A Young Man, a Profitable Company, a Big Honor

Brent Skoda had played baseball throughout high school and at Wright State University before transferring to Texas Christian University, embracing the fitness and training that’s part of the regimen for an athlete.

But when he quit upon his transfer to study entrepreneurship, he saw a crying need for good fitness and nutrition information for his fellow students. And that led him in 2007 to create CollegeFitness.com. His company boasts what Skoda, an Ohio native, calls the largest database of nutrition information on menu items at thousands of restaurants, by location, as well as a collection of fitness videos geared to various levels.

Skoda has built a profitable business with an estimated $2.4 million in revenue expected this year, and landed partnerships with such companies and universities as Google and the University of Oklahoma. He did it all while pursuing his degree at TCU.

And now, Skoda can add another honor to his already-impressive resume. He has landed the top prize of $150,000 cash and in-kind business services at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards given by the Entrepreneurs Organization and hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

That’s no mean feat. The competition started with regional rounds around the globe that included nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs, who were whittled down to 30, and finally to five finalists. The finalists then were judged by a panel including such high-powered business people as Century 21 Founder Peter Thomas and the father of the infomercial and panelist on “Shark Tank,” Kevin Harrington. Full disclosure: I was among the final round judges.

“Unbelievable,” he said after receiving the award Thursday night. “I’m unbelievably honored.”

So now that he has a company with $2.4 million in revenue, and a prestigious award under his belt, what’s next for this college entrepreneur? Well, there’s that whole graduation from university coming up. Then he’ll be, really focusing on growing the business.”

He plans to rebrand CollegeFitness.com to appeal to a broader audience than just college students who want to get in shape or stay in shape.

“The business will be graduating as well,” Skoda said.