This past week I have been interviewing undergrads for internships with my new startup. It seems to me that each and everyone of them is in the process of writing a business plan or trying to launch a business.
Obviously, my sample is biased as I am finding/attracting entrepreneurial minded students, but that being said, looking for opportunities and forming firms seems to be a common way for today’s undergrads to spend their time outside of class. It reminds me of my years (1999-2001) with RollingStone.com and Machineweb.com; everyone you met (whether at your firm, partners, competitors, etc.) had a biz plan and was looking to launch their own firm.
One student I spoke with was looking at campus debit systems/loyalty programs, while another was investigating the opportunity to offer nail salons/spa services for various campus segments. Fun, interesting stuff is definitely taking place on campuses throughout the US.
The traditional ‘academics vs. social’ time allocation question must be changed to something like academic vs. social vs. entrepreneurial. In a sense, athletes in high return sports (football, basketball, olympic sports, some hockey, some baseball) have been facing these choices on campus for a long time. And many of them end up focusing on the money — just like Gates, Zuckerberg, Dell, Brin, and Branson.