When I started college, I had no thoughts about entrepreneurship or starting my own business. I had one goal: find a job. I spent my entire college career joining clubs and doing internships in hopes of starting a career after graduation.
Last week, I saw an entirely different path that college students can take. My entrepreneurship class visited The Hatch, which helps students bring their innovative ideas to life. From probiotic granola bars to an app that revolutionizes parking, students come here to start their own businesses and define their own success. Needless to say, I was inspired by their stories and their courage to take a chance on their own ideas.
Before last week, I had never visited The Hatch and didn’t know much about it. Since I never viewed myself as an entrepreneur, I assumed it wasn’t for me. However, after the visit, I began to wonder how different my life would be if I had taken a chance on The Hatch early in my college career. Would I have started a company that ultimately failed? Would I be running a successful startup while taking classes?
At The Hatch, I was also challenged to share my own startup idea. This brought me back to reality. I had struggled for several days to come up with ideas, and it turned out that even with the extra effort, they weren’t all that original. My first idea was nearly identical to another student’s, and my second idea had apparently already made someone else a lot of money.
The experience reaffirmed my original thinking that maybe I’m not cut out to be an entrepreneur after all. But, after visiting The Hatch, I know that the most successful startups don’t just come from one entrepreneur with a creative idea, but from a passionate team of innovative people all working toward the same goal. So, maybe that’s where I fit — maybe I just need to find my own team that’s committed to making someone else’s brilliant idea a reality.
I also had the chance to hear my classmates’ startup ideas and I was once again inspired. One student proposed the beauty version of Stitch Fix, a personal styling service. Another student wanted to create a beautiful limited-edition publication designed to be featured in artsy Instagram posts. Another student wanted to create a symbiotic service where people could trade their talents, such as speaking a language, in exchange for learning someone else’s special skills, like cooking.
Although I’ll never know how my life would have turned out if I had tried my hand at entrepreneurship, there’s one thing I know for sure — I’m excited to continue on this journey of learning about entrepreneurship and innovation. In the next few weeks of class, we’ll be working on launching our own startup and I can’t wait to take the plunge and absorb all there is to learn in the process.