Why is university period the golden time for startups

Written by Rohaan Manzoor ·  3 min read >

Startups are becoming a new trend in Pakistan and they are especially popular among university students. But every student faces this problem, should I go for it or not? The intense university workloads combined with lack of support are quite demotivating. Students are forced to discard their dreams and embark on a journey they are not most comfortable with. However, if you’re a university student still thinking about your own startup then we’ve got three reasons why you should not hold back.

1. Pakistan is different from West

If you were living in America we would advise you against it, however, the dynamics are different in Pakistan. Students in America try to amass as much knowledge as possible, then after graduation, they have the liberty to pursue their career of choice.

But Pakistan is different. After being forced to become an engineer or doctor, students are not left with much choice when they graduate. They can either search for a job or can go for higher education. There are two main reasons for this. First, they are discouraged to do anything that does not guaranty regular returns. Second, they have to become the breadwinner of their family.

However, while you’re in the university, you are free from such constraints allowing you to unleash your creativity. You don’t have such restrictions on you.

The other big difference between Pakistan and the West is that students in the Western world have to work. Not only to support themselves but also because it is part of their culture. So, at the end of the day, they are not left with a lot of time.

Most Pakistani students enjoy the luxury of monthly budgets allocated by their parents. You can focus more on future prospects without worrying about survival. This is a big bonus after all time is limited. Any ambitious student should take advantage of this extra time.

2. Universities are HR dream

A big problem that every startup faces is the team. Who do you start with? What roles do you assign? Who can you trust? From where can you find the people with skills you need?

Universities solve this problem. Imagine, if you need someone who can develop an android app for you. It’s simple. Hop over to any computer science class and you will most definitely find someone who can develop apps for you. How about someone to manage your finances. Visit any accounting department and you’re all set.

Not only is it easier to find people, but you can also ask around and validate your recruits easily. Also because they are students, you don’t really need to pay them or share equity with them. You can give them internships and when you do need to pay them, it’s insignificant when compared with professionals.

You always have like-minded people around you who can give you valuable advice. Now at times, you might need to block them and trust yourself but it never hurts to have positive criticism, something companies spend millions of dollars on. They call it “feedback.”

Yes, they are not the best and yes they won’t be delivering that polish but that is the entire point. Their shortcomings allow you to hire them for free or at extremely low wages. A professional would seriously kill your bank.

3. Startups let you discover yourself

Many students enter university without knowing what they want to do in their life. The only goal they ever had was to get into a university. So, when they get here, they are blank. With every passing moment, it gets scarier and students start to freak out when they realize that they have nothing to strive for. That they have nothing to look forward to, a problem that even high achievers face.

Startups let you figure out who you are as a person. What sort of job do you like to do? Where do you like to see yourself in the company hierarchy?

During your university tenure, you’ll be doing several projects. Electrical engineers will make smart switches, IOT hubs while computer science students will be working on AI, image processing and much more. You get to see cool things around you. And you dive in irrespective of your degree.

I’ve seen many electrical engineers developing android apps for their startups. Because you’ll be doing so many things in your startup, you’ll be exposed to different aspects of a company. You might like software development but as a manager and not as a crude programmer. You discover yourself as you embark on this journey.

Bonus: There is nothing to lose

Yes, your grades might be affected and yes your social life might be affected. But think about it, there is not a lot that you’re losing. What do you lose if your startup fails? Time and that’s it? Probably. But you still walk away with insights and new experiences which you learn to value down the road.

If you start your startup after graduation, you’ll be losing financially, your family is going to be having a tough time and a failure will break you.

So if you have been thinking about it, maybe you just need to stop thinking, trust yourself and get started.