Many fledgling businesses and/or projects had their start at universities. I had mentioned the word project, as Facebook had originally started out as a hobby or project of sorts. At DIY-U, small businesses and projects are encouraged, initiated and supported.
University based businesses can boost the economies of the cities and towns they are situated at. Some of these ventures can have an international customer base. Anything is possible with web based businesses. I foresee more and more web based freelance type businesses and projects coming into existence in the coming years and beyond.
Here is a link to a post which provides more info on this topic.