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Born in Long Island, New York, Erick Rodriguez is a Colombian-American raised in Deland, Florida. He was a member of the Boys Scout of America, but he was no ordinary child, Erick was very ambitious. Beginning as an exceptional candy salesman, he was soon a salesman on eBay at the age of thirteen!
Early Life – Character Building
Rodriguez gives credence to his membership in the Boys Scout of America for formative influence on the man he is. Having sold more than 1,600 candy bars 2 years in a row at the ages of twelve and thirteen, Erick was acknowledged as the #1 national candy salesman within the Boys Scout of America both times. This feat was only one of his earliest accomplishments!
Erick got his first entrepreneurship spark at the age of thirteen during a recession in Florida. After seeing the prices of Otterbox iPhone cell cases, he got curious. After selling his first refurbished Otterbox phone case for $25, he made $24,000 in just three months. This initial experience was the launchpad for his life as an entrepreneur.
Erick was grossing as much as $25,000 monthly by the time he was sixteen. When he was 17, his mother influenced him to invest his earnings, so he bought a house instead of a flashy car. He got into the University of Florida a little while later by the age of eighteen.
1. Freedom Elementary
It was at Freedom elementary that Erick attended grade school. While at Freedom elementary, he was recognized three times as top reader in the school’s annual book reading contests. He also got recognized twice as a chess champion, in extra-curricular competitions.
2. Father Lopez Catholic High School
Erick graduated as Summa Cum Laude from Father Lopez catholic high school. He attended this school from 2008–2012.
3. University of Florida
In the University of Florida, Rodriguez attended Warrington College of Business from 2012–2016. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, among other honors’.
For a semester in his freshman year, Erick co-led a business class. In this class, he lectured two-and-half hour-long classes and implemented lesson plans, assisting with 25 students. He also mentored 20 students one-on-one.
He helped in classes of up to nine hundred students as a teaching assistant to Professor William J. Rossi in his junior year.
Soon afterwards, Erick joined the entrepreneurship club at University of Florida, at a time when the organization had low attendance and less than great leadership, to put it mildly.. Shortly after his membership, Rodriguez got elected as the club’s president. And after 18 months, strong leadership, and hiring the right people to assist, he was able to turn-around the organization!
As the president of the club, he was able to convince some renowned speakers to attend club meetings. Some of these speakers were; Mike Delazzer, the co-founder of RedBox, Kevin Turner, the former COO of Microsoft, Rob Carter, the co-CEO of Fed-Ex, and Bo Peabody founder of tripod.com, and multiple ABC shark tank competitors. He convinced all of them to attend at no cost to the university and, often receiving considerable donations for both the school and the club.
With Erick as their leader, the entrepreneurship club received recognition as the number one student organization in the Warrington School of Business. This same club was a runner-up for the number one entrepreneurship club in the nation in 2015.
By Erick’s graduation, he was receiving awards such as Warrington student of the year award, student of the year award, and outstanding program of the year award.
4. Harvard Business School
In Rodriguez’s sophomore year, he was among about eighty handpicked students invited to attend a week in the life of a Harvard MBA student. This event was a summer program at Harvard for prospective MBA students. During this time, he engaged in daily case studies with Harvard professors.
Boys Scouts of America
Erick was a member of the Boys Scout of America from November 2005 till February 2008.
With strong determination, focus, and an encouraging father, Erick accomplished the highest rank attainable in the Scouts BSA program—Eagle Scout more impressively at the age of thirteen. Less than 4% of the Boys Scouts make this rank, and even when they do, it’s at seventeen years of age. Only a few people in history have accomplished Eagle Scout at 13 years of age, one of the few being Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart.
In 2014, Erick and seventy other college sophomores were picked by Google for outstanding achievement to attend the Google BOLD Immersion. The BOLD Immersion was an all-expense-paid trip to Google’s headquarters.
By 2015, Rodriguez got a summer internship program as an Adwords account manager with Google. During the internship, he helped small and medium businesses in growing their revenue through Google advertising. Erick was among the national top 3 in rank for sales performance among new hires, in three months.
Rodriguez started selling on eBay at the age of thirteen. By the age of 18, when he was entering college, he had already sold in excess of $100,000 of goods of a wide assortment.
Erick convinced the University to allow him to do distance learning in his final semester at the University of Florida. Erick spent six months in China, using this time to learn manufacturing and sourcing, to later start his own e-commerce business.
From June 2016 to date, he has designed and filed numerous copyrights, trademarks, and patents. He has built and sold two product-based e-commerce businesses. Erick also successfully got a product into 1,282 Wal-Mart stores nationwide. Also, he built a million-dollar business with only two employees.
Seeing the need for conversion optimization for e-commerce business owners, Erick started Virtuous Graphics in December 2015. This business was built to offer photography, copywriting, commercials, and more services. He did all these while working less than five hours weekly by effectively implementing an operator that he would train to growngrow and run the business.
By September 2019, when the company had grown to a 25 person head-count, Alpha Rock Capital bought Virtuous Graphics.
Awards and Accomplishments
Rodriguez speaks English and Spanish and currently has eight honors. These honors are:
1. From Boys Scout of America, Eagles scout in February 2008.
2. Honors Scholar from the University of Florida in July 2012
3. Google BOLD Immersion Program from Google in February 2014
4. Career Prep Fellow from Management Leadership for Tomorrow
5. Undergraduate Diversity Forum Participant from MBA jumpstart in July 2014
6. Intuit Lean Startup Scholarship Attendee from Intuit in December 2014
7. Number one Student Organization of 2015 from Warrington College of Business in March 2015
8. Student Leader of the Year from Warrington College of Business in March 2015
Rodriguez resides in Manila, Philippines, where he runs a team that maintains his e-commerce businesses.
Aside from his e-commerce, he is a regular speaker at Amazon conferences. With common locations ranging from Hong Kong to Las Vegas.
To contact Erick or get more information about him, you can always check his website.