When I took The Entrepreneurial Initiative in Spring 2012, it solidified my intention to start a company. However, I was convinced that waiting until school was over was a good idea. As it turns out, starting a company while still in school was a much better idea. Here’s why:
- I have no day job to quit. Several entrepreneur friends of mine still have day jobs, which means they don’t have their most productive hours of the day to work on their startup and they are consistently stressed. As a student, people often don’t expect you to be making money, and it’s an easier time in your life to rely on family or friends for housing, health insurance, and money.
- Now is a great time to start a company. Massachusetts has amazing resources for entrepreneurs, including money to help pay interns in technology-based companies. Students and unemployed people are often willing to work for free or very cheap with a startup in order to gain experience that makes them more hireable. We were able to work with an awesome business intern this summer who was happy to work unpaid to get an experience he wouldn’t find at a large company, which was a win-win situation.
- Accelerators love engineers, and an idea is enough. Amos Meeks ‘14 and I got into MassChallenge this summer with not much more than a UOCD idea. This program has provided us with beautiful space in South Boston, amazing mentorship, and a practical business curriculum, all for free.
Ask Tim Ryan or Jialiya Huang ‘13.5 about their experience with the Summer@Highland program, which is specifically for students. The Babson Summer Venture Program is also open to Olin students, along with many other amazing accelerators in the Boston area.
What are you waiting for? Once you have a co-founder and a good idea, it’s time to start a company.