Graduating Rice University student is YouTube star


David Ruth

Graduating Rice University student is YouTube star

If you’re lucky to work at a top-tier university, you get to meet some incredibly smart young people. We feature their enterprising spirit all the time. As an example, we are currently rolling out our annual portfolio of student projects from Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.

We also learn about students who are doing other things, like David Nichol from a few years ago who imported 13,000 colored balls from China and converted his room into a ball pit before moving to the west coast and putting his computer science degree to work.

This year is no different.

We have a senior who has become a YouTube star and entrepreneur.

Meet Michael Groth.

Groth, who will graduate in May with a mechanical engineering degree, said his story is proof that you never really know what to expect in life.

The summer before arriving at Rice, Groth uploaded a Pokémon-themed video he had produced to his YouTube channel and didn’t give it much thought as he settled into college life. “One day I checked back on it and said, ‘Wow. This has 10,000 views.’ I realized this video was going to pass up my most-viewed video of all time, and it hit 1 million views in December,” Groth said.

After his video hit that milestone, he began putting more effort into his YouTube channel by creating weekly content. His channel now has nearly a half-million subscribers. “It suddenly grew and I started making money off of it, and I realized this could someday become my job,” Groth said.

Groth has monetized those views into YouTube advertising dollars. We cannot go into detail about his personal finances, but some estimates show that people like Groth can make anywhere from $1.50 to $7 per 1,000 views.

After graduation, Groth intends to work on his YouTube channel and explore other creative opportunities full time. “I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, so it’s kind of scary, but it’s also really exciting,” he said.

Rice University has a broadcast studio available for television interviews. For more information or to schedule an interview with Groth, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6327.


Follow Groth on YouTube here.

Follow Groth on Twitter at @mandjtvpokevids

Follow Rice University on YouTube here.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

This news release can be found online at

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.