Student Businesses Thrive at Stanford

A Weekly Survey of news from Other Campuses

John Halamka has yet to graduate from Stanford, but last year he earned almost $100,000, and this year he expects to make even more

Halamka, a senior, is one of a growing number of students who have caught the entrepreneurial fever at Stanford

As the founder of Colossus Hardware and Software Corporation. Halamka splits his time between studying microbiology and selling econometric computer programs to more than 20 clients, including. Nobel-lauerate economist Milton Friedman

Silicon Valley

Students attribute much of the surge in business activity at the university to Stanford's proximity to "Silicon Valley," one of the nation's centers of high technology industry


"The computer business is absolutely blossoming." Mike Boone, a senior, said earlier this week. He added that his video game company, which employs 11 people full-time, has been appraised at more than $1 million

But the boom in Stanford's student businesses has not been restricted to selling computer products, said David Gleba, a junior who helps run the new student-operated Stanford Center for Entrepreneurship. Students also run such enterprises as Amazing Events Unlimited, which provides imaginative entertainment

Other students manage a stock portfolio worth more than about $100,000 to gain experience with investments, said senior Allan Ballweg, who worked with the fund last year. He added that the program provided invaluable background in managing "real money"

"A lot of students are finding it is much more exciting and challenging to be working for yourself than being a cog in a corporate wheel," Gleba said More than 500 students last spring flocked to a conference at the university concerning small business enterprises, he added

No Resume

Boone said that the most rewarding aspect of his company's success is that he no longer has to worry about finding a job after graduation. "The biggest relief is that I've never had to have a resume," he added

For most students, though, the motivation is more basic. As Halamka pointed out, "More and more people are discovering that it's a lot of fun to make $100,000 per year."