Student entrepreneurs swap classrooms for startup

Student entrepreneurs swap classrooms for startup

Have you ever wondered what’s driving today’s tech startup funding curve on the university campus? Two words: Student entrepreneurship.

Some of the greatest technology companies in Silicon Valley’s were launched by the classroom-to-startup method now popular at tech  school and universities in many places.

Students with brilliant ideas have been launching companies for decades, if not centuries. What made a difference for the founders of companies like Google, and Silicon Valley, was the unique startup ecosystem available to Stanford University entrepreneurs brave enough to take their brilliant ideas to market.

Here in Tech Valley we need look no further than Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Troy’s Tech Valley Game Space to see the source, and fruits, of student entrepreneurship.

Early efforts by earlier, stalwart student pioneers has paid off for Tech Valley. The greater Troy area is now the epicenter of an expanding cluster of digital game businesses, all just a few miles up the river from Albany.

How big is the sector? A study published last year by the Center for Economic Growth in Albany found that the Capital Region’s video game development industry has grown to 14 studios that employ 352 people, making it one of the larger sectors of the local creative economy.

What’s going on? Simply put, there has never been a better time to start, join or fund a startup as a student, according to well informed tech insiders who point out that “young founders who want to start companies while still in school have an increasing number of resources to tap into that exist just for them. “

Are you in engineering school trying to learn how to build a company? Students can apply to an increasing number of fast-track programs that allow them to gain valuable early stage business operating experience.

“The energy around student entrepreneurship today is incredible,” one well qualified tech investor and adviser happily noted, adding “ I’m continually blown away by what the next generation of innovators are dreaming up (from Analytical Space’s global data relay service for satellites to Brooklinen’s reinvention of the luxury bed).”

Read more about the tech startup ecosystem for students and see why students are heading out of the classroom and into startup incubators and accelerators at an increasing rate.


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