There was never a doubt in Jeremy Weiner's mind about what he wanted to get out of college: entrepreneurial experience.
As a sophomore on summer vacation, Weiner discovered the niche market that would eventually put him into business as owner of Boston-based Cover-It. "I went by my high school, and my former principal was still having problems with damaged textbooks [because they weren't properly covered]," says Weiner, 24. So he quickly proposed to provide free book covers to four local high schools. He profited by covering the costs--and the book covers--with advertisements paid for by local businesses.
When he returned to Babson College in the fall, a professor helped him write an award-winning business plan. "College definitely helped me because [I could consult] the professors at all times," says Weiner.
Today, Weiner admits he misses the on-call availability of such consultants. But despite the disadvantages that come with leaving school, one benefit is obvious--being able to focus on the business full time. Cover-It is certainly a positive example of that; the business has grown 580 percent since Weiner graduated last year.