What do FedEx, Microsoft, Facebook, WordPress, Reddit, Google, and Snapchat have in common? They were started by student entrepreneurs. Your college years could be a great time to innovate and create because you could have less financial responsibility, more time to devote to projects, access to resources, and proximity to like-minded peers. Use the flexibility of the collegiate lifestyle to your entrepreneurial advantage.
Number of Mason students, faculty, and friends who attend Startup Mason events
The year Mason became a Changemaker Campus within the Ashoka U network.
Number of teams to go through the Mason Innovation Lab in the last three years.
Students who take an entrepreneurship course or complete the Entrepreneurship Minor each year
Percentage of entrepreneurs who started a business while still in school, according to Entrepreneur magazine
No Matter Your Major, We Want You
Mason is passionate about encouraging and assisting budding entrepreneurs in all disciplines, not just business students. Whether you major in bioengineering, education, global affairs, information technology, or something else, industries around the world need innovators to solve tomorrow’s problems.
Our programs are designed to help entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. We encourage students to team up, collaborate, share their skills and strengths, and create something that didn't exist before.
Mason's mentors and professors are willing resources, providing knowledge, guidance, and experience. They'll help you develop your idea from that first spark of inspiration into a marketable product. And along the way, you'll learn the steps and principles every entrepreneur needs to know, including how to:
- Create a prototype. You'll find out what doesn't work as well as what does. This process helps you understand the technical issues that arise during production and helps you prepare to file a patent.
- Develop a sustainable competitive advantage. You've created something that is not only useful and valuable, it's unique. In other words, other companies can't easily copy what you've done and offer it at a lower price.
- Conduct a market analysis. What kind of market exists for your product/service/idea? Who are your competitors? Who are your buyers? You'll learn how to conduct research that answers these questions.
- Measure value creation. You create something, and hopefully, people pay you for it. The incoming revenue is more than the expenses involved in the creation of the product/service/idea. You'll learn how to determine where your profit point will be.
- Draft a business plan. Map out the path you'll follow and the steps you'll take to launch a successful company. If you don't have a plan, you're less likely to succeed.
Standouts Among Startups
Competition drives innovation, and our entrepreneurial contests will bring out your best. Participating in a competition at Mason will help you:
- Develop and grow ideas.
- Get helpful feedback.
- Receive coaching advice.
- Win money to invest in your new venture.
Our biggest event, the Deans' Business Competition, is jointly hosted by the deans of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Science, the College of Education and Human Development, the Volgenau School of Engineering, and the School of Business.
There are additional smaller competitions throughout the university, including engineering competitions within Volgenau and a mobile game competition through the Virginia Serious Game Institute.