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Successful Businesses Started by Students

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Did you know that some of the most popular tech companies today are just successful businesses started by students?

In fact, these businesses took off so well that their founders did not even have to wait around to complete their college degrees. From Facebook to FedEx, you might be surprised to know which products and services you use every day were first launched in dorm rooms and college corridors. 

If you are looking for some inspiration, these cool companies here can prove that with a little bit of imagination and a lot of perseverance, you can indeed take over the world. 

This list of successful businesses started by students is the most motivating thing I've seen in months! Seriously life-changing!

7 Examples of Successful Businesses Started By Students


The original idea of Google was first formulated at Stanford University. Two Ph.D. students – Larry Page and Sergey Brin – worked together in their dorm rooms to develop the first version of the number one search engine that we use today. 

However, at that time, it was called BackRub because the site has the capability to check for backlinks to evaluate the importance of a website. 

Today, Google has evolved to become the most popular search engine that can answer any of your queries, whether it is about an APA annotated bibliography example or how to build a house. Interestingly, the current name Google was derived from the word ”googol’,’ which is the digit one followed by 100 zeros. 


Before Google was famous, there was another tech invention that took the world by storm. Microsoft was another product that was the brainchild of young college students – Bill Gates and Paul Allen. At the time, Gates was enrolled at Harvard, and Allen was studying at Washington State University. 

Not so surprisingly, Microsoft was not the first venture of Gates or Allen. They had worked on a few other programming projects together, which had encouraged them to drop out and pursue Microsoft as a business. 

Microsoft went on to create several brilliant innovations, including the Windows operating system, which allows you to quickly type up a poem analysis essay on your laptop. However, before Windows, Microsoft first gained attention in the field with its BASIC software for Altair computers. 


Tech companies are not the only business launched by college students. In 1971, a 28-year-old Yale student, Frederick W. Smith, had the idea of running an overnight shipping service. 

He developed this concept to build a company that specializes in air freight and made it successful. You might know this business today as FedEx. 

However, Smith had a bit of help from his family inheritance to start with. The company went through a tough time losing $29 million in the first two years. By 1977, FedEx had a profit of over $8 million and had built an established consumer base. 

EarTop Technologies 

You might not know much about this company, but you will definitely know what its product is – wireless technology. In 2011, two Babson College students, Ketan Rahangdale and Jaiyu Ni, turned their passion for music into an idea. They combined cutting-edge technologies and the latest designs to create wireless headphones. 

Thanks to their innovation, today, you can rely on your noise-canceling headphones to focus on critical lens essays without having to be wired into your computer. The company also develops wireless video solutions and strives to make wired devices completely obsolete in the future. 


Snapchat is one example that good things can come out of bad decisions, especially when you are in college. Evan Spiegel, with his friends Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy, came up with the thought of the possibilities of automatically disappearing photos. Yes, it was after one of the students had accidentally sent an embarrassing photo to someone. 

The trio were students at Stanford University at the time. Indeed, their idea took off swiftly to become one of the popular social media platforms of today. 

Snapchat was first launched in 2011. A decade later, it continues to be a favorite among teenagers across the world. 

Time Magazine 

Another one of the brilliant business establishments started by students is Time Magazine. This successful endeavor was launched by college students Britton Hadden and Henry Luce in 1923 when they were students at Yale University. 

As you might guess, the pair worked at Yale Daily News at the time. They gathered their experience and used it to begin the first weekly news magazine of America. There is no need to mention the reputation Time Magazine holds in the current world. 


Lastly, this list will not be complete without mentioning Facebook. After all, the college life of Mark Zuckerberg was even made into a movie that offered plenty of insight into the story behind Facebook. 

Mark Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard University when he started working on Facebook with Eduardo Saverin. He eventually dropped out to focus on the development and running of the company, Facebook. 

In Summary

This list is in no way exhaustive of the numerous business endeavors started by students. There are plenty of other successful examples around us, including Napster, Reddit, WordPress, and more. 

There are also dozens of relatively less popular businesses that have still managed to leave their mark in the respective industries. 

All these companies tell a single story – where there is a will, there is a way. These entrepreneurs did not let their student status discourage them from pursuing their dreams. Instead, they made it into their strength, and thankfully, the world is better for it.

What’s your favorite successful businesses started by students?

This list of successful businesses started by students is the most motivating thing I've seen in months! Seriously life-changing!