What is your number one tip for a student or recent grad who wants to spend summer launching a new business? Should they take a course, intern, or something else?
I would strongly suggest that students or recent grads first get some experience working at a company before trying to start one themselves. I would further suggest that they DO NOT work for a startup if they are planning to start their own business. The best thing a potential entrepreneur can do is to spend some time working for larger company that is well established in its field and has implemented company wide business practices.
When you’re building a company, you need to have an idea of HOW you want to build your business. Great businesses are created from day one, with processes that evolve over time. In order for an entrepreneur to know what type of processes need to be put in place and how to change them over time, he/she must have an idea of where the business is going over time. The only way a first time entrepreneur will understand how solid businesses are built is if they spend some time working for a well-oiled, hierarchal company.