Busy with assignments? Revisions? Exams? The last thing you are probably thinking about is dusting off your idea and launching your business. You are feeling busy and overloaded and you think that opening up your business while at university would take away a precious chunk of time from your studies and spread yourself too thin trying to juggle business and university at the same time.
In this article I want to show you why opening up your business while still at university can be a good choice.
You can use the university-project excuse when you go around or contact people during your market research phase. For the success of your business, market research is key to select your niche and find a specific group of people small enough to be easily identifiable, and big enough to be profitable. Asking questions mentioning a “university project” makes people more willing to help and honest about their answers, allowing you to gather useful data.
Universities are full of thought leaders. Furthermore, professors and university staff are often well connected. While you are a student, you can easily approach them and ask for advice and introductions. They will be happy to have a chat with you and point you towards someone who can help.
On top of that, your university can be a great place to find your business partner. Mingling with students from other courses can lead you to find a co-founder that can complement your skills; be friendly and open to conversations, and if you don’t find a business partner you will at least have a few new friends.
Raise your profile
Being young sometimes makes it difficult to be taken seriously in business. Universities often endorse their student entrepreneurs for their achievement allowing you to raise your profile and being seen as professional and trustworthy.
Furthermore, if your idea is somehow related to your university degree, you can leverage that to prove you are an expert in that domain.
Facilities and resources
Increasingly, universities are offering free facilities and resources to help students setting up their ventures. Many universities are starting to offer co-working spaces, sharing offices, or incubators for students. If your idea involves a physical product, a few universities offer access to 3D printers to mock up your product and quickly iterate on your design. Furthermore, many universities are promoting business and idea competitions, with prizes that include money, help with building your MVP, accelerators and incubators programs, and help getting your venture off the ground.
Universities are full of knowledge. It may sound obvious but sometimes we tend to forget that. If you need help, from solving technical problems to needing help understanding contractual law, chances are there is more than one professor who could be able to give expert advice. Cherry on the cake? It will be completely free of charge. Universities also organise seminars, events, workshops, and clinics on a broad variety of topics, ranging from intellectual properties (to protect your idea), to marketing, pitching and Funding.
So, what are you waiting for? Run back to your drawer and pick up that old and forgotten notebook with your business ideas. Pick the one you are most passionate about and give it a go, now, while still at university.
You will not only have a great experience while learning valuable skills, but you will also have the chance to take your mind away from your studies, freshening up your perspective; and who knows, by graduation time you might have a sustainable and successful business you can be proud of!