Do universities and startups mix together?


Sites such as Facebook were created while attending a University.
According to this source "About two-thirds say they work part time" so it is common to see university students working.

But what about start-ups? Are failure chances higher if the founder/developer/leader is focusing on university & a start-up? Can one balance the work demands of both university and start-ups?

Getting Started Entrepreneurs

asked Aug 9 '12 at 12:58
Kate Owen
6 points

2 Answers


Lots of people work while attending university and there are certainly many stories of extremely successful entrepreneurs who "dropped out of college to work in their garage and became billionaires".

I found university boring, so started a technology business to have something interesting to think about. I enjoyed the social aspects of university, but the work was very tedious (I was doing double-honours Maths & Physics, but it was way too easy, so I lost interest).

With my new business I got to do interesting things like creating a PC-based monitoring system for a nuclear submarine using a hacked laptop and several remote nodes. Nobody seemed to care that I was just a teenager with no security clearance and no real experience of military projects. I just got the work done and they were happy.

In the end, it is all about finding something you enjoy. If you want to create a startup while at university, do so. There's no reason why you can't do both. You don't need a book about this stuff. Just do it.

answered Aug 9 '12 at 16:50
Steve Jones
3,239 points


At first I thought this question was related to Universities contributing in the launch of startups. In that case these are called Spin-Offs and there a few examples of very nice projects like the Lycos, OntoPrise etc.

Universities are a great place where people can discover who they want to be.

A university is like an environment where you either behave by its rules and once you learned how to get by, you can aim for being a good student and the best of grades... You don't neccesserily need to be the best in that environment to be on top of it, since it is easy to get good grades in most Universities once you know the tricks of the so called teaching and learning.

There is also the other case which I believe relates to your question: people understand that a University does not neccesarily reward that most skillfulled ones and then people decide for a different reward system and launch their own startups (drop-off, or just pass without being grade-greedy).

I am sure there are many cases of drop-offs, or people that put their PhDs on pause and decide to invest in advancing themself in science through their own companies & research.

answered Aug 9 '12 at 19:39
166 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Getting Started Entrepreneurs