Dropping Out Of Harvard Isn’t An Easy Choice. This Founder Did It Three Times

A college student’s summer takes them out of the classroom and into the real world between years. Meeting new people in unfamiliar places is hard, and meeting other college students can be even more challenging. Fortunately, Luke Heine, Sean Sullivan, and Raphael Rouvinov created Summer Playbook, a startup dedicated to helping college students meet one another during their summers.

This incredibly talented team (Heine is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree; Sullivan worked on open-sourcing class materials to schools across the nation, and Rouvinov developed a virtual reality solution to correct lazy eye) recently completed Y Combinator’s startup accelerator program. Summer Playbook has raised a sizeable amount of capital from Silicon Valley seed funds and early Facebook and Google employees. Heine, Sullivan and Rouvinov all dropped out of Harvard.

Frederick Daso: I wanted to talk about you and your cofounders dropping out of Harvard. What were some of the factors in your academic and entrepreneurial pursuits that led you to drop out?

Luke Heine: One, I think Harvard is extremely understanding of students dropping out. Harvard does this thing where you can leave, and they send you this letter saying, ‘Hey, let us know when you’re coming back,’ and you can reactivate your schooling and education anytime within ten years, with your financial aid carrying over and guaranteed housing. For us, we’re just fortunate to come from an excellent institution that puts trust in its students, and says, “Hey, go ahead and pursue those things that can’t wait.”

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