The VPM Blog

College and University Wunderkinds

Posted by Gray on Mar 27, 2013 5:38:18 AM

On Monday, Micah talked about the importance of schools stepping up as business incubators that nurture the innovative minds of students. When that happens correctly, beautiful things can happen, both for the university and the student. Take for example these students from Stanford, LSU and UPenn:

Alison Johnston

Shortly after graduating from Stanford, she and her brother, Dan, founded online-based tutoring resource, InstaEDU, “where students in need can instantly connect with available tutors from top universities”. My brother and I could barely share a bathroom, growing up. Doubt we could run a successful company together.

Kenny Nguyen

Dropped out of Louisiana State University, not because he couldn’t make the grades, but because he couldn’t wait to start designing presentations for 500 companies. Now he is CEO of his own company, Big Fish Presentations which does just that. He also helps out smaller, startup companies as well. Nice guy, that Kenny.

Vincent Sanchez-Gomez

A senior at Penn who, along with his three friends, created Pagevamp, which can turn an organization/business/company’s Facebook page into its own website. They’ve decided to be responsible and wait until after they graduate to start making their millions.

Nick D’Aloisio

If you’ve spent much time on the Internet lately, you’ve probably seen this name quite a bit (and that's him up there in our cover image). That’s because Nick is now reportedly 30 million dollars richer after Yahoo! bought his mobile news app, Summly. Oh, and they also gave him a job. Oh, and he is not quite 18 years old. He still has one year of high school left, but hopes to attend Oxford. Wonder what senior class superlative he’ll get...

I didn’t compile this short list of business-blessed individuals to increase my own self-loathing for having achieved so little at the old age of 22. No, the point of all this is that each of these people did something remarkable, and they all did it at a young age - at the college age. After perusing several articles about these individuals, two words were used over and over again, to describe them: “young” and “energetic”. Could those words be used to describe your university?

One of my favorite movies is The Social Network. Besides an all-star cast that includes Justin Timberlake himself, it has a script that’s full of very smart dialogue. At one point in the movie, the actor playing the dean of Harvard delivers the line, “Everyone at Harvard's inventing something. Harvard undergraduates believe that inventing a job is better than finding a job”.

Well, that’s true of a lot of undergraduates, these days - not just undergrads at Harvard. Just look at the small sample I’ve present you with; schools all across the country can point to a successful entrepreneur and say, “Yeah, that’s right. He attended our university!” So maybe you can’t always say they graduated, technically.

But it’s no different than a football player leaving early for the NFL, right?

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Author: is our Spring Editor & Word-Smith here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.

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