10 businesses that were started at university

Have you ever felt curious about starting up your own business, but are stuck for ideas? Here is a list of the 10 best businesses started at uni to give you some inspiration! Whether you’re looking to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, or you just want to set up a local business for some experience and a small income, we’ve got you covered.

1. Facebook

Facebook
Source: @FacebookHK on Facebook

Facebook was famously started up in a bedroom at Harvard University by Mark Zuckerberg. He initially designed it to connect students across his uni online, but within a month it quickly spread to other universities. Today it is one of the most popular social media sites.

2. Time Magazine

TIME
Source: @time on Facebook

This US magazine was created by two students at Yale University in 1923 and now boasts a readership of 25 million people.

3. Google

Google
Source: @GoogleUK on Facebook

Google was started up at Stanford University by Larry Page and Sergey Bin – two students who were fed up with the way search engines worked. They created a new technology to change the way search engines filtered their results, making research on the internet a lot easier.

4. First Class Products

First Class Products
Source: @FirstClassProductsOxford on Facebook

This company was started by Geography student Tom Ellis when he was studying at the University of Exeter. He realised that champagne was not yet sold in Britain, and so set up his business to import the drink into the UK. It has now become a major national distributor supplying hotels and restaurants across the country.

5. Gelato Mio

Gelato Mio
Source: @GelatoMio on Facebook

Started in Holland Park, London by business school students Carlo de Mistro and his wife Simone in 2008. It is now a thriving ice cream parlour and has merged with Unico, who have several successful chains across the UK and in Italy.

6. Beautiful Bottoms

NBSNU
Source: @NBSNU on Facebook

Two marketing students, Skerritt and Sexton-Wainwright, at Newcastle’s Business school, set up the lingerie company, Beautiful Bottoms, and received celebrity endorsement from Amanda Holden. They borrowed £9000 to help set up their business and paid back three-quarters of that within their first week of trading.

7. Two Big Ears

Two Big Ears
Source: @TwoBigEars on Facebook

Created by Abesh Thakur and Varun Naira at the University of Edinburgh. The students developed software that created 3D sound and is used by companies or individuals who want to create videos, games and apps.

8. University Compare

University Compare
Source: @Unicompare on Facebook

This higher education comparison site was set up by Owen O’Neil when he was at Anglia Ruskin University. Today his website has over 160,000 registered users and makes 7.75 million annual student impressions.

9. Inspiring Imagery

Keele University
Source: @KeeleUniversity on Facebook

Although this company doesn’t seem to be still running, it was set up by Liam Neal and Graham Fisher at Keele University. It was a printing company, which produced different forms of prints, including high-quality Christmas decorations.

10. Play Pizzazz

Play Pizazz
Source: @playpizzazz on Facebook

Last, but definitely not least, Rachel Sinden set up this business which aims to improve mental health and wellbeing of children across the country. She graduated from the University of Chester with a degree in Creative Practises in Education.

So there we have it, 10 of the best businesses that were started at uni. I hope this has inspired you to get thinking about what kind of business you want to set up. Alternatively, have a look at the greatest small business ideas for students here. Don’t think you are limited just because you’re a student. It’s clear from looking at these businesses that any individual can become successful with the right idea and support.

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