6 of Today's Best Student-Run Startups

You don't need to wait until after graduation to start a successful business.
6 of Today's Best Student-Run Startups
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Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
CEO of Sourcify
4 min read
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Going to college can be daunting. Students must find a place to live, make friends and learn how to succeed in their classes. It's full of hard work for everyone, but some students work harder than others. In particular, these few undergraduates believe that college isn't just an opportunity to make lifelong friends and gain an education. For these go-getters, college is also a time to launch their first companies. They want to spend their college years solving a big problem and composing a viable solution.

Here are six ingenious startups founded by college students. Each one has its own unique story and successes, even despite big-time competition.

Drone MVP

Drone MVP
Image credit: Drone MVP

According to UAV Coach, there are more than 80 must-watch drone startups this year. Entrepreneurs are quickly rushing to this space, making competition fierce. For some, this is an overwhelming threat. For Harrison Sheingberg and Louis Van Hove of the University of Southern California, it's a fun challenge. The two undergraduates are disrupting the market with a platform that allows clients to connect with drone pilots.

Sheingberg and Van Hove pride themselves on the fact that their company is a win-win solution for the pilot and the hiring party. Without their platform, companies would have a hard time finding a pilot that fit their required skill set and had an attractive price. Pilots would also have a difficult time advertising their services to find the right clients.

Related: 11 Successful Kid Entrepreneurs Keeping Their Eyes on the Prize


Image credit: Syllabye

You've probably heard of big-name education technology companies like Canvas and Blackboard, right? To an outsider, these organizations seem to dominate the sector. Still, student entrepreneurs Lucas DiPietrantonio and Jeremy Werden are finding success in the space.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students founded an electronic syllabus platform that's improving the way students keep track of their work. At the beginning of each semester, students simply visit the company's site, select their school and add their class schedule.

Thanks to these innovative 20-somethings, long gone are the days students save information on everything from a note on their hand to an email. With Syllabye, they can find all the information they need in one place.

Verb Energy

Verb Energy
Image credit: Verb Energy

As a college student, you have many energy options. Unfortunately, a coffee and granola bar from an industry leader can leave you feeling jittery and unsatisfied. Matt, a sophomore at Yale, realized that there must be a more convenient way to get energy that makes you feel good, too.

So, he started Verb Energy, a company that offers caffeinated energy bars that taste good and help students feel good 

Related: 25 Kids That Made Millions Before Graduating High School

Find Your Ditto

Find Your Ditto
Image credit: Find Your Ditto

When undergraduate University of Michigan student Brianna Wolin met with Master of Health Informatics candidate Parisa Soraya, the location-based social search application world changed forever. Their platform allows individuals with chronic diseases from Crohn's Disease to depression match with others that share their conditions.


Image credit: Coursicle

As previously mentioned, there's a lot of established companies in the education technology space. Still, there are gaps in the market, like class registration.

When Joe, an incoming freshman at UNC, was planning for college, he spent several hours trying to map out his class schedule. He ended up on the waitlist for a few classes, so he designed a program that would text him when the classes for had an available seat. Today, this idea has grown into the technology Coursicle -- an innovative solution for every step of the registration process.

Related: 20 Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Parents

Huk TV

Huk TV
Image credit: Huk TV

22-year-old Samuel Lukach wanted a better way to mount a television in his University of Wisconsin-Whitewater dorm room. He didn't want to create any damage when he installed the unit, and he was interested in moving the television from time to time to optimize his viewing options.

He looked for a solution everywhere, but he soon discovered that there wasn't a simple, safe and harm-free way to mount a TV. That's when Huk TV Mounts was born. 

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