Entrepreneurs are fearless, risk-taking leaders with the determination and persistence to implement and execute their ideas – no matter what age. Sure, many entrepreneurs may wait to start their businesses until they’ve graduated from college, but there are certain times when young entrepreneurs have such a great idea and a burning passion that they can’t even wait until they finish school. In fact, some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs started their business while they were still hitting the books. That’s pretty admirable if you ask me. So, here’s a look at three successful stories of young entrepreneurs:
If you live in Austin, it’s hard not to know about the awesome cookie company, Tiff’s Treats. But what you may not realize is the company was actually founded by two college students. Tiffany Taylor and Leon Chen were just sophomores at The University of Texas at Austin when the company came about in January of 1999. Originally a nighttime business that catered to students, the duo started the company with Chen’s apartment oven and then expanded to a small kitchen space near campus. Since then, Tiff’s Treats has experienced much success and now has 12 locations throughout Austin, Dallas and Houston.
Big Fish Presentations
We’ve all seen our share of presentations over the years – some being a little less exciting than others. This was the ultimate inspiration for Kenny Nguyen and Gus Murillo, two students from Louisiana State University, to create their company, Big Fish Presentations. They decided to start their company after sitting through a lackluster presentation from a Fortune 500 company key executive who spoke on LSU’s campus. They wanted to create a way for the audience to remember the presenter more than the presentation itself. And that’s exactly what Big Fish Presentations does – it creates presentations that captivate an audience using storytelling and emotions. Big Fish Presentations has now expanded to a 10-member team that offers consulting, design, scriptwriting and video-production services.
Another Austin-born young company is uShip, an online marketplace for shipping services. The company was founded by three MBA students at The University of Texas at Austin – Matt Chasen, Jay Manickam and Mickey Millsap. The students were actually working on a class project that required them to pitch an idea to a mock venture capital panel when they developed their business plan and idea for uShip. They wanted to create a website where people could post their shipping requests, and then companies who had empty trucks could bid on the jobs. As the story goes, what started as a school project ultimately turned into reality. The company launched in 2004 with its headquarters in Austin, a satellite office in Amsterdam and over 190 employees worldwide. Talk about living the dream!
At Far West Capital, we love seeing entrepreneurs unleash their potential at any age. We encourage young entrepreneurs to take their passion and ideas and turn them into a reality.
Do you know of any amazing student run startups? Share them with us!