The Campus: University of Southern California
The Backstory: While the thought of making a physical, paper copy of a document in 2017 may seem as archaic as dial-up AOL, in 1970, the concept was as innovative as the latest Apple watch. So, when Paul Orfalea noticed a copy machine in the USC library, he realized that not everyone had access to such a hi-tech device and decided to remedy that. He used a $5,000 loan to open a 100sqft space near campus, which housed a single copier. As for the name? Kinko’s was Orfalea’s college nickname, thanks to his curly head of hair.
The Result: The idea quickly took off, and just five years after Orfalea opened that little shop, there were 24 Kinko’s locations in California. In 2004, Kinko’s was acquired by FedEx and subsequently rebranded as FedEx Office. (Orfalea has since left the company, too). But by 2011, the copy chain had grown to nearly 2,000 locations -- enough to be considered the seventh-largest printing company in North America.