27. The New Joe College

Like most high-school kids, Luke Skurman had no idea how to pick a college. “I went to my guidance counselor, I read the traditional guidebooks, and I got the campus brochures. But I just didn’t have a good sense of what life was going to be like,” he says. At Carnegie Mellon, he and some friends developed the idea of a “by students for students” college guide. With no capital, Skurman employed creative strategies to succeed. Students write the guides, getting the skinny on “guys and girls, the drug scene, nightlife, and of course, academics.” Books are published on demand and sold through Skurman’s Web site. In 2004, Skurman doubled the number of colleges his company prowls, to 200. He also won a distribution deal that will put College Prowler on the shelves at Barnes & Noble and Borders in 2005. Insert here whatever word kids are using for “cool” these days.


Luke Skurman, 24

Cofounder and CEO
College Prowler
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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