Student Startups Get Help from Schools, Mentors, and VC College Funds

Young man in suit reading and thinking

Business education is changing, with more students actually creating startups before earning their MBAs.
Image: Shutterstock

Today’s business students are ready to launch their startups right now. Colleges have recognized this trend and have adapted their curriculums to support their entrepreneurial business majors.

These students benefit from innovative programs featuring the support of business leaders such as Robert Andrews III, retired Chairman and CEO of FMI Corporation; Jeremy Fiance, founder of House Fund; and Rene Kern, who sits on the Board of Trustees of the University of California Berkeley Foundation and is managing director of General Atlantic.

A business career used to begin after a student received their MBA. Graduates once needed these degrees to prove their value before accepting a job in the lowest levels of the largest corporations. Then they worked grueling hours for years to pay their dues. The idea of starting a business seemed impossible.

Back then, it was hard to imagine competing against a corporation big enough to leverage costs and contracts in their favor. Entrepreneurs launching small businesses couldn’t afford to compete. Things are different today.

A small business is now called a startup, and some of them are worth billions. They’re growing fast—GEM Global Report research reveals that 100 million new businesses are launched each year.

What has lead to such a sudden change in the character of learning and doing business today? The simple answer is technology. Entrepreneurs grew in number when it became possible to make a million dollars by writing a small piece of code, creating an app, or improving an existing business practice or manufacturing process.

Today’s business students aren’t simply learning how to write a business plan—they’re writing the plan and launching their business while they’re in school. Instead of holding back their students, many colleges have recognized that this entrepreneurial impulse is a good thing and gives students a real education, when they earn and learn by actually doing what businesspeople do when they start a new business.

Check out these resources that are inspiring business students today to launch their own startups. You might get inspired to start your own business:

Dorm Room Fund


North Carolina State University Acceleration Fund


The House Fund, University of Berkeley



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