In a climate where top CEOs are getting laid off in record numbers each day, one wouldn’t assume that a mere college kid could build a successful business from the ground up. Enter Cary Silverman, a fourth year business student at the University of Missouri. He has started not one, but two businesses.

A little while back, this 22-year-old budding entrepreneur noticed teens sneaking alcohol into a movie theater and had an idea. Why not combine alcohol and popcorn into one?

With that, Pub-Corn, a company that distributes alcohol-flavored (with zero percent alcohol content) popcorn, was born. Pub-Corn currently comes in beer, piña colada and irish crème, and has proven to be a huge hit.  

“We ship out 1,000 bags a week just over Internet sales alone,” Silverman states. “That doesn’t include our retailer locations.”

And then there’s business number two. GradeGenie, a Web site where students can post notes and study guides, is a “powerful tool and provides a really cool and easy way to access various notes and study guides that are taught and are demonstrated in the classroom,” Silverman explains.

GradeGenie was established with the help of the University of Missouri and is solely for students by students, meaning professors cannot post lecture slides or the like. Silverman stresses that GradeGenie is meant to be a supplement and not a substitute, and while we all know how many of us used SparkNotes and CliffsNotes in high school as a supplement and not a substitute, Silverman makes a convincing argument.

“There is a certain experience that you obtain while in the classroom that you can’t get off the Internet,” he says. “Nothing can replace the experience that you gain in the classroom.”

Log on to and start uploading your notes, and then spread the word. The more users, the better the information. And while you’re studying for that midterm of yours, grab a handful of Pub-Corn; it’ll make the misery of not being at the bar a little less painful.