5 Startup Business Ideas for Students in College


Last Updated: September 7, 2022
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We’re lucky to live in a day and age where all it takes to start your own business is passion and a great idea. There was a time when people chose the more traditional route of learning the ropes under the guidance of a seasoned professional before venturing out on their own. But the recession hit, jobs were scarce and then came the age of digital media. Today, you don’t need extensive experience or expertise – if you know your way around the Internet and have a product or service idea with a strong USP, you can start working on your dream right out of college!

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It is now simultaneously easier and harder than ever to build your own business. It is easy because of the tools you have at your disposal and the massive amount of online help in the form of tutorials, courses and talks by industry experts. You’re almost always just one Google Search from building an effective 

strategy, making a business plan or figuring out the perfect marketing approach. At the same time, it’s harder than ever because just about everyone’s competing for your consumer’s less-than-eight-seconds attention span on all platforms. If you’re not constantly innovating and coming up with exciting ways to grab your audience’s attention, your startup won’t survive for too long.

Startup business Ideas for Students

1. Start a Blog

Starting a website is as simple as it sounds. To make one, you don’t need any coding experience. Blogger.com, a Google product, allows you to construct your first website in a matter of seconds. 
Today, there are about 600,000,000 blogs on the internet. Every day, almost 576,000 new websites are launched. 
So, while it may appear that there is a lot of competition in this field, the reality is that Google receives over 3.5 billion searches per day. You can attract a large audience. You are free to write about anything you are familiar with.
For example, if you enjoy travelling, start a blog about the greatest places to visit in India. It’s that simple!

2. Start a Podcast

It’s just as rewarding as having a blog website. Podcasts have a large audience that listens to them on a regular basis. If you are good at speaking and debating, you should start one. 
For example, if you enjoy watching movies, you can start a podcast that discusses and reviews some of the best bollywood classic movies. It’s that simple!
A professional and highly popular podcaster generates over Rs 10,000 per episode. And relatively new podcasters make Rs 10 Lacs or more per year. There is a visibly huge difference because it takes time to become a well-known podcaster.

3. Start an E-Commerce Store

You can also start a business that would aid Indian street vendors while simultaneously providing you with a source of money. An E-commerce store focused on Indian culture would be ideal. Due of the easiness with which things can be sold all over the world for a fraction of the cost they used to be. Selling things based on our culture would be a fantastic business venture. 
Handicrafts from India, such as jewellery and wooden arts, are in high demand. There is no need to purchase or store any items. Simply form partnerships with local suppliers and take stunning product photographs to post on your website.

4. Start an Online Boutique

If you enjoy being fashionable and sharing your sense of style with your friends and even online, you should think about starting your own online fashion business. 

You don’t have to be a fashion designer. You can simply use online platforms like Shopify to pick things from other vendors and sell them in your own online store. Or you can physically purchase items from local vendors and sell them on popular platforms like Poshmark. 

5. Start an Online Copywriting Firm

You can make a lot of money if you can write content that gets people excited about buying what your customer is selling. Take a course unless you have a lot of experience working in the copywriting sector. There are online courses or programmes that can help you improve your writing skills. 

One of the new fields of current times is writing content for brochures, catalogues, advertising, and, of course, web marketing copy.

Stories from Young Entrepreneurs

We recently spoke to three people who chose this more modern method of entrepreneurship. Each of them began working on their startup dreams straight out of college, and had some insightful opinions to share!

1. Suhas Chatkara, Co-Founder, Routed India

suhas chatkara

Suhas Chatkara co-founded Routed India, a travel company that offers eco-friendly and environmentally conscious trips. The idea behind the organisation was simple – they wanted visitors to explore the country while understanding the importance of environmental conservation. Says Suhas, “When you start your own company, you’re not taking on someone else’s vision. You’re working towards your own dream. That alone will push you to work hard and achieve success because the successes and failures of that business are yours and yours alone.” The company is now almost two years old, and Suhas couldn’t be happier about his decision to work on his dream right out of college!

Suhas’s Advice for Entreprenyouths:

  • Find a balance between emotions and practicalities. It is important to feel passionate about your business. But things will not always work out the way you planned. It’s important that you don’t let your emotions overcome you at such points and think about practical solutions.
  • Get your legalities in place. Speak to lawyers, chartered accountants and someone who’s running a business to understand the legalities involved, and get them in place before you begin.
  • Network. Your business is going to need a lot of contacts to thrive, be it clients, vendors or even partners. Strike up a conversation wherever possible; you never know what gets you your next big lead or break!

2. Abhishek KG, Founder, MPower and Explorate

Abhishek KG founder of Mpower and Explorate

Abhishek and a group of friends founded Explorate, a social commerce website that allowed people to bookmark and discover their favourite products from all online stores. E-commerce has tough competition and Abhishek’s startup was launched at a time when fundings was scarce and margins were thin. They realised soon enough that Explorate was heading towards a bleak future, so they decided to pivot towards another startup, and founded Mpower, an organisation that builds bots to help businesses automate interactions with their stakeholders, including customers, on-field workforce and employees.

While their starting years were tough, Abhishek doesn’t regret his decision to start his own business. “When you’re working for yourself, you’re constantly learning new skills over and above your specific role. You’re also building something from scratch and watching your hard work come to life – nothing compares to that!”

Abhishek’s Advice for Entreprenyouths:

  • Go Lean. Focus on sustainability from the start, because massive fundings are hard to come by and margins are wafer thin in most cases.
  • Experiment. Adapt. Improvise. The first version of the product might not be what the customers want. Experimenting continuously and listening to the customer for feedback is the actual key to rapid growth.
  • Build Your Dream Team. It’s important to work with a team that believes in your vision and shares it passionately. Startups are hard work and not everyone is cut out for that kind of life.

 3. Ankit Singh, Founder, Gravycart and XLRate

Ankit Singh founder of Gravycart and Xlrate

During his second year of college, Ankit founded GravyCart, a food-tech startup that gathered data of restaurants in Jamshedpur. It was the first of its kind in Jamshedpur and took off rather well. About a year after graduation, Ankit founded another startup – XLRATE – a one-stop solution that helps students with placement-related training, counselling and assessments. While Ankit confirms that having your own startup is not at all easy, he also feels that if you have the dedication and are passionate about making your dream come true, entrepreneurship is definitely something you should try. After all, who doesn’t love being their own boss?

Ankit’s Advice for Entreprenyouths:

  • Accept the tough parts. You’re going to put in way more hours than your friends with corporate jobs and earn very little in return, especially in the beginning. The startup life involves a lot of personal compromises; make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
  • Prepare to do it all. When you set up your own company, you’re not limited to one specific role – at some point, you will be doing it all. Be it admin duties, HR work or CEO stuff, be prepared to toil at every level during the early stages!
  • Know your market. Before you launch a product/service or start your own company, do some market research. Is there a demand for your offering in the market? Who are your core competitors? What are you offering that’s different?

If you’ve got an entrepreneurial streak and a dream to pursue, don’t wait for ‘experience’ to make it happen. Start working on it right away! If you’re confused about your future, take the Mentoria assessment to find out what your future has in store for you!