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Wall Street Journal Small Talk Columnist Talks Entrepreneurship 101

When I first started my business over 20 years ago, I was a bit of an odd duck for my age. At the time, business ownership was equated to a form of joblessness.

Times have changed and I visited with Kelly Spors, Small Talk columnist for The Wall Street Journal and StarupJournal.com about the raging trend of campus entrepreneurs and college entrepreneurial programs. You can hear our interview on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

Colleges all over America are creating ways to foster early entrepreneurial growth while students are attending classes. A growing number of schools are offering entrepreneurial degrees, but some are going as far as creating “hatcheries” and offering funding for start-ups.

As a side note, I interviewed a couple twenty-something college success stories, Tom Szaky of Terracycle and Ryan Allis of Intellicontact (not published yet). Great shows!

I would love to hear about some college entrepreneur success stories – I know I have lots of college age entrepreneur readers – let’s hear about what you’re doing.

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  • http://brentlamphier.typepad.com/a_college_entrepreneur/2007/04/sales_entrepren.html College Marketing 4.0
    Sales, Entrepreneurship, and Duct Tape
    Two posts overs at the Duct Tape Marketing blog worth pointing to. First…a description and some great links about Entrepreneurship in College…for anyone who has read this blog they understand how this relates, if not check out our College entrepren…

  • http://www.TheClipStore.com Ryan Kosai

    My business sells clam clips at http://www.TheClipStore.com.

    I’m finishing up my degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington later this year. I do scientific research in a biomaterials lab. A year and a half ago, I had no business experience at all.

    I founded TheClipStore.com to make a point to a friend that “real businesses” are way easier and more productive than the MLM he was pursuing. I wrote the website, and made it completely automated. Bookkeeping, inventory control, sales reports, and advertising are all completely automated via Perl scripts. A PDF is generated automatically with the receipt and shipping label, and sent by e-mail to my 15 year old brother, who makes $10 per hour packaging and shipping the sold items.

    For the reasonably good profits (they at least put me well above the poverty threshold) that I make from the site, I literally work less than 5 hours a month. I also donate a moderate portion of the revenue towards charities (http://www.thedaily.washington.edu/article/2006/12/1/thirdannualAidsCharityBallToBeHeldInHub).

    TheClipStore.com has been an excellent stepping stone into more exciting ventures. I’m currently working as Chief Information Officer (which in this company translates to ‘singlehandedly programming the entire site’) at AthleonSport.com, another college-entrepreneur run business that is currently in a private alpha launch.

  • http://andydrish.typepad.com Andy Drish

    A friend and I started a program called Spotlight! Presentations. It is a program designed to teach college students how to give presentations in a business setting. It’s ten weeks long and explains how to give effective formal presentations in front of your peers and also develops a person’s ability to speak on their feet. We are in the process of expanding it to other colleges right now.
    We came up with the idea when we realized that we will spend four years taking tests, but will never take another after the day we graduate. It’s hard not to get fed up with college…

  • http://www.extremetour.org Michael Simmons

    Hey John,

    Great post! My partner and I were recently named by Business Week as one of the top 25 entrepreneurs under 25.

    We take advantage of this trend in collegiate entrepreneurship by offering half day seminars with the country’s top young entrepreneurs, which are integrated into our online goal support community, journeypage.com.

    Both Tom and Ryan were speakers on our tour. I know a number of success stories like these and woud love to introduce you to them.

  • http://www.realworld101.org Patricia Hudak

    I started my company, Real World 101 (http://www.realworld101.org), a year after I graduated from NYU even though I had been thinking about since the beginning of the senior year in college.

    Real World 101 prepares college students and recent college graduates for life after college aka the Real World. Through blogs, teleseminars, college tours and an online university, Real World 101 will teach visitors how to navigate through the confusing world of health insurance, taxes, finding a job, getting your first place, etc.

    I came up with the idea for the company when I realized that I had spent 4 years of my life and a lot of money on a college education and didn’t even know what tax form to fill out or what to do with my life after college. I realized that I am not the only one feeling this way and decided to devote my time to educating others about the topics that trouble them after college.