Phi Beta Cons

Entrepreneurial Spirit Meets Millennial Mindpower

An economically enterprising spirit is still alive and well among college students, even though many professors love to bash capitalism (an extensive survey by The College Fix found the subject is often maligned, ignored, or taught from a perspective other than objective economics).

Yet students and recent grads intrinsically understand the opportunities this country affords and jump into the arena. Small businesses are at the heart of this nation, and one such company is MindSumo.

Founded by grads from prestigious universities who sought to connect businesses with smart, savvy college students, their startup charges companies a fee to connect to its userbase of more than 50,000 college students, who respond to various challenges companies pose.

Participants need an .edu email address to submit creative responses to MindSumo, which doles out cash payouts to the best replies. For example, an active challenge from Kaiser Permanente on changing healthcare to “meet the needs of Millennials” offers $750 to one winner and $250 for a runner-up.

Meanwhile, a new online class is filling the gap where brick and mortar colleges fall short. “How to Start a Startup” is a massive open online course launched this fall through Stanford University. According to the project’s website, the class promises “everything we know about how to start a startup, for free, from some of the world experts.”

Sam Altman, president of leading tech incubator Y Combinator, is at the helm of the effort, and other lectures will be given by various Silicon Valley giants, including Peter Thiel. Roughly 20 hours of lectures will be posted on the Internet through the effort.

Even more good news: Hundreds of universities are organizing groups to watch the videos together.


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