College is a time when startups are founded and the people with great ideas become billionaires. Startups are increasingly common these days since there are more resources available to those who wish to create a company. Back when Google was founded, there were venture capital firms, but to receive funding from them you had to have a rock solid business plan and a reasonably easy-to-explain method of achieving a high amount of profit.
These days, those same venture capital firms still exist, but there’s a new method young entrepreneurs are using to fund their business ideas: small, non-profit incubators like Startup Shell.
Startup Shell is a student-run, non-profit incubator and collective that cultivates entrepreneurship through collaboration at the University of Maryland.
Advances in technology have caused an increase in the amount of students at universities with innovative ideas; cultivating these ideas into a company is somewhat challenging, but with the help of incubators like Startup Shell they can be successful. Although Startup Shell provides funding for ventures, it’s not the only thing they provide. Startup Shell sponsors events, social gatherings, but most importantly connects you to a group of mentors that have experience in the field of entrepreneurship.
Being successful as an entrepreneur means that you have to assemble knowledge from various sources and compile it into an easy to understand format. At times this can be very challenging; for example, when I created Merus Designs, I had no idea how I would form a company. I did a small amount of research and filed articles of incorporation for a C Corp in the state of Maryland. Little did I know that C Corps are one of the most heavily taxed corporations in the U.S. After I connected with entrepreneurial-minded students at the University of Maryland, I was told that I probably should have formed an LLC or a Subchapter S corporation. I did switch my filing status to a Subchapter S corporation, but having the people around me in the first place to guide me would have helped immensely.
Incubators like Startup Shell are becoming more and more common on university campuses across the nation, and will help pave the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Who knows that the future will bring.