Student reaches finals for the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year

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    Senior Brent Skoda could be a lot richer come November.

    Skoda, founder of Collegefitness.com, is looking to muscle out 29 other student entrepreneurs at the 2010 finals for the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Kansas City, Mo.

    If Skoda succeeds, he will win a chunk of the $150,000 in cash and donated services and the title of Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year.

    Skoda, a senior general studies major with a business emphasis, qualified for the finals when he won the Southwest Regional Champion title on Sept. 11 in a regional competition held in Phoenix, Ariz.

    He said the monetary awards he received were nice, but the opportunity to represent the university and the United States was most exciting.

    According to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization website, the organization grants Global Student Entrepreneur Awards to students who attend a recognized institution, own a for-profit business, are principally responsible for its operation and have been making money for six consecutive months.

    The last Horned Frog to win the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year award was Adam Blake in 2005 for his real estate business, B & B Acquisitions.

    Brad Hancock, director of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, said Skoda has been supported and mentored by Neeley professors and faculty, but he initiated participation in the program himself.

    Hancock said Skoda was a great example of a student entrepreneur but that Skoda was not a student in the business school.

    “Entrepreneurship is not limited just to people who are majoring in business,” Hancock said. “Entrepreneurship comes from all across the TCU campus.”

    David Minor, William M. Dickey Entrepreneur in Residence, said university student participation in the GSEA is a “pretty regular occurrence.”

    He said Skoda’s success in the competition will give the university and Skoda’s business more exposure as well as solidify the university’s reputation as an exceptional institution.

    Skoda was a finalist last year as well but didn’t receive an award. After a year of cultivating his business, Skoda said he thought he definitely had an opportunity to win or finish among the top three this time.

    Minor worked with Skoda in an independent study to help him advance his business and help him polish his skills for this year’s competition.

    Skoda created College Fitness after he transferred to the university and realized that the majority of students didn’t know how to work out.

    He took what he had learned as a Division I baseball player at Wright State University and applied it to his business concept.

    “The balance of school and a business is a challenge,” Skoda said. “But it helps keep me on my toes.”

    Skoda said he’s able to tie his school and business worlds together by applying class concepts to the real world, which helps him more than anything.

    According to the website, College Fitness is a multimedia-based social network that gives members access to a fitness video library and helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    The website offers an iPhone application for fitness on the go, a workout generator for a personalized workout and a FitFile to keep track of it all.

    Skoda said the site contained all original content created by himself and his employees.

    “It’s difficult to stay on top of new technology and trends,” Skoda said. “But it’s also very rewarding to see an effort to fight obesity in America come from a vision to a reality.”

    If he wins, Skoda said he’ll invest the money into his business to improve its marketing initiatives.