Apple, Microsoft, Google, Dell, Snapchat, Reddit. What do all these companies have in common? They were started by college students. They were companies that forever changed history. These entrepreneurs took advantage of what their college had to offer. Whether it was gathering critical advice from professors, to making college friends that then turned to be their business partners, these entrepreneurs took advantage of a great resource. College. It is not only a place to get a degree, it's a place to create a startup.
Act like an Entrepreneur:
So if you’re a student with a great idea, where do you start? Well the first thing is to start acting like an entrepreneur. You want to wake up every morning excited about what you want to create. You should be bold, ambitious, and have no respect for the status quo. You are making an extraordinary change to the world that some people won’t ever do in their lifetimes.
Of course, having a great idea doesn’t mean success. Remember, ideas are cheap and execution is everything. Don’t be afraid to go out there and make your idea into reality. It’s time you turn that idea into a billion dollar empire.
So what's the first thing you should do? Well… hit the ground running and start creating! Don’t just talk about how awesome your idea is to everyone. Create something. Anything. If its software, start coding. If it’s hardware start crafting. Less talking, more doing. If your idea is a little complicated to build due to limited resources, don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be perfect or complete at all. Start by creating wireframes, blueprints, or even concept videos of your idea. If you can’t do it alone, gather a team that can help you out.
Remember, you’re a student at the most influential and resourceful place that you can be right now... your university. Your university might have 3D printers to sculpt your product or programs that help design your idea. You have business students, art students, engineering students, law students. You have professors that can give great advice and lead your startup to the right direction. Remember ideas are just that… ideas. Be sure to take advantage of what your university has to offer.
Be a Rebel:
If you’re a UNLV student, there are amazing opportunities that will help make your idea become reality in no time. The first place you should start is to join an organization that you’re most passionate about. This can usually relate to what major you’re in. This can be an organization that emphasizes in finance, engineering, computer science, health, science, arts and so much more. These are the stepping stones to help specialize your skills that you can use to help your startup. You can find these organizations by either going to UNLV’s Registered Student Organizations website or attending the involvement fairs that take place every semester.
Once you specialize, it's time to head to the Center of Entrepreneurship at UNLV’s Lee Business School. Here you’ll find extraordinary opportunities that can help you start and grow your startup. If you’re an aspiring freshmen entrepreneur, a must is to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Experience. This program is a full scholarship program that lets you study entrepreneurship in a global scale. Here you’ll learn the foundations of creativity, innovation and team creation. You’ll learn the key tactics to starting and growing your startup.
At the Center of Entrepreneurship, you’ll have opportunities to even earn funding for your startup as well. Nevada Governor's Cup, Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition and Mini Grants are just some of the ways to get funding by just presenting your idea.
Join the Rebel Venture Fund:
Of course once your startup starts to gain traction, you’ll need to look for investors in order to keep your company growing. The first place you should stop by is the Rebel Venture Fund (RVF). The Rebel Venture Fund is UNLV’s student led venture capital fund. It’s one of a kind to be completely student led! This means that you’ll be working with students just like you to help your startup succeed. These students understand the perspective you’re in and will do everything possible to make sure your startup grows and prosper.
You too can also be part of the Rebel Venture Fund if you have a passion for entrepreneurship and venture capital. All majors are welcome! Undergraduate or graduate. RVF provides experiential learning opportunities through participation in real world venture capital funding. You’ll have an opportunity to be a shark like in the show Shark Tank. It’s a great way to learn how many startups succeed and even fail. It’s critical to learn all of this as an early entrepreneur. You learn how some startups fail and learn what you can do to prevent yourself from doing the same mistakes.
Already have a great startup or MVP? Then you’re probably looking for some funds to get you going and growing. Apply for funding from the Rebel Venture Fund! Not only do we invest in your company, we provide a lot of resources and expertise from leaders in the industry to help you succeed.
You are sure to struggle during your journey. You will reach a time where you’ll feel the whole world is coming after you. Your startup might be in the red. You might have bitter conflicts with your team. Your partner might breakup with you. You might feel like on you’re on the brink of a break down and feel hopelessness. REMEMBER, success is not about whether you fail or not. It’s about how much you fail before you achieve success.
Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and about every entrepreneur like you has been through challenging times. NEVER GIVE UP! Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Embrace your failures because it is the one true thing that will lead you to success.
Go Get ‘Em
Good luck with your new venture! Remember if you need any investing for your startup, be sure to pitch for the Rebel Venture Fund at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. We’re excited to see how your startup progresses and want to help in any way that we can!
About the Author
Ryan Arinas is such a nerd and is a friendly guy who will always be there to support you. He got inspired by tech when he attended A-TECH to learn computer programming and graphic design. Now he's at UNLV studying business and global entrepreneurship. He enjoys the strong entrepreneurial energy at UNLV, especially at RVF.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RVF or UNLV. Thoughts and opinions are subject to change and this article is intended to provide an opinion of the author at the time of writing this article. All data and information is for informational purposes only.