Starting a business is not easy, especially when you are in school. But now is the perfect time. You can start and fail, and that is okay! But experts at the ANTrepreneur Center, including student mentors will help guide you through every step of launching your company!

Many college students come up with ideas that could turn into a business. But not all students know where to start. Maybe their idea comes from a creative hobby; maybe it’s a novel skill; or maybe it’s an idea for a new smartphone app. As the saying goes, “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”

To help with implementation the ANTrepreneur Center teaches practical skills for undergraduate entrepreneurship, providing educational experiences through their workshops, individual meetings, and the opportunity to network with fellow student entrepreneurs.

The level of personalized support that student businesses receive has helped many anteaters become ANTrepreneurs (Anteater + Entrepreneur). UCI was recently ranked first in the nation for helping students achieve the American Dream. There is nothing more central to the American Dream than the idea of starting your own business.

“Supporting students to find their American Dream through entrepreneurship is something we are very proud of,” says Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and Dean of Undergraduate Education at UCI. “Expanding the ANTrepreneur Center’s space has been a priority to accommodate the overflow of eager ANTrepreneurs who are inspired to come up with their big ideas.”

With one-on-one consultation sessions, the center is especially equipped for those just starting out. Many undergraduates need help with new lifestyle startups hoping to provide tutoring, t-shirts, dog walking, and other small businesses. Many famous entrepreneurs started with small businesses. Richard Branson first sold Christmas trees and parakeets while Mark Zuckerberg created ‘Zucknet’ for a dental office. Neither was successful–at first.

The ANTrepreneur Center can also help scale and grow established businesses by connecting them with programs like the Wayfinder incubator and other resources through UCI Applied Innovation. The center provides funding in the form of micro-grants and periodic stipends but is more commonly used as a way to connect students to other funding opportunities.

To help students work out their ideas, the center’s specialists are experts at customizing a plan’ depending on where they are and what they’re working on,” said Odombrown

ANTrepreneur Center Manager. As “some are interested in entrepreneurship from the onset, while some find that talking with like-minded individuals allows them to somewhat absorb an entrepreneurial mindset — just by being there!”

Regardless of your dream, the ANTrepreneur Center can act as your concierge while you go through the process — providing resources, educational events, advice and providing access to resources. According to Juane, “entrepreneurs rarely succeed alone. Regardless of how ambitious your dream is, we’re here to help you achieve it.”