Established entrepreneurs don't own the market on innovation and creative ideas. As we've seen, some of the most interesting concepts are often born in dorm rooms. The five finalists in the College Entrepreneur of 2013 contest prove that an enterprising spirit can go toe-to-toe with age and experience.
The "College" category is one of three awards in the annual Entrepreneur competition, along with "Established" and "Emerging." The finalists have been selected for their impact on their industries, communities and employees.
"These finalists are significant contributors to their respective industries," said Amy Cosper, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur. "We are excited to see how the small business community responds during the voting period and find out which entrepreneurs stand out to their peers."
The winner of the College Entrepreneur of 2013 contest will be profiled in the January issue of the magazine and honored at the 2014 Growth Conference in New Orleans.
Get to know the finalists for the College Entrepreneur of 2013 contest and cast your vote.
Jared Schoepf, founder of SafeSIPP
SafeSIPP is a social venture addressing three problems facing rural communities in the developing world: transportation, purification and storage of drinking water. Schoepf, a student at Arizona State University, created a patent-pending three-phase water purification system after a working with My Arms Wide Open, a non-profit working in South Africa.
Read more of Jared Schoepf's story, watch his entry video and vote for him here.
Holly Chan, founder of The Hero Store
Chan, a student at Purdue University, wants to change the way you think about grocery shopping. The Hero Store is a zero-waste grocery store that eliminates product packaging by encouraging consumers to use reusable containers and dispensers to portion out dry goods such as pasta, soup mixes, and oatmeal as well as package-free fresh produce, milk and eggs.
Read more of Holly Chan's story, watch her entry video and vote for her here.
Daquan Oliver, founder of Recesspreneurs
Oliver, a student at Babson College, founded Recesspreneurs to teach entrepreneurship skills to disadvantaged youth. Students will learn to build their own companies, acquire leadership positions and take initiative in the decision-making processes. The idea was born out of Oliver's experience volunteering at an after-school homework program.
Read more of Daquan Oliver's story, watch his entry video and vote for him here.
Nelly Garcia, founder of Rocheli Patisserie
The idea for the multi-language online cake decorating school, Rocheli Patisserie, came to Brigham Young University student Garcia after posting photos of her own cake decorating projects. She noticed that her friends and family in her native Mexico lacked the resources to learn the same skills as she had learned in U.S. pastry schools. Her goal is to provide online cake decorating classes and baking supplies from renowned chefs to students all over the world. She plans to include classes for different skill levels, short tutorials in different languages, and an online shop to buy supplies.
Read more of Nelly Garcia's story, watch her entry video and vote for her here.
Stephen Ost, founder of Ufree
University of Arizona-student Ost created the mobile app Ufree, to help his peers answer what he sees their number one social dilemma: "Who is free to hang out right now?" Ufree allows users to share their availability and displays a list of friends who are currently available, nearby and ready to hang out in real-time.
Read more of Stephen Ost's story, watch his entry video and vote for him here.