From Facebook to Microsoft, some of the biggest names in business have blossomed right out of college dorms. And our five finalists for College Entrepreneur of 2014 are looking to follow in the storied footsteps of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.
Nominees have not yet hired any employees or conducted any business, but the winner stands to gain enormous exposure via a profile in our January 2015 issue -- as well as a cool $5,000 in seed funding.
The “College” category is just one of three fields in which Entrepreneur will award notable business makers come September. Other contests are simultaneously taking place in the “Emerging” and “Established” categories.
Sahil Diwan, Fourth Wall
Diwan, an avid film fan, likens the hustle of an aspiring actor to the risky endeavor of starting a business. Therefore, his software company, Fourth Wall, uses matching algorithms and data mining to standardize the audition process -- which can sometimes feel aimless, he says. By also collecting troves of user characteristics and preferences, the goal of the website and app is to help actors nail down relevant, breaking opportunities. | Cast your vote
Aaron Goldstein, Life Patch
While a device that enables parents to monitor the core body temperature of their children from anywhere in the world might sound frighteningly futuristic, Life Patch is non-invasive, Goldstein assures. A disposable patch affixes a thermometer to the child’s body, and transmits data in real time to any smart device. Its uses are potentially plentiful, Goldstein says, including athletes seeking to monitor heatstroke and for women to track their ovulations when trying to get pregnant. | Cast your vote
Anthony Gonzales, FITGuard
Primarily targeting athletes aged 10 to 18, the FITGuard is a mouth guard that seeks to prevent sports-related concussions. Using high-luminosity LEDs, the device changes colors when it detects a sizable blow, and transmits the data of the impact for further analysis via a proprietary smartphone app. Noting that the device is proudly made in America, Gonzales says, “We want to help coaches, parents and leagues to protect athletes around the world.” | Cast your vote
John T Hill, Easy FBO
FBOs, or fixed-base operators, are businesses -- most often located directly on airport premises -- that facilitate orders from pilots for fuel, parking, maintenance, flight instruction and a whole host of aeronautical services. EasyFBO is an app system, explains Hill, aiming to simplify the current ordering process (where communication breakdown is prevalent) and increase efficiency for thousands of FBOs nationwide. | Cast your vote
Margurite McDonald, Pindet.com
From weight loss to organization to financial development, Pindet is a social networking app and website with a pointed focus: goal achievement. In addition to connecting those with common aspirations, the site also encourages its users to join local groups, search pertinent events and connect with experts. McDonald says that the company’s target audience is tech-savvy and team-oriented young adults who are looking to inspire one another to become their best selves. | Cast your vote
Related: 15 Signs You're an Entrepreneur