Need Cash? Start Your Own Student Business!
It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention. If that is true, a college campus must be her soul mate. Just think of all the amazing businesses that have sprouted from little seeds in a college student’s mind. Google and Facebook are just two examples. But Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only creative college kid to make a mint. Every year, more college students are breaking ground with new business concepts and innovative ideas. The one thing they all seem to have in common is identifying a need and creating a solution to fill that need. But instead of sitting around wishing someone else would provide the service (or create a product), these students took the initiative to do it themselves. Here are just a few examples of how some college students are earning money through creative business ideas.
Have you ever found yourself craving something sweet during a late-night study session? Seth Berkowitz found a solution – Insomnia Cookies! Tired of not being able to find any suitable munchies after 10 p.m., he created these cookies during his junior year at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Other students were soon asking him for the cookies and the business took off. Today, students can get Insomnia Cookies at 22 different college campuses. If you don’t live near one of these campuses, don’t worry, simply order online and they will mail the cookies to you!
New York University students, Susie Levitt and Katie Shea, literally found their calling on the streets of New York. After spending several uncomfortable hours a day walking in high heels, they figured there had to be a better answer for this fashion dilemma. The pair created CitySlips in 2009. CitySlips are foldable ballet slippers that store in a zipper pouch. The pouch then becomes a fashionable tote for carrying those uncomfortable heels after a long day on campus, at work, or after hours. There are seven different styles, all selling for $29.95. Women's feet everywhere thank you both!
My Campus Cakes was founded in 2010 by two Indiana University students, Jon Bradford and Matt Brown. This online delivery service allows anyone to send a cake (or cupcakes) to a student at one of the nine college campuses they currently serve. It's perfect for parents or friends who want to send something to celebrate a birthday, special achievement, or even the end of finals. Customers can include balloons, candles, soda, and tableware at an extra cost, but singing ‘Happy Birthday’ is always free!
If you think you have a great idea for a college-based company, do a little research and consider launching your own niche business. There’s even a new website that can help you find investors. Unlike some of the other crowd-funding websites, Upstart allows recent college graduates to sell a share of their future earnings in exchange for cash to help them start entrepreneurial projects now. The trick is to find a need and fill it; it can be as simple as a late-night food delivery or even a laundry service. Just be sure to have a solid business plan and the blessing of your college administration staff. Who knows, you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg!