Huffington Post contributor Jeff Copelan recently highlighted five entrepreneurs under 25 who are succeeding with ‘traditional’ companies. Among them, Max Schoenfeld and Jacob Goodman, WashU grads who are changing how entrepreneurship is learned on college campuses.
If it weren’t for Washington University in St. Louis’ Student Entrepreneurial Program (StEP), Schoenfeld and Goodman might never have met. While at WashU, they both became aware of a student-run business called UTrucking. The company, which helps students with the logistics of moving, was part of the StEP program. StEP offers WashU students a unique opportunity to own a business on campus, supplementing the skills they learn in the classroom with real-world experience.
With two of UTrucking’s managers about to graduate, Goodman and Schoenfeld became part of the new executive team. By the time they graduated, they had more than doubled the company’s value. Goodman and Schoenfeld wanted to share what they learned from their entrepreneurial experience and bring it to students at other college campuses across the country.
Using the same student-manager model, Goodman co-founded Fresh Prints, a campus apparel company. Fresh Prints now has over 120 student managers on campuses across the country, each generating $50,000 a year on average.
Schoenfeld founded College Truckers, taking the UTrucking concept nationwide. College Truckers has a presence on 13 college campuses in the U. S. and is seeing rapid growth. Goodman is also involved with College Truckers.
The teams of student entrepreneurs at these companies spend a good portion of their time at college building viable businesses on their campus. When they graduate, they sell their shares to freshmen and sophomores who take the reins and continue to build on what the founding teams started.
Not only have Max and Jacob built successful companies, they are changing the model for how entrepreneurship is learned at universities nationwide.
“StEP is a big reason I came to Washington University. There is a difference between letting students run a business and letting students own a business. If it goes great, you reap the benefits. If everything goes south, you are on the hook. That’s a really powerful thing…”
– Jacob Goodman