The ripple effect of student entrepreneurship
Starting a company is hard, but the learning opportunity is un-matched. I am dedicated to building Dorm Room Fund because I believe deeply that the start-up industry is the best place to work and build a life-long career. Working in startups demands action and teaches you how to maximize your impact by offering no alternative other than failure.
Tons of lessons come from this experience, but the most valuable may be the confidence to put your ideas out there. Learning that your ideas deserve a place in this world, must be built and tested and subjected to the judgement of the market takes a ton of courage. Learning to start up is about much more than starting a company. It is about finding your voice.
My hope is that Dorm Room Fund helps convince as many students as possible that it is not good enough to work their ass off to graduate and get 1 great job but that they must work their asses off to graduate and go on to create 1000 jobs. In this piece in the Wall Street Journal, Joey Pomerenke described the ripple effect that we can create by getting more students to become entrepreneurs and by helping them do this while they are in school.
The Ripple Effect of Entrepreneurial Students. If the key components of an entrepreneurial curriculum in universities come together, outside forces will come into play and drive a series of positive effects. If we can enable stronger entrepreneurial students, we are guaranteed to see a wellspring of external resources and opportunities for these students. Like “Dorm Room Fund,” new tools and support will follow the trend of skilled and motivated students.
Even if a student isn’t successful in starting a company or “fails” their entrepreneurial program, they will have learned more through independent action in that year or two than they could have learned in any other program. These are the students who will be more desirable to employers through their experience and perspective — their “real world” knowledge. Entrepreneurship has largely built America. We should be encouraging these people, these mentalities, in our school systems — but this will only be possible if we can provide the right resources and get out of the way so that students can be entrepreneurial on their own. Instead of perpetuating a system that teaches students how to be job takers, let’s focus on empowering the next generation of job creators.
I love the way he describes the impact this ripple effect can have and will liberally borrow his words to describe my mission with Dorm Room Fund.