Updated: Wednesday, 17 Dec 2008, 12:44 PM CST
Published : Wednesday, 17 Dec 2008, 12:44 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - More and more college students are starting their own business while in school, instead of waiting to graduate. A new program at the University of Texas is helping them out, and they are looking for mentors.
UT senior Daniel Carissimi started his own record label called VCR. He has already signed one person to the label and runs it out of his apartment.
"The opportunity was there with Allen," said Carissimi. "He was getting opportunities with other labels, so if we can find sources, why not do this now? Because in a year I'm going to graduate, and this is what I would like to do."
Carissimi is part of a growing number of college students starting their own business while studying to get a degree, and now there is help for UT students.
"You sort of need mentors to help guild you through the process, so that's what Texas Ventures is," said Texas Ventures founder Tom Serres.
Serres knows firsthand the challenges of starting a business while in college. As a freshman at UT, he founded a political consulting firm.
"As we were growing up as entrepreneurs on the UT campus, we really didn't have any kind of substantial network by which we could grow our companies," said Serres.
That is why he is taking what he learned starting Pyrix to help mentor students, and there are a lot of young entrepreneurs out there.
"Surprisingly, the majority of our members already have a business," said Derek Pavlicek, Texas Ventures president. "I'm meeting freshmen who own three companies. Insane, I know."
Kristen Carson, a fifth-year senior, started a student consulting firm to help businesses in impoverished countries. Texas Ventures helped turn her idea into a business.
"They have helped me with my business plan," said Carson. "They have helped me set up the Web site for me. They have put me in touch with different leaders in the community."
Another student is wanting to commercialize the banana business in Central America, and another is trading steel internationally. Texas Ventures is looking for local business people to help mentor students. Click here for more information.