File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - College is not purely about learning, for some students it is an opportunity for them to launch their first company.

Take a look at 6 of today’s student-run start-ups. 

For these student’s, their education was used as a launchpad to construct business ideas and create their own company. 

These remarkable students say that all it takes is a gap in the market, coupled with a creative idea, passion and hard work. 

1. Drone MVP

These unmanned aerial vehicles have disrupted the market. Initially developed to assist the military where manned flight is too difficult or risky, drones now also used in businesses and government organisations. 

Harrison Sheingberg and Louis Van Hove of the University of Southern California have taken this idea and transformed it into their own. 

They allow clients to connect with drone pilots. Their company, Drone MVP acts as a link between pilots and clients.

Writer and director, Bani Logroño shows us the view from the drone:

2. Syllabye

Education technology companies have assisted students with simple tasks. Students are now enabled to access content and keep track of their work. 

Entrepreneurs, Lucas DiPietrantonio and Jeremy Werden have taken advantage of education technology platforms by creating their own company, Syllabye. 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students found an electronic syllabus platform that enables them to keep account of their work. 

Their electronic platform, Syllabye feeds all information in one place. It also provides added features such as a customised calendar and push notifications. 

This can be activated in order to notify students of upcoming assignments. 

3. Verb energy

Student at Yale, Matt has observed that student's require energy but do not want to experience the sluggishness of sugary health bars. 

Instead of giving you energy, these can leave you feeling more broken.  Matt then created a unique energy bar, Verb energy. This nutritious energy bar is coupled with the flavour of caffeine but without the down-side. 

The energy bars are said to make students feel good too. After attempting 127 recipes, Matt finally found the winning recipe.

The bars are created without chemicals still provides energy. Matt has discovered that caffeine extracted from organic green tea has the ability to induce prolonged caffeine absorption. 

It also exudes the right amount of sweetness with cocoa, oats, almond butter, agave and vanilla. 

4. Find your ditto

There is a large market for social groups which allows individuals to relate to the same experience. 

This could involve substance abuse or medical conditions. Similarly, University of Michigan student Brianna Wolin and Master of Health Informatics candidate Parisa Soraya, recognised the need for this platform. 

Their co-founded platform, Find your ditto, allows individuals with chronic diseases or depression to match with others and share their experience. Find your ditto combats chronic illness isolation. This platform also aims to improve how patients are managed outside of clinical settings. 

The platform connects people to others who share the same conditions as them. These individuals can choose to meet in person, all of which is facilitated by Find your ditto.   

5. Coursicle

Despite the influx of educational technology platforms, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, Joe Puccio founded his own educational technology platform, Coursicle. 

When he was planning to start University, he spent hours on planning his class schedule. He ended up on a waiting list for certain classes. This then prompted him to found the tech startup, Coursicle. It allows students to register for classes and decipher available seats in the classroom. 

SA start ups 


South African-founded Bitcoin company, Luno is a platform for trading worldwide cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. 

Its co-founders, Marcus Swanepoel, Timothy, Pieter and Carol established the company in 2013 to bring the power of digital currency to the world. 

Luno has added new features to the company by offering customers the option to buy airtime and products from Bid or Buy with Bitcoin. 

The South African founded trading company is also expanding into the United Kingdom., a crowd-sourcing company, and provides feedback to products of brands. Founded by Trevor Wolfe, believes that insight is crucial in the success of campaigns. 

They put professionals in contact with the correct information source to collaborate and improve their work. They pride on providing feedback to their clients. 


Cleaning service, Domestly is a self-service platform for individuals who are seeking to employ a domestic. 

Founded in 2015 by Berno Potgieter and Thato Marumo, the platform is self-service in nature. 

It allows individuals to select a schedule with the duration of the service that they require. Scheduled bookings can also be cancelled 24 hours before the scheduled service. 

Payments are conveniently debited weekly on a Saturday morning via credit or debit card. 

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