What it does: Resells used video games
Founders: Ajay Patel, 22, and Anil Patel, 22
Based: Carrollton, Tex.
By their junior year at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Ajay Patel and his twin brother Anil had turned their high school hobby of buying and selling video games into a profitable business. In January 2009, the marketing students each invested $5,000 of their own money to buy games and consoles returned to big box retailers such as Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) that the stores auction off in bulk. The brothers send the games to a local shop that cleans them with a disk-repair machine. The pair tests the cleaned games to make sure they work and then puts them up for sale on Game Origin's website, on eBay (EBAY), and at some local brick-and-mortar retailers. The biggest difficulty is getting enough games to resell, Ajay Patel says, and the company is considering trying to resell other electronics, too. The Patels make about a 20 percent margin on all products sold. They have no employees and are considering bringing on staff next year. Ajay Patel says Game Origin had $300,000 in sales in 2009 and is on track to reach $500,000 this year. —LH