The Education You Need To Set Up A Successful Tech Startup

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We keep hearing about how Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Ma are all college dropouts and turned the world upside down with their visionary ideas. Such articles often undermine the role one's education can play in making one a successful businessperson.

In this article, we will take a step back and see what kind of skills and knowledge (and the resources) college can provide to tech entrepreneurs as they forge their way ahead:

Learning New Skills & Discussing Upcoming Trends

Without a college education, it is up to you to learn new skills, figure out what to learn and who to learn it from, and finding the right resources. At college, all these things are already done for you. Leading academics in different fields keep updating the college curriculum to include the latest developments in the field, software that seems to hold the promise of being dominant in the future, and business strategies that have refined through the test-by-fire situations. And, some of the most successful entrepreneurs actually have a college degree.

As a new business owner, you’ll need to have several skills (besides coding) and may have to handle multiple roles single-handedly. You’ll need to have the know-how of sales, marketing, administration, designing, user experience, project management, account management, web designing, copywriting, PR, SEO, social media skills, and many other things.

College allows you to opt for the basic and advanced versions of these courses throughout your stay – and make the best of the opportunities available to you.
The higher education sector also gears up students to think critically, keep an eye on upcoming trends, and predict the future based on the market mobility in the past. While it is possible to set up a business without any college education, having the adequate support all around you can certainly help you in reaching your goals faster.

The Ranking Of A College Matters

While it is something of a trend in Silicon Valley to make it big without a college degree, Daniel Fine revealed in an article that the email address of his alma mater – Wharton School of Business – helped in opening some doors for him. A degree from a prestigious college (and its alumni list) allows you access to an excellent breeding ground for fostering business connections.

Besides, at college, you get access to high-speed internet, libraries full of magazines and books, and valuable research data that can make all the difference to your business.

Building A Powerful Tech Team

A tech startup’s biggest asset is its programmers, software engineers, and web designers. A college is a right place to network with the upcoming talent in these fields. At a later stage, many professionals hesitate to join early-stage startup companies and prefer to opt for companies that can offer them stability and hefty pay packages.

Community College students applying STEM studies to design rover missions to Mars at NASA.

When you are still in college, you have the chance to target your peers, seniors, and juniors who have the required skills as well as the motivation to help your startup get off the ground and pick momentum. You have a chance to observe hundreds and thousands of students in your college on a daily basis – and win them over with your business pitch.

Finding A Mentor

Here’s an important question for you to consider:

What kind of mentor would you like to learn from?

I am sure you would say that ideally, a mentor should be friendly and helpful. He or she should be knowledgeable, experienced and resourceful, and can help you with taking the right decisions. A mentor should serve as your best guide and even as your critic at times.

In colleges, you’ve plenty of chances to zero in on a professor who is warm, knowledgeable, and has active industry contacts. You might also become part of college communities that organize various events – giving you an opportunity to interact with the industry leaders who are invited as guest speakers to your college.

An online expert who offers business plan writing service can help you come up with the perfect plan for your tech startup, and can also answer your questions on different aspects of starting up a new business.

Observing The Audience

The college is the place where you find young blood which can be your future clients or customers. Hence, it provides you with an excellent opportunity to study your audience, find out what they like and dislike, where they hang out, and what do they expect from a product or service they pay for.

Businesses thrive on this kind of data. Use this opportunity well and it may help you create history in the future.

Trying Fresh & Innovative Moves

When you are in college, you’ve fresh blood all around you. While your professors introduce you to the traditional ways of doing things, your peers can inspire you to try new, innovative, creative ways to do a particular thing.

Your fellow students can introduce you to the most happening online places like StartUs, Meetup, AngelList, and Hacker News which are a rich resource for picking up technical talent. You may also keep a lookout for the biggest prankster in your college dorm to find out if he or she fits in your startup scheme to shake up things from time-to-time.

Summer internships are also a great way to connect with the most promising partners, investors, and mentors.

Providing A Safety Net

Most of the colleges today have business incubation centers where students get all the help they need to start a new business. Moreover, student-entrepreneurs may also decide a period of time for testing out their idea – and if they fail to make their business sustainable in that time period, they can always sit for campus recruitments.

Some colleges are more flexible with their approach. They allow their students two-to-three years of time to try out their ideas and participate in the campus recruitments even after they pass out of college.

You’ve already read a lot about tech businesses started by college dropouts or by people who never went to college but there are several upcoming student-run startups that are making their mark in the business world sit up. If you want to dig deeper, you can check out this article by Entrepreneur.



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