Finding Success in University: Case Studies on Student Startups That Became Businesses – Geeta University
Startups have become a promising avenue for creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. Student-led startups have become increasingly popular, and many such projects have resulted in massive success. According to insights from the Economic Times, student-led startups in India vary across different sectors; in recent years, many student-led startups have focused on online tutoring, vernacular curriculum, upskilling, and hobbies. And for the second year in a row, EdTech remains the most popular sector among Indian student founders, followed by health-tech and new-age tech.
We highlighted in our previous post “Revolutionizing Higher Education: The Future of Learning” that some tech trends helping shape the future of learning. Between blended learning and virtual reality, there is a lot of intersection between education and technology — and everything in between — that startups can capitalize on. The rise of student-led startups is also an exciting glimpse into students’ innovative problem-solving skills as they develop new solutions to problems in and out of the classroom. Below, we’ll highlight some student startups from around the world that have found success:
One of the most famous examples of student startups has to be Mark Zuckerberg’s social media empire: Meta — formerly Facebook. Initially founded in 2004 during Zuckerberg’s stint at Harvard, Facebook rapidly grew from a Harvard-exclusive social network into one of the biggest social media platforms used worldwide. Today, Meta continues to expand its host of platforms to cater to the needs and preferences of a new Internet generation. This year, Meta launched Threads — a direct competitor of fellow social media giant X (formerly Twitter). This move was to capitalize on Meta’s ad revenue, a 4% year-over-year increase compared to Twitter’s 59% drop.
Of course, Threads isn’t Meta’s first foray into expansion. Meta is also currently the parent company of the photo- and video-sharing platform Instagram. Interestingly, Meta once tried to buy Twitter in 2008. Since then, Meta has adopted key features from other social networking platforms — Stories from Snap and Reels from TikTok — to keep up with the ever-changing social networking trends, remaining a popular social networking platform for individuals and businesses worldwide.
Founded by four students in 2013, Studocu started as an idea for students to exchange study documents with each other and strive for better grades. Made in a small Dutch student city called Delft, Studocu has since grown into a global note-sharing platform used by over 25 million students across 60 countries monthly. Study materials vary from notes to lectures and practice sets, allowing students to explore over four million study documents from other students around the world. The platform’s knowledge-sharing philosophy has helped students find new ways to study, regardless of their course or the topic.
Using Studocu, students can also access study materials from students studying at other universities. This allows for fresh perspectives on new topics and subjects that may otherwise be challenging. Studocu is also constantly improving its features, recently launching an AI-powered bot called Ask AI. It’s trained on data existing on Studocu and uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT model to help answer study-related questions on any subject.
Started by Abhinav Asthana as a side project in 2012, Postman is now the world’s leading API platform, used by more than 25 million developers and 500,000 organizations worldwide. Postman streamlines the software development process by prioritizing an API-first workflow and improving collaboration. Among Postman’s clientele are 98% of the Fortune 500. What started as a side project in Bangalore is now headquartered in San Francisco and funded by Battery Ventures, BOND, Coatue, CRV, Insight Partners, and Nexus Venture Partners.
Like many other startups, Postman capitalizes on continuously improving its features and services. It recently announced the general availability of Postman Flows — a visual, low-code tool for creating API applications. The program simplifies software building by using APIs as the building blocks, making the process accessible to more people and allowing a collaborative environment without writing a single line of code.
Finally, some startups are meant to raise more startups. Envision is a startup accelerator built and run by a collection of students and recent graduates. The startup describes itself as the first community-driven and equity-free accelerator for young, underrepresented founders. The accelerator has 47 portfolio companies across four cohorts and has raised over $25 million from top angel investors and venture capitalists.
Envision promotes diversity and equity among young founders by supporting the start of their entrepreneurial journey. As the startup sector is currently prone to inherent biases and discrimination, Envision’s goal is to foster an ecosystem of founders, investors, and operators so that we may see growth in innovative startups from diverse founders that traditional players in the ecosystem may otherwise overlook.
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