The Internet Economy - ABC News Founders
Students Building Internet Businesses From Dorm Rooms

Ben Nobel (left) and Adam Menzel at three years old. And in 1997, taking a second away from their high school prom dates. The friends have started their own Internet company from their college dorms.

By Jim Sciutto

May 28

— Adam Menzel and Ben Nobel first met when they were barely toddlers in their hometown of Port Washington, N.Y.

Video College businesses bloom.

(download RealPlayer)
Fast forward to today.
     Menzel and Nobel, like many other students across the nation, are cashing in on the Internet economy. The college juniors expect their company, to make a $250 million this year.
     “We both feel that this has been the most valuable experience we’ve had in college, surpassing school related activities,” said Menzel and Nobel.
     While most colleges across the nation restrict or even ban start-ups on campus, some are beginning to embrace students’ dot-com initiatives.
    Two-thirds of the colleges ABCNEWS contacted said their students were launching online firms, selling everything from dating services to web design, to stock quotes.

Dorm Rooms Ready for e-Business
Next year, the University of Maryland will open a residence hall dedicated solely to student entrepreneurs.
     Harvard University recently scrapped a 70-year-old rule banning dorm room businesses.
     “These are all educational activities and the opportunities for learning something by starting a small business are also, I think, a part of life,” said Harvard Dean Harry Lewis.
     Geoff Cook, a Harvard senior, is taking advantage of the relaxed rules.
     Cook will be among this year's graduating students who will be hiring rather than hunting for jobs.
     That's because Cook’s company, an online firm that edits term papers and resumes, brings in $70,000 a month. He runs the company out of his dorm room, which has everything an aspiring Internet mogul could need, including a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and access to all the university’s academic resources.
     “I can basically do just as well running it out of my dorm room as I can running it out of an office, and probably even better,” said Cook.

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