Being an entrepreneur at the university is not an easy task. But there are countless cases of students who have taken advantage of this moment to turn their ideas into business opportunities. Several companies began to be developed while their founders were still in the university, such as Facebook, Microsoft, Dell and Buscapé. And there are also cases like the ones of Academic Working Capital groups, in which a Final Project has turned into business (get to know some AWC cases here). Check out three stories of success – two of them, from Brazil:
Dodgeball was an app that mixed social network and geolocation: the user checked in and received notifications about friends and interesting places located in the same region. It was created in 2003 as the final Master’s project of Dennis Crowley and Alex Reinert in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the New York University. Two years later, the app was sold to Google, but its activities ended in 2009. Crowley did not give up and, along with his friend Naveen Selvadurai, used Dodgeball as a base to launch another famous geolocation app: Foursquare. Learn more.
After her bookstore ended its activities due to management problems, Marisa Peraro decided to take an Administration course at the Methodist University of Piracicaba, in the state of São Paulo. As her Final Project in 2006, she developed a business plan for a cosmetic clinic that would offer quality service at more affordable prices than its competitors. Four months after graduating, Marise and her husband sold their motorcycle to put her Final Project into practice and opened the first unit of the Pró-Corpo clinic. Currently, the franchise has 15 units in three states with a turnover of more than R$ 20 million per year. Learn more.
In the last year of the graduation in Telecommunications Engineering at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas), Gustavo Lemos presented a prototype model with intelligent labels that detected consumer behavior in a supermarket as his Final Project. The product only earned a business plan only in 2010, when Gustavo was pursuing a Postgraduate Degree in Business and Finance. With partners Cristiano Paranhos and Victor Gollnick, he founded IDXP Analytics (now called Mediar). The trio received IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012 and took IDXP’s headquarters to Silicon Valley, in the United States. Today, Mediar has clients in South and North America and Europe and still maintains an office in Belo Horizonte-MG. Learn more.