Back in the nineties, before hosted servers were readily available, some Internet companies like Yahoo and Google got started in universities, using the institution's servers and Internet bandwidth, moving out when they went commercial. That would seem to need a pretty big jump, going from zero income to enough to pay e.g. five grand a month for a T1 line in one shot, which would seem to create a strong need to find venture capital.
Suppose the founders of such a startup, in a university in the nineties, wanted to bootstrap, so they made a suggestion to their host institution: we want to experiment with going commercial, finding ways to monetize our startup, with small amounts of income at first. We can't reasonably use your facilities for free once we go commercial, so can we pay you for continued hosting, some amount that should be a lot cheaper than getting a T1.
Would such an offer be accepted? Is there anything I'm missing?