With the cost of everything escalating, many college students find it necessary to work part time to finance their schooling. Some take jobs as pizza delivery drivers or baristas. Others find work at the local mall or bookstore. And some start business empires right in their dorm rooms. Check out these young entrepreneurs who founded successful businesses in their student residences.
Moving fellow students for fun and profit
Like many fellow students, Joe Leary and Peter Handy faced a dilemma at the end of the school year: Where to put their stuff over the summer. Once they realized there was a need, the two started a shipping and storage business called BoxMyDorm.com. It quickly became a hit. In fact, orders came in so rapidly during the first year that they had to temporarily stop taking new business in order to be sure they could serve the customers they already had. The business has grown rapidly. In fact, sales quadrupled in the second year. Now, the company serves college students all over the Northeast and Central United States and plans to continue expanding.
Late night cookies and milk
Students stay up late and they get hungry. Seth Berkowitz was one of those hungry students. Tired of a limited late night menu of greasy pizza and fast food, Berkowitz founded Insomnia Cookies, a late-night cookies and milk delivery service serving his fellow University of Pennsylvania students. Customers ate it up.
Berkowitz has since expanded the cookie delivery service to more than a dozen colleges nationwide. The business used to be confined to delivery service accessible via phone or Internet, but in the spring of 2008, Berkowitz opened a retail outlet in New York City.
Lacrosse tournaments net an idea
Kevin Kirk is a natural-born entrepreneur. At age 10, he began selling handmade jewelry and accessories at his sister's lacrosse tournaments. Then he expanded his product line, purchasing jewelry on eBay and buying Hawaiian-style handbags directly from a manufacturer and selling them at sporting events. Now in college, Kirk runs a successful Internet-based accessory business while maintaining a high grade point average as a full-time student. His company, A Slice of Paradise, offers colorful, affordably priced backpacks, purses, wallets, and flip-flops.
The future of marketing
Web-based social networking sites and mobile communications devices are the keys to reaching a new generation of consumers. Brandon Bornancin recognized this trend and founded a company, EnMobile, to provide a communications platform that clients can use to connect with Generation Y consumers.
EnMobile helps companies target niche demographics by leveraging mobile media to communicate brand and marketing messages. A college senior, Bornancin has already landed some high-profile clients, including Rockstar Energy Drinks and upscale ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery.
As these dorm-room entrepreneurs demonstrate, enterprise is alive and well. A good idea can take off no matter where it starts. After all, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started web giant Google in a garage while they were PhD students at Stanford.