Starting a business is a huge undertaking for any entrepreneur. Some of the world’s most successful companies, including FedEx and Microsoft, were started while their founders were in college. Juggling coursework and business plans may seem like an overwhelming task, but there are many good reasons to build a company while hitting the books.
1. Access to Cool Tools
Universities often house state-of-the-art equipment and technology that students may use as part of their studies. Learning how to use these tools and gaining experience with them can help a new entrepreneur build skills without having to shell out cash right away. For example, a college entrepreneur with a media startup can learn how to use digital cameras and high-end publishing software.
2. Access to the Brain Trust
Another benefit of balancing school and business university campuses are filled with knowledge and potential mentors (professors, researchers, and administrators). You have unprecedented access to new ideas, instant feedback, and business advice from those on the leading edge of their fields. You can pick the brains of these intellectuals and innovators to help in both the startup and growth phases of your business.
3. Built-in Focus Groups
Companies pay big bucks to put their products and services in front of focus groups in order to get customer perspectives. In college, you are surrounded by classmates and friends who will be happy to tell you what they think. If you have products ready to go, you can ask your peers to take them for a test drive. This is an inexpensive way to garner valuable opinions before you unleash your business on the world.
4. Subsidized Living
If you’re paying for college with a grant, loan, or acholarship, you have a means to cover your costs of living while you build your business. You don’t have to worry about holding down a full-time job that pays the bills while you get your company off the ground. College is also a time when you are likely to have fewer expenses than you will when you venture out into the “real” world.
Starting a business while you’re still in school can help you succeed in the long run. You’re unlikely to have access to people and tools like this again, so take advantage of it while you can.
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