great spaces to network and collaborate, and countless experiences to spark your creative side.
While many people go to college with the goal of getting a job upon graduation, that is starting to change. Now some go to college to create a job, and it doesn’t have to wait until graduation. In fact, I expect to see this trend expand. I see a possible future of higher education where college isn’t just the place you go to get an education, but also a place where you go to create, innovate, launch a business, or start a social movement. While this already happens for some, a growing number of Universities have caught such a vision. We see student groups, University/business partnerships, college-initiated efforts, and even some cross-University partnerships. Below are examples of such initiatives. You will see examples from regional state schools, flagship state Universities, élite Universities, and even liberal arts colleges.
- Stanford’s StartX
- Syracuse’s Student Startup Accelerator
- UC Berkley’s Center for Entrepreneurship for Students
- University of Michigan’s Student Startup Accelerator
- ASU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group
- Appalachian State’s Startup Accelerator
- Northeastern’s IDEA (A Student Run Startup Accelerator)
- The Commons (a cross-University entrepreneurship effort in Milwaukee, WI)
- Cornell’s Student Agencies Entrepreneurship
- Fordham’s Accelerator for Business
- MIT’s Center for Entrepreneurship
- Northwestern’s Center for Entrepreneurship+Innovation
- UW Milwaukee’s Startup Challenge
- University of Wisconsin Whitewater Launch Pad