This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

I'm an Entrepreneur; Get Me Out of Here! Today's episode: How to turn a class project into a multimillion-dollar business. (No degree required.)

By Joel Holland

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith didn't know exactly what they wanted to do--it was 2005 and they were, after all, just sophomores in college. But they knew this much: They were ready to be out of the classroom and into their own business.

So Levie, a student at University of Southern California, and Smith, an old friend attending Duke University, began bouncing entrepreneurial ideas off each other. For a long time, nothing stuck. Then Levie was assigned a marketing project: Choose a market and conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

"I chose digital storage because it was something that was interesting to me," says Levie, now 25. "And through the process, I realized that there were very few meaningful services out there providing this technology."