If you are thinking about balancing university with your startup, below are six tips, which you may find quite useful:
1. Take advantage of university resources
University time is probably going to be the only time in your life, when you will have access to so many academic, technical and advisory resources. Professors can be valuable mentors and classmates usually represent the perfect beta pool. Moreover, there are various entrepreneurial competitions geared towards students.
2. Finding the right partners
On a university campus, you can find numerous bright and curious people, who are eager to join you on your startup journey. Paul Graham of Y Combinator has some great advice on how to find the right co-founder: “I’d look for the people who are not just smart, but incurable builders. Look for the people who keep starting projects, and finish at least some of them.”
3. Set aside time to work on the business
The classes, exams and various coursework in the university are usually scheduled for you, but making time for your business plans requires discipline. You may want to pick a day or two during the week, when the team can work together in the same room.
4. Do not view your studies and startup as mutually exclusive
Take in consideration the types of coursework that could be useful for your business. For instance, if you are studying engineering, take a few economics and marketing classes. You do not need to be an expert in these subject areas, but they will certainly give a broader understanding of what is needed in the business world.
5. Do not be afraid to fail
Regardless of the type of startup you chose to launch, you should keep in mind that most of people’s first business ventures fail. If this happens to you, it hardly makes you a failure. University time is one of the best times to give things a try. Think about later, when it certainly becomes harder to take risks, when you will have a mortgage and family to consider. With every attempt you make, you will gain valuable experience and an insight into what works and what does not.
6. Remember that university is expensive
Regardless of whether you are taking out loans or your parents are paying your tuition fee, university is a massive investment, which requires active participation in order to take most of it. Every time you find yourself in a situation where you are pulled between classes and your startup, think about which one is most important and which activity teaches you the most. If time working on your startup comes out on top, you should consider taking a leave or absence from school. University is way too expensive to be neglected all the time.