9 Cool College Start-ups

Zac Workman, Punch
Anthony Verde (still life)
3 of 9

ZW Enterprises, Indiana University

Unable to find an energy drink that was made from natural ingredients and did not produce the crash effect common with sugary or highly caffeinated beverages, Zac Workman decided to make his own. Working with a fruit-punch recipe that has been in his family for years, the Indiana University junior came up with a drink that tasted good and satisfied the necessary dietary requirements. He and his family put up $200,000 in start-up capital to launch the drink, named Punch last year. Three Anheuser-Busch distributors picked up the product, and sales are on track to reach $1 million in 2009.

Running a business on campus has been surprisingly easy. "People would think it would be difficult to balance class and a business, but I'm learning more now than I ever have in the classroom," says Workman, a finance and entrepreneurship major. "Because now, I'm sitting in class learning business strategies meant to be applied in the professional world, but I actually get to do that when I go home." —Allie Townsend, Indiana class of '09