5 Big Name Businesses That Started In College


Last week I highlighted several small, unique businesses that were founded by fellow college students. This week, I will focus on bigger corporations that are known worldwide for their innovation and creativity. You see their brand names everywhere and perhaps even use their products everyday.

So without further ado, here are five companies that successfully demonstrate the capability of college students.


1. TIME Magazine (founded in 1923)

Yale seniors, Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, used to be coworkers at the Yale Daily News before they graduated and founded TIME Magazine together. Now America’s first weekly publication has been running for nearly a century, with issues released in countries all around the world.


2. Microsoft (founded in 1973)

Famous founder Bill Gates may have had to drop out of Harvard to develop Microsoft, but who’s to say he made the wrong decision? Microsoft now makes Windows OS, Microsoft Office, and the Xbox 360. College students everywhere thank you for all of the above, Mr. Gates.


3. Def Jam Recordings (founded in 1983)

Def Jam was founded at NYU by then college student Rick Rubin. Def Jam is known for big name hip-hop and R&B artists such as Frank Ocean, Big Sean, Kanye West, and Rihanna. So for all those dorm room musicians and producers, there is hope.


4. Google (founded in 1996)

Larry Page and Sergey Brinn were both PhD students at Stanford University when they developed the search engine Google. The two men wanted to invent a better, more refined search engine and their efforts have now led to a multi-billion dollar corporation that sells tablets, smartphones, laptops, and even digital media with their Android OS. And let’s not forget perhaps their greatest contribution to internet users everywhere—the revolutionary internet browser, Google Chrome.


5. reddit.com (founded in 2005)

Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian were recent college graduates of the University of Virginia when reddit.com was born. Reddit is known as the online bulletin board for the internet, where registered users can post articles, pictures, and other media of interest for others to see. President Obama recently crashed the site with his trending “Ask Me Anything” session with Reddit users.


Are you surprised by any of the big name businesses on this list? Leave us a comment below!