The stereotypical idea of college life usually revolves around a cycle of going to class, cramming for exams, and partying. However, not every college student lives up to such an image and instead builds on out-of-the-box ideas that eventually change the world. Some of the greatest companies that still exist today were created by college students during their university years.
Bryn Carden, a young entrepreneur who is the founder of Styles for Smiles and co-founder of BF Hats, finds inspiration from students who have utilized their college years for the better to develop well-accredited famous companies. She highlights five companies that have made global, social, and economic impacts blossomed by college students below:
In 1998 at Stanford University, two Ph.D. students struggled to find an appropriate balance between their studies and building a start-up. This start-up that Larry Page and Sergey Brin were developing is what we know today as the popular search engine Google. Page and Brin, the two founders of Google who met during their first campus tour, discussed at one point selling their organization for one million dollars to Excite due to the difficulties of managing education and entrepreneurial ambitions. What was once an idea for the Stanford Digital Library Project is now known and used worldwide.
The social media platform Facebook started as an idea by Harvard undergraduate sophomore student Mark Zuckerberg to create a social network for fellow college students. The story of Facebook is a detailed one, and it involved more than Zuckerberg as its founder in 2004. In addition to Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founders include Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes.
At Texas University in Austin in 1984, undergraduate student Michael Dell, age nineteen, was hard at work at Texas’ now sixth-largest company based on total revenue. It is now known by those all around the world as Dell. Dell faced difficulties during its beginning years when he started it as PC’s Limited with only one-thousand dollars until gaining financial backing from his family, a three hundred-thousand-dollar investment. After receiving the generous investment, Dell made his world-changing idea of directly selling computers to customers come to life and grow to be Dell, the world’s top shipper of PC monitors.
Another revolutionary business that a Harvard University student created was Microsoft. Bill Gates was attending Harvard, and after Paul Allen convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard to pursue Microsoft full time, Gates did, and the rest is history. The computer software company founded in 1975 has been on the frontlines of technological innovation and assisted in restructuring the world’s perspective on computers.
Four years before Google’s founding year, another world-renowned company came to life at Stanford University. Two Ph.D. students, Jerry Yang and David Filo, founded Yahoo! in 1994 after creating a simple list titled “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” which consisted of their favorite websites. Before Google, Yahoo! was the internet’s first and only search engine.
About Bryn Carden
Bryn Carden is a young entrepreneur and philanthropist with a passion for real estate and design. She is currently studying at Neeley School of Business, pursuing a major in Finance with a Real Estate Concentration. Besides working towards her degree, she has already begun her entrepreneurial journey as a co-founder of BF Hats and a creator of Styles for Smiles – a company selling bracelets to help fund cleft palate operations for children in developing countries.