FSU student earns $200,000 a year selling class notes - WFLA News Channel 8

FSU student earns $200,000 a year selling class notes

Posted: Updated:
TALLAHASSEE, FL -

College students no longer have to take comprehensive notes to help them prepare for finals. Not when they can buy them.

Tom Brady figured this out early on, and the Florida State University senior also figured out how to capitalize on this phenomenon.

The entrepreneurship business major helped create moolaguides.com, an eBay of sorts for college students in need of notes and study guides. It started out as a class project two years ago, produced $200,000 in income last year and is expected to gross in the neighborhood of a half-million dollars this year.

Welcome to college in the electronic age, and tip your hat to a young master of the universe. As FSU administrators continue to advance their institution as an entrepreneurial university - with the goal of having an entrepreneur-in-residence attached to each college - Brady, who just earned his diploma, is Exhibit A.

The Jacksonville native came to Tallahassee hoping to major in multinational business, a program that was cut his freshman year. But he deftly found a comparable skill set by double-majoring in entrepreneurship and international affairs.

"I fell in love with entrepreneurship as a lifestyle. The biggest thing that stands out to me with entrepreneurship is it allows you to make the most amount of money possible with the least amount of work," Brady said.

Moolaguides started as a local business, but it quickly expanded beyond FSU. Boston College has become a hotbed, as has New York University, Brady said. There are no limits to where the site can function, servicing transactions between those who have and those who need, and, of course, turning a profit for both note-takers and Brady.

A typical set of notes, or a study guide, sells for $8. It is classic capitalism. And yes, it is legal.

"The better the notes you take, the more money you should make. Our best sellers take very good notes and put a lot of care into it," he said. "You can develop a following."

James Dever, who oversees the entrepreneur program in the business school's Jim Moran Institute, is sure that Brady's business leaves a bad taste in some professors' mouths.

"We've had our issues, but it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be," he said. "Students have been selling notes to each other for a long time.

"Tom is exceptionally driven. He's just a go-getter. Tom has promoted the thing and improved the website and done an exceptional job with it," Dever added.

It's critical that the business maintain ethical standards, Brady said. The company does not accept any copyrighted material and Brady said he does not support cheating.

"When we're notified of an infringement, we handle it instantly," he said. "We have some teachers who don't like the service, but we have a lot of teachers who support our service. I think the teachers who don't like our service are just jealous of students making money - and that's the truth."

Brady can also brag that moolaguides is an award-winning business. He took top honors at an innovation competition earlier this semester hosted by the College of Business, which came with a $15,000 check for Brady and his company.

The name of the business blends an old-school slang term for money - moola - with a word that captures the product. Brady believes his peers are familiar with "moola" - "even if they can't all spell it."

His plan following graduation is to relocate to Miami, home to one of the best tech start-up scenes in the Southeast, Brady said. His goal? Well, you probably guessed it by now.

"I know it might sound kind of funny," he said, "but I want to be financially well off and stable by the time I'm 30."

  • NewsMore>>

  • Demand for police body cameras spike after Ferguson shooting

    Demand for police body cameras spike after Ferguson shooting

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:30:08 GMT
    Body cameras are used by several law enforcement agencies in Florida but not many in the Bay Area. Sarasota Police announced this week they will begin using body cameras on police officers with a pilot program.
    Body cameras are used by several law enforcement agencies in Florida but not many in the Bay Area. Sarasota Police announced this week they will begin using body cameras on police officers with a pilot program.
  • Florida trucker records crash, then helps

    Florida trucker records crash, then helps

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:12 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:12:27 GMT
    News Channel 8's Peter Bernard interviews trucker David Fredericksen via SkypeNews Channel 8's Peter Bernard interviews trucker David Fredericksen via Skype
    Dash cam video rolled as David Fredericksen and his co-driver witnessed a horrible crash outside Biloxi Mississippi. It happened last Monday, as they drove a load of orange juice in a large tanker truck. A grandmother driving her young granddaughter lost control and slammed into a semi, igniting the truck's fuel tanks.
    Dash cam video rolled as David Fredericksen and his co-driver witnessed a horrible crash outside Biloxi Mississippi. It happened last Monday, as they drove a load of orange juice in a large tanker truck. A grandmother driving her young granddaughter lost control and slammed into a semi, igniting the truck's fuel tanks.
  • Town N' Country grandmother fears intruder, shoots grandson by accident

    Town N' Country grandmother fears intruder, shoots grandson by accident

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:40:13 GMT
    Photo of Tyler Maddox courtesy of Facebook.Photo of Tyler Maddox courtesy of Facebook.
    Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of a shooting in Town N' Country just before 1:00 A.M. early Tuesday morning.The sheriff's office gives a chilling account of the events that led to the shooting.In the middle of the night, Linda Maddox, 63 heard a noise and grabbed a .22 caliber revolver she keeps by the bed.
    Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of a shooting in Town N' Country just before 1:00 A.M. early Tuesday morning.The sheriff's office gives a chilling account of the events that led to the shooting.In the middle of the night, Linda Maddox, 63 heard a noise and grabbed a .22 caliber revolver she keeps by the bed.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Cops shoot and kill man in incident near Ferguson

    Cops shoot and kill man in incident near Ferguson

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:33:45 GMT
    Two St. Louis city police officers shot and killed a man who came within several feet of them brandishing a knife on Tuesday in a confrontation several miles from the turbulent suburb of Ferguson, authorities said.
    Two St. Louis city police officers shot and killed a man who came within several feet of them brandishing a knife on Tuesday in a confrontation several miles from the turbulent suburb of Ferguson, authorities said.
  • Dog saves newborn kitten, now pals for life

    Dog saves newborn kitten, now pals for life

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:33 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:33:17 GMT
    Roscoe was an injured, newborn kitten covered in maggots and pinned underneath a log, when he was found by Opie the dog. Imgur photo by Lia Spilka  Roscoe was an injured, newborn kitten covered in maggots and pinned underneath a log, when he was found by Opie the dog. Imgur photo by Lia Spilka
    A newborn kitten whose life was in danger when he was discovered by a curious pooch out on a walk, is now best buddies with the dog who saved him.
    A newborn kitten whose life was in danger when he was discovered by a curious pooch out on a walk, is now best buddies with the dog who saved him.
  • Morgue attendant admits to having sex with up to 100 bodies

    Morgue attendant admits to having sex with up to 100 bodies

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:30:56 GMT
    A federal court has made a ruling in connection with a disturbing case involving an Ohio morgue attendant who had sex with female corpses at work.
    A federal court has made a ruling in connection with a disturbing case involving an Ohio morgue attendant who had sex with female corpses at work.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.