What if I don't have an idea?

That’s okay! One option is to dive in as a co-founder of another student startup. To find openings, you can participate in the E-Center pairing program. This simple process matches your experience and skills with other student teams looking for co-founders. When there’s a match, we will arrange an introduction. It’s easy.

What if I don’t have a team?

There are many great companies started by solo founders, but the most successful ones tend to seek out a team. Our staff can work with you to help identify any skill gaps and help you see students who don’t have an idea. If there’s a good fit, we can introduce you!

Is the E-Center only for students?

While our primary focus is student entrepreneurship, we support faculty and community entrepreneurs as well. The main difference is in funding. We can only provide startup grants to teams who have a student, faculty, or staff member holding at least 25% of equity allocated to the management team.

Is the entrepreneurship program only for business students?

No, the E-Center serves students from all colleges and majors at Mississippi State. Student entrepreneurs at MSU come from all the academic colleges and 30+ majors.

Do students own their intellectual property (IP)?

Yes, MSU is exceptionally generous and cognizant of the concerns surrounding student IP. With rare exceptions (such as projects resulting directly from federal grant funding or where employed at the university), students retain full rights to any intellectual property they develop at MSU. It is also not common practice for the university to retain equity in student start-ups — our Start-up Grant Program explicitly states no expectation of return, equity position or royalties. Over time we’ve found our entrepreneurial alumni to be more than willing to give back with their time, expertise, and money.

The official university IP policy is located here: http://www.policies.msstate.edu/policypdfs/7601.pdf . Discussion of student IP begins on page 6.

What if I am too busy?

We hear this a lot. College is a very busy time in your life, and it is filled with opportunities. Starting a business in college is a great opportunity. You can even be making money by the time you graduate.

The truth is, you’re never too busy. If you are really passionate about your idea or owning your own business, you will make time for what is important to you. Life only gets more hectic the older you get, with spouses, children, expenses, etc.

Is it possible to be a college student and a business owner?

Of course! If anything, it can make your degree even more interesting as you apply knowledge from the classroom into your own startup. We have over 100 active startups at any given time comprise of MSU students from more than 30 majors just like you. If you need any extra encouragement, just come on in and meet with our Student Client Specialists who can share with you their experience of balancing time demands.

I am only at MSU for a degree. Why would I start a business?

Starting a business can be the most attractive thing on any resume. It gives you experience and knowledge on things that no other candidates for a job will have. You can receive a degree and create your own job while being a student. It’s a win-win for you!

Why does MSU invest in entrepreneurship?

The university understands entrepreneurs change the world. It embraces its role as a major contributor to the economic development of the state through targeted research and the transfer of ideas and technology to the public. MSU also recognizes that a wildly successful alumni base is critical to the success of future students through their mentorship and financial contributions long-term. While the start-ups that many students launch during their college careers may not last, the skills and knowledge they gain in the process represents a tremendous educational opportunity, accelerating them light-years ahead of their peers.