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College Startup Rethinks Laundry A prepaid campus laundry service offers a lesson in entrepreneurship.

By Jodi Helmer

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jeremy Young enrolled at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., to study art history. He ended up getting a crash course in business management and finance, thanks to a meeting of the entrepreneurship club he attended as a sophomore. "I joined on a whim and felt inspired to pitch an idea," recalls Young, now 24.

That idea--a prepaid laundry service for students--was inspired by similar services on other college campuses. With the support of the Hamilton entrepreneurship club, Young did some research and teamed up with four classmates to launch HillFresh Laundry.

"As full-time students we didn't want to raise the capital to purchase equipment and lease space, and it didn't make sense for us to manage a full-time laundry business," Young explains. "So we decided to be laundry brokers." After developing their business plan, the partners signed on with a local laundromat that was already providing wash/dry/fold services to another local college. That meant the company understood the demographic--and the founders didn't have to get their own hands dirty.

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