I Left Grad School and Started 2 Successful Online Businesses

My name is John Accardi. I’m 25 years old, I live in Washington, DC and 3 months ago, I dropped out of the Neuroscience PhD program at Georgetown University. Why? Simple. I didn’t like it.

A PhD program is more like a job than it is school. I would attend classes occasionally but the majority of my time was spent at the lab bench doing things like implanting fiber optic cables in rats’ brains. It sounds cutting-edge and exciting but I couldn’t stand the limitation of it. I had to work for someone else, read what they told me, work how they told me, when they told me.

I needed more freedom and room to grow. I needed to make more money! As these thoughts raced through my head, I found myself counting down the minutes each day to get home and work on other projects. Projects that would help me realize my dream.

These projects were 2 websites: partyhousepong.com and collegebox.com.

PartyHouse Pong

Party House Pong screenshot

PartyHouse Pong is an online store that sells beer pong tables. I got the idea from my college days at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. I shared a house with 3 roommates. In our living room, we had a beer pong table and played almost every night. We would fill the cups with water, so that we didn’t have to drink alcohol and we’d just play it like a sport. It was really competitive at times. I became a pretty good player and mastered all the rules, tips, tricks. So when deciding what to sell online, I thought beer pong tables. Not only would I showcase the tables but I could share all this knowledge at the same time.


College Box screenshot

CollegeBox is a business that sells college care packages. These are boxes full of snacks and treats that parents can send their children who are away at college. I came up with this idea because when I was in college, I received care packages from my parents. They would buy the packages that were offered by the school. The school would either make the packages themselves or source them from a 3rd party vendor. I was shocked at the poor quality of these packages and my friends weren’t impressed either. I knew I could do a better job.

I had only just begun working on these projects when I started thinking about dropping out of Georgetown. I took a good look at practical things like savings, cost of living, and my prospects of finding another job if the businesses didn’t work out. After some analysis, I worked up the courage, dropped out of grad school, and started chasing my dreams full-time.

Now, 3 months later, I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made. Every day is different and exciting. I feel like every minute of work that I do is important and meaningful. I think it’s amazing that I was able to start these 2 businesses with next to no startup capital. And better yet, they are already profitable! PartyHouse Pong is consistently selling tables and CollegeBox is the official vendor of The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Louisburg College, and has many more agreements in the works.

I would tell anyone, if you’re in a job you don’t like, make plans to get out. Being successful in business has less to do with capital and connections and more to do with effort.

About the Author: My name is John Accardi. I’m 25 years old and currently live in Washington, DC. I grew up in Stone Harbor, NJ and earned a Bachelors of Science degree from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. After graduation, I worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD for 2 years and was then accepted into the Neuroscience PhD program at Georgetown University. Soon after beginning the program, I dropped out to start partyhousepong.com and collegebox.com.