Students are returning to universities across the country this week. But, what makes aspiring entrepreneurs stick around after they graduate? Corina Cappabianca takes a look at a new Syracuse University led study on Swedish entrepreneurs for insight.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's back to school for college students. A new study has insight into whether or not they'll stay in town once it's time to toss their caps.
“We looked at students who graduated college. And, then where do they start their businesses? Do they stay where they graduated, or do they move to other places?” said SU Professor of Entrepreneurship Johan Wiklund.
Wiklund is one of the researchers who looked at data on Swedish entrepreneurs. They found that people who grew up in the area they went to college tended to stick around after they finished school. But, those who didn't were more likely to start their businesses elsewhere.
He says it comes down to connections and resources.
“There's more opportunity to run a business in, let’s say, New York City than in Syracuse, unless you have some kinds of networks and connections here in the city,” he said.
Syracuse University alum Scott Friedberg from New Jersey, who founded the company Gilded Social, doesn't plan to leave.
“I had started my business with a co-founder my sophomore year at SU. I was in the entrepreneurship program. And, I ran my business my whole way through school. So I had created a great network here and I had really gotten things going with my business and it just made sense to stay,” he said.
The company helps businesses engage customers with a combination of digital signs and social media.
“We had some mutual friends that were using him … he's good at what he does, and it's been growing our business,” said OIP Owner Rosario Amato.
“I haven't really felt I'm lacking anything here. For certain businesses that are more developer-heavy, I could see the need to go to a Silicon Valley or NYC, but for many businesses, there’s no reason that you can't grow a successful business here in Syracuse,” said Friedberg.
Wiklund says having a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship in Syracuse is key.
“People are influenced. If people say 'this is a great place to be, there's a lot of opportunity here' and I am an entrepreneur, I am more likely to be influenced by that and stick around and expand my business here,” he said.
More than 215,000 entrepreneurs who graduated from Swedish universities were surveyed.
Friedberg plans to expand to other cities as well, but keep an office in Syracuse.