Founder of CollegeFitness.com Wins GSEA Competition
Mark Marich (GEW global)
Nov 22, 2010
US student Brent Skoda, the founder of CollegeFitness.com, was named the 2010 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year during Global Entrepreneurship Week. A program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), the Global Student Entrepreneur Award will grant Skoda $150,000 in cash and in-kind business services to fuel the next phase of his company’s growth.
CollegeFitness.com is the fourth venture for the Cleveland, Ohio, native. His inspiration for the company came after he stopped playing baseball and left the rigorous training regimen behind. Skoda saw there was a deep need among college students for greater access to health, nutrition and fitness information and was determined to create a company that could do just that, while studying at Texas Christian University. He launched his business in his sophomore year and in 2009, Skoda was selected as a finalist at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
Skoda’s company, CollegeFitness.com is now a $2.4 million internationally acclaimed resource for nutritional data and online video workout training programs. The company has cemented partnerships with Google and the University of Oklahoma, and has successfully utilized state tax credits to raise $3.5 million from investors. The 22 year old senior is now serving thousands of students in the US and abroad.
“I am unbelievably honored to have won, but even more humbled to be included in a group with such incredible fellow student entrepreneurs,” said Brent Skoda, CEO and founder of CollegeFitness.com. “I know that every business owner going through this competition faces immense challenges in balancing student life and business life. I now feel that there is a community of other student entrepreneurs and EO member mentors that I can reach out to, rely on to share my successes and failures, and they will understand.”
Runners Up and Specialty Award Winners
Daniel Gomez Iñiguez: Chemical engineering student Daniel Gomez Iñiguez, is this year’s runner up and is the co-founder of Solben, a biodiesel fuel company in Monterrey, Mexico and co-founder of the first Mexican renewable energy cluster. Gomez also won the Social Impact Award for his work with his Youth Society Foundation. The 20-year old came to the competition through his university, the Tecnológico de Monterrey, which this year nominated over 50 students to the competition—more than any other university in the world. Mexico’s regional competition, held at the Mexican Stock Exchange, raised national attention to the issues of entrepreneurship and economic development.
Hassan Hamdan: This year’s second runner up and winner of the Lessons from the Edge Award, Palestine native Hassan Hamdan, an engineering student at Modern Science and Art University in Saudi Arabia, is the owner of Optimal Technology Solutions, a mobile messaging, e-marketing and business solutions provider. From his dorm room, Hamdan runs operations in five Middle Eastern countries, and continues to grow his presence in the region.
Matti Niebelschütz, winner of the Innovation Award, is a law student at Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin in Germany whose company MyParfeum makes it possible for customers to design and order their own custom perfumes online.
“The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards represent our greatest hopes for our youth, our economy and our communities,” said EO Chairman Elect Kevin Langley. “These students are leveraging their own creativity and innovation to bring new ideas into the marketplace and create new jobs.”
This year Canadians took top honors at both the high school and graduate level. High School Student Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Donny Ouyang, a Toronto native and founder of Kinkarso Tech Ltd, a web consulting company that offers Internet consulting services through its developers in five different countries. The 2010 Graduate Student Entrepreneur of the Year honor went to Vincent Chueng, a Ph.D. student in Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. Chueng is the CEO of Shape Collage Inc., a software company that enables user to assemble online photo collages in seconds. More than 2.5 million people from over 200 countries have downloaded the patent pending software. Cheung has won over 35 scholarships, two Governor General Academic Medals and eight business plan competitions. He is also the reigning Canadian 2010 Student Entrepreneur National Champion a program operated by Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) and proudly presented by CIBC.
In 2010, nearly 2000 students from 44 countries were nominated to the GSEA. Over the course of 5 months, the students participated in rigorous regional competitions that brought the field down to the top 30 “dorm room entrepreneurs.” These students converged at the GSEA Global Finals at the Kauffman Foundation during Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kansas City, Missouri last week. Spanning all industry sectors, these student-run companies earned annual revenues ranging from $20,000 to $3 million.