3 Reasons Why College Is A Great Time To Start Up13 November, 2017 / Articles
We’ve all heard of companies founded in dorm rooms by college classmates. The flexibility and relatively low-risks associated with being in college make it the ideal environment to start a company. As three brothers, we founded our company, Brevitē, over two and a half years ago with less than $300 while in college. Although we were each attending different colleges, modern technology made working together possible. Since then, Brevitē has sold thousands of products in over 45 countries across the world.
Like many companies, we started by identifying a pain point in the market. We then created a product to address this pain point and launched on a crowdfunding platform to raise money to place a first order. Thereafter, we have continued to grow originally through our e-commerce website. Reflecting on our experience, starting Brevitē while in college was the perfect time and here’s why others should do the same:
Irrespective of what you’re trying to do, getting a company off the ground takes time. And we don’t necessarily mean day-to-day time. Gaining momentum can take months or even years. This is especially true when you’re bootstrapping a company since you’re working off your organic growth. It’s also best to postpone paying yourself for as long as possible as every dollar in the early days’ count towards future growth. Luckily, college gives you this flexibility. Even though your day-to-day might be busy with class and extra-curricular activities, school gives you time to gain traction before you may start relying on your company to pay you.
Additionally, if you’re able to manage your coursework, there can still be a lot of extra time to put into your company. We found the intermittent structure of class schedules much easier to work around than regular full-time work schedules. For example, in between classes we could answer customer’s questions or meet with one another, which one may not be able to do working a full-time job.
From business accelerators, to industry experts, colleges can be the most resourceful environments for founders and their companies. These resources can significantly reduce startup costs. While in college, each of us worked out of the business accelerators at our respective colleges. Each accelerator offered valuable services for early-stage companies such as mentorship, workspace, and grant-funding, all of which have been integral to the growth of Brevitē. (Though not all colleges offer business accelerators, we are certain that all do have like-minded entrepreneurial students that can work together to form one.)
Unlike almost any other time in your life, you also have an excuse to reach out to anybody. Why? Because you’re a student. Take advantage of professors, alums and anybody else that can help you get your company off the ground. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to provide guidance to student founders. We’ll also add that college campuses are often filled with the best work spaces. From sun-filled rooms to libraries with endless seating, you never have to worry about finding a productive place to work. And trust us, this isn’t always the case once you graduate.
Little to lose, but a lot to gain
The risks of starting a company in college are almost non-existent. In other words, you have little to lose but a lot to gain. You likely don’t need to rely on revenue from your company to pay rent or cover health insurance. If it fails, your living expenses are already covered in your student budget. These same safety nets may not exist post-graduation. You will also meet like-minded individuals and learn more than you ever thought possible. No class in college will teach you how to prepare for the everyday challenges of getting a company off the ground. And you never know, what you start in college today could become wildly successful tomorrow.
Thanks to modern technology, the barriers to starting a company today are lower than they ever have been before. With less than $300 we created a self-sustainable business, and we weren’t even working alongside one another on the same campus. Remember, you have the time and resources, and little to lose but everything to gain.