Thanks to startup Grantoo, a hand of Texas Hold-em could earn you cash for college.
Cash-strapped students are always looking for new ways to pay for college, but they also spend lots of time playing games online. So why not combine the two? New social platform Grantoo does exactly that, allowing students to earn tuition money through virtual gaming tournaments.
The San Francisco-based startup, founded by best friends Dimiti Sillam and Mikhael Naayem, invites college students in good academic standing to earn cash playing poker, a trivia game, or a virtual version of Scrabble. Playing the games are free thanks to tournament sponsorship by companies looking to target college students as consumers.
Grantoo even offers free tutorials for novice players, and students can win money by taking one of the lessons, too. The site also expects its student winners to pay it forward—they're required to contribute at least 10 percent of their prize money to a cause they care about. When Grantoo posted the winners of its recent Grooveshark Wordy Bird Tournament on its Facebook page, it listed the organization each winner planned to donate to, including Engineers Without Borders, Pencils of Promise, and The Hunger Project.
Prizes currently top out at about $750, which isn't enough to cover tuition at most schools, but is likely to grow as more advertisers jump on board. In the meantime, we can think of worse ways to earn a little extra cash.