We know, you have a lot on your plate. You probably forgot to eat more than once while cramming for midterms and dealing with a dysfunctional, non-responsive people for your group project. Starting a company probably seems lofty, big, unattainable, and a great way to waste precious time you should be spending trying to maintain a social life.
But think again.
Your idea has value. Your solution to that every day problem has merit, and instead of sleeping on it while other people are out there building their own futures, eating up all of the available resources at Northwestern, it’s time to make it happen. Because now, as a student, is the best time to get your startup off the ground. There are more resources available now than ever before for students interested in tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship at every level and in every school. As a Northwestern student, there is a network of people both inside and outside the university who you are connected with and need no introduction to.
More important than all of those resources though, college is a place where it’s okay to experiment, learn, grow, and yes, even fail. It means you’ve tried something new and learned something from it, and here in our entrepreneurial bubble, it’s also fuel to get up and try again with the support of fellow student founders and mentors to guide you. We know from working with students for a while that entrepreneurship isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.
When you leave the comfortable cradle of the Northwestern family, things may change. You might find yourself losing eligibility to get non-dilutive capital through university based business competitions. Maybe that full time job will eat up a lot more time than you anticipated, leaving you with just late nights to keep your venture up and running as a side hustle.
Because the last thing you want to become is a thoughtrepreneur: a person who sits on their idea and never executes. Being an entrepreneur requires serious grit, dedication, and expertise and it’s our goal at The Garage to give you a toolkit you can reach into for years to come. Part of the success of a student startup ecosystem at any university is the realization that it’s just as important to discover you don’t want to be a founder or entrepreneur as it is to discover that you do. And you’re far better off doing that now, while you still have the comforting arms of Northwestern hugging you tightly.
Be exuberant. You have an unparalleled opportunity as a student with an idea to take advantages of resources across Northwestern and at The Garage. Need some inspiration? Check out the Dorm Room Fun 5-Year Report.
Make moves. Now. Build your network and schedule office hours with our staff or visiting experts.
Make memories. When things don’t go well, and you fail, which you inevitably will, it’s an experience giving you insight.
Elisabeth is a marketing pro with experience in the public and educational sectors, with a special interest in international relations and social entrepreneurship. She joins The Garage with a passion for work in higher education and a love of all things student centered. Elisabeth received her BA in anthropology and her MPA from Northern Illinois University.