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Brent M. Skoda, 27, 2010
Global Student Entrepreneur winner and Chairman of Ahkeo Ventures, is a serial
entrepreneur born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Skoda has been recognized for
his entrepreneurial endeavors as a featured guest on national television, Fox
News Varney & Company, concluding speaker at the White House Press
Conference announcing Start Up America, keynote speaker at President Obama’s
follow on initiative to Start Up America in Algiers, Algeria, US G20 Youth Ambassador
serving in Toronto, CA, Nice, France and Mexico City, Texas Christian
University’s (TCU) Entrepreneur of the Year, US Youth Delegate for a US State
Department initiative in Cairo, Egypt, and nominated as one of the Top 30
entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by Empact, a Start Up America Partnership.
The culmination of a
lifetime of enterprise and Skoda’s passion for health, nutrition and fitness
led him to his award winning venture, CollegeFitness.comä. While
completing his college education, Skoda raised several million dollars in
capital to fund the business and created an internationally acclaimed online
resource for nutritional data and personalized video-based workout programs.
For that work, Skoda, outpaced competition from other accomplished young
business leaders from around the world to win the prestigious 2010 award given
by the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Kauffman Foundation and New York Stock
Exchange (NYSE). CollegeFitness.com was
honored by Inc Magazine’s 2010 Coolest College Start Ups. Since winning that award, Skoda has gone on
to a venture he expects will bring revenue of $23 to $25 million in its third
year. But his work certainly didn’t begin there.
Skoda began learning
about dollars and cents as a day trader, buying and selling stocks as a fourth
grader during recess. He embarked on his sales career at the age of 15, designing
and executing client acquisition strategies for Merrill Lynch’s Private Client
Group. Following his stint at Merrill Lynch, Skoda went on to become Vice
President of Marketing for the nation’s second largest paper and packaging
redistributor, Joshen Paper. While working for Joshen, he landed Wal-Mart as a
client. He then went out and started his first business, Skoda International,
which sourced, engineered and sold a uniquely branded instant hand sanitizer,
Purely Inspiredä. The product was sold in large quantities to
regional supermarkets. A significant portion of the profits were donated to
breast cancer research. Skoda’s second business, Santas411.comä,
featured a 2-D animated Santa Claus and a cast of 25, 2-D animated
product-specific elves. The site hosted thousands of holiday shopping deals.
Skoda’s third business, GlobalEZBuyä, sourced electronics from overseas
manufacturers and sold them over the Internet and via a retail storefront. The
business achieved $350,000 in revenue within two months of inception.
Skoda went on to work
with a premier boutique private placement firm in Los Angeles, California,
where he assisted the firm’s founder in raising $25 million to fund a national
self-storage consolidation effort. Skoda’s most recent business, Legacy Builders
& Contractors has grown to become the largest residential roofing
contractor in Dallas/Fort Worth with offices around the country.
Skoda has a
tremendous passion for entrepreneurship and is looking forward to mentoring,
aiding and guiding young entrepreneurs as many have done for him over the
course of his career.