By Crystal Garner

Brennen Hodge, a University of Southern Mississippi graduate, started college with a plan — a business plan. Hodge, the CEO of dbVantage, a web development and marketing company, launched the service in 2009 — while in business school.

“We launched a couple of startups and many websites.” Hodge said. “Some failed, some succeeded, but the experience was priceless.”

Hodge is confident that 2013 will be a great year for startups.

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Many factors that weigh on a college startup’s chances and a recent nationwide business survey reveals that confidence might actually be the key.

According to a Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index, 93% of young entrepreneurs aged 18-30 are confident about their company’s financial growth this year.

“We believe these findings are important because entrepreneurial confidence could be seen as something of a leading indicator, as new and young businesses prepare to lead the next economic expansion,” Dane Stangler, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation, was quoted in a press release.

Along with optimism, entrepreneurial resources for students are in abundance as well: startup incubators, accelerators and funding.

Y Combinator, the funding program that supported Dropbox, Reddit and many other startups, is the richest, with a value of nearly $7.8 billion, according to Forbes top startup incubators and accelerators list.

With the limitless opportunities that technology provides, a growing number of college students are teaming up to churn out business ideas that directly affect other college students.

FreshmanSupport.com, a web-based guide for college students living in a new area, started as a class project at The University of Texas. The startup, which launched in March of 2012, developed after students identified issues around relocating for school and decided to address it.

“It is so rewarding to see something that you created, or an idea that you generated, being put to use.” said Kristen Carson, the president of FreshmanSupport. “Working at a startup is also wonderful because a lot of our ideas are
actually implemented –and quickly!”

The company has expanded from UT and now offers remote marketing jobs for college students throughout the country.

New markets and new jobs are being created and college students are taking advantage of them every day, meaning 2013 could see many more ideas like dbVantage and FreshmanSupport take flight.

Crystal Garner is sophomore at the University of Southern Mississippi studying broadcast journalism and international studies. She is a campus correspondent for HerCampus.com and a campus editor for Uloop. Follow her on Twitter.

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