Student entrepreneurship has grown
recently on campus, positively affecting a broad range of students,
faculty and Ann Arbor residents. Student-started and student-run
businesses such as eatblue.com have recently been joined by
newcomers such as the college campus specific Internet auction site
campusbandit.com, and Big Ten Burrito on State Street. Student
entrepreneurship presents innovative ideas while at the same time,
provides an encouraging market to students that is uniquely suited
to students’ needs.

Beth Dykstra

Eatblue.com began in 2002 with three enterprising students. They
had grown tired of ordering food from the same few places time and
time again, but their laziness inhibited them from actually going
out and exploring new options. The result came in the form of the
website eatblue.com, that claims to be “a lazy college
student’s dream come true.” Not only did the students
create a website that displays menus, prices and phone numbers of
many of Ann Arbor’s most popular restaurants, they went a
step further by utilizing their fine entrepreneurial skills to
negotiate with restaurants in order to get them to agree on
specials worthy enough of a spot on the website.

With the success and fame of eatblue.com, it’s no wonder
that other students have jumped onto the website creating
bandwagon. Take campusbandit.com for example. Founded this year, by
Parkway Enterprises, Inc. the website serves as an eBay-like forum
for college students. CampusBandit offers the ability for students
to both buy and sell anything imaginable, from coursepacks to
keg-o-rators. Quite appealing about this website is that there is
no shipping necessary, as each item to be bought and sold comes
from a few blocks away.

Aside from the website-creating trend, students are delving into
other economic opportunities as well. Adam Lowenstein, a recent
University graduate, began Big Ten Burrito, Ann Arbor’s
newest restaurant, with his high school friend Justin Herrick, an
Amherst graduate. While at home in California, Lowenstein and
Herrick decided that Ann Arbor urgently needed a burrito place,
hence the founding of the affordable and cozy Big Ten Burrito. The
two men had no prior business experience, but so far have been
handling all of the challenges that accompany the startup of a
business in the competitive restaurant industry with ease.

Student entrepreneurship offers an extracurricular activity that
is good for students, good for the school and good for the local
community. The success of each venture organized and operated by
students reflects the achievements that go along with student
entrepreneurship. Hopefully, for the benefit of everyone in Ann
Arbor, the trend will continue.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *