Col­lege is crazy expensive–and it’s get­ting more expen­sive all the time. Entre­pre­neurs like Peter Thiel are fond of saying it’s not worth it. But 23-​​year-​​old Chris Wolfel, who is get­ting his bachelor’s from North­eastern Uni­ver­sity this spring, found col­lege to be not only a good invest­ment, but the per­fect launching pad for his entre­pre­neurial dreams.

For the last two years, Wolfel has been the CEO of IDEA, the only student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator in the country. Founded in 2009, IDEA offers work­shops, mee­tups, coaching, men­toring, and most impor­tantly, funding, all from alumni donors, for stu­dent star­tups. Wolfel and his team were able to raise $250,000 to help launch almost 300 busi­nesses by stu­dents from every school across the university.

The eclectic group has spawned Uturn Audio, which cre­ated a retro turntable that raised over $245K on Kick­starter; Njabini, a sus­tain­able apparel com­pany based in Kenya; Tuatara, an e-​​textbook plat­form; Pure Pest Man­age­ment, an organic pest con­trol com­pany now oper­ating in six states; and Mini Pops, a snack food fea­tured in Oprah’s “Favorite Things.”

Read the article at Fast Company →