Most everyone has either seen or heard about the movie, “Social Network” about the creator and founder of Facebook. The last few weeks, the technology world has been reminiscing about the career of Steve Jobs and his contribution to the lives we now lead based on his forward-thinking vision. Without Microsoft’s creator Bill Gates our business world would still be trapped in the 70’s. All three of these innovators dropped out of college.

Instead of making a case for dropping out of college, it seems clear that a case can be made for staying in college because it nurtures entrepreneurs. Colleges are America’s think tanks. Most innovation occurs when a problem needs to be solved. That’s how many students emerge as entrepreneurs. Furthermore, studies show that founder education reduces failure rates and increases profits. Statistically, entrepreneurs are more likely to have continued success if they graduate from college.

College may not be able to teach anyone to be an entrepreneur because it’s a mindset, but it can be a breeding ground for entrepreneurial ideas and innovation.

Student entrepreneur creates software for Facebook

Lujure creator, Nathan Latka, a company that helps users customize Facebook pages, when asked about entrepreneurship, gave a clear explanation:

You get caught up with the idea that you want to be an entrepreneur, not the idea or the passion to solve a problem. I see people all the time that come to me and go, “Nathan, I want to be an entrepreneur.” I say, “No, you can’t just be an entrepreneur. You see problems in your life. Being an entrepreneur is about having a vision. … You see something that’s a problem, you think of a solution, and then you build a sustainable company around it.”

Lujure is not Nathan’s first start up. He originally started with a company called Fan Page Factory, sold it, and launched his new company with the funds from the sale. Nathan, a junior at VIrginia Tech, believes that his company should provide an environment that encourages creativity, problem solving and supports new concepts and ideas.

University of Texas students brainstorm to create study tool

When Michael Koetting, a student at the University of Texas and one of the founders of, was stuck on calculus homework one night, he started looking on Facebook to find other classmates and ask for help. That’s how the Facebook application was born: an idea to solve a problem.

Mashable, when discussing this new startup, described as “an application that switches Facebook into study mode by allowing anyone to create study chat rooms, invite friends to them and join existing rooms that are displayed in a study newsfeed.”

The founders have plans to improve on their original idea and add a tutoring network to the application.

Senior at the University of Wisconsin turns frustration into a startup

Brittany Brody, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, came up with the idea for Fampus, a collegiate events site. Frustrated with the lack of information about on and off-campus events, she wanted a site that was solely dedicate to events on her campus and within the surrounding community.

Today, Fampus has seven colleges on board, aided by on-campus interns who help promote the sites. Her goal is to triple that number by the end of 2012. Fampus also has a mobile app that offers close to 75% of the full site’s functionality. In order to join, students, administration and faculty must have an .edu email address (just like Facebook required in its early days).

Not everyone can be a Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerburg, who never graduated college; but take heart. The data and these examples show that going to college will not only improve your odds of entrepreneurial success but foster creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset.

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