Families Help Nurture Vanderbilt Entrepreneurs

Great piece from Sramana Mitra highlighting two entrepreneurs that launched an educational software firm, Archipelago Learning, out of Vanderbilt. Mitra highlights the importance of supportive friends and families as founders, especially young ones, begin the process of building a sustainable business.

From the piece:

Family suppoert allowed Vanderbilt University fraternity brothers David Muzzo and Cameron Chalmers in 2000 to cofound Study Island, an educational software company. Since then, the company changed its name to Archipelago Learning, went public and did $55 million in revenue last year.

One of their grandmothers had a condo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that she was not using, and she let Muzzo and Chalmers live there rent free. The two friends spent a year-and-a-half developing what would become Archipelago.

The idea for Archipelago was to create a software application that let students enter the material they were trying to learn and share it with other students. Muzzo and Chalmers’ vision was that Archipelago would evolve into a shared library of academic content.

Mitra points out that the free rent may have been worth up to $20,000 in angel financing? So entrepreneurs, family and friends, be creative in how you can support the growing firm in front of you.

Families: Nurture Entrepreneurs – Forbes.com.

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