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Erick Rodriguez is a Colombian-American born in Long Island, New York, and raised in Deland, Florida. He was an ambitious child and a member of the Boys Scouts of America. Like every boy scout, Erick sold candy, but he was an exceptional candy salesman. Starting trade on eBay at age thirteen, Rodriguez is now an official e-commerce seller and a public speaker.
His Formative Years
He credits his membership in the Boys Scout of America for shaping him into the man he is. One of his early feats was as atop-selling candy bar salesman, having been recognized for 2 years in a row as the #1 national candy bar sales man within BoyScouts of America, at the age of 12 & 13; having sold more than 1,600 candy bars both times!
At the age of thirteen, during a recession in Florida, was when first got the entrepreneurship spark. The curiosity came after he saw the high prices of OtterBox iPhone cell phone cases. As he sold his first refurbished phone case for $25, and in 3 months, he had made $24,000. This endeavor marked the beginning of his entrepreneurial life.
When he was sixteen, he was grossing as much as $25,000 monthly. At seventeen, influenced by his mom to invest the earnings, he bought a house instead of a car. Shortly afterward he got into the University of Florida at the age of eighteen.
1. Freedom Elementary:
Freedom elementary was where Erick attended elementary school, and in the process was 3x recognized as top reader in the school’s annual book reading contests, and 2x recognized as chess champion.
2. Father Lopez Catholic High School
He was here from 2008–2012 and graduated as Summa Cum Laude.
3. University of Florida
He was here from 2012–2016 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Here he attended the Warrington College of Business.
As a freshman, Erick co-led a business class for a semester, where he implemented lesson plans and lectured two-and-half hour-long classes, assisting with 25 students. He was also a one-on-one student mentor for 20 students.
In his junior year, he was a teaching assistant to Professor William J. Rossi and helped in classes of up to nine hundred students.
While at UF, Erick joined entrepreneurship club. At a time where they had low attendance and poorly organized events. Shortly after joining Rodriguez was voted in as president of this club and turned it around within eighteen months!
As the president, Erick convinced speakers—like the co-CEO of Fed-Ex–Rob Carter, Mike Delazzer (co-founder of RedBox), former COO of Microsoft–Kevin Turner, founder of tripod.com–Bo Peabody, and multiple ABC shark tank competitors―to speak at club meetings. Convincing all of them to attend at no cost to the University and in many cases getting substantial donations for both the club and University.
Under Rodriguez’s leadership, the entrepreneurship club received recognition as the number one student organization in the Warrington School of Business. In 2015, the same club was a runner-up for the number one entrepreneurship club in the nation.
By the time Erick was graduating, he had won the Warrington student of the year award, a student organization of the year award, and outstanding program of the year award.
4. Harvard Business School
In his sophomore year, Rodriguez got an invite to attend a week in the life of a Harvard MBA student. It was a summer program at Harvard for prospective Harvard MBA students. He was among about 80 handpicked students who engaged in daily case studies with Harvard professors.
His Volunteer Work
1. Boys Scouts of America (November 2005–February 2008)
He accomplished the position of Eagles Scout, a feat accomplished by less than 4% of BoyScouts, and to make it more impressive did it at the age of 13, when the average scout does it at the age of 17. An impressive feat accomplished by very few with Sam Walton the founder of Wal-Mart being the only one top of mind sharing the accomplishment at such an early age.
For his Eagle Scout Project, he directed more than 50 volunteers and a bulldozer for two days to construct a fitness trail at Blue Lake Elementary School in Deland, Florida.
In 2014, Erick was among seventy college sophomores picked by Google to attend their BOLD Immersion for outstanding achievement. It was an all-expense-paid trip to Google’s headquarters.
In 2015, he had a summer internship in Google as an Ad Words account manager. Where he helped small and medium businesses grow their revenue through Google advertising. Within three months, Erick was among the national top 3 in rank for sales performance amongst new hires. .
At 13, Erick started selling on eBay, and by the time he was in college, he had already sold 100,000 USD worth of a variety of goods.
While in his final semester at University of Florida, he convinced his school to allow him to do distant learning. He used this period to spend six months in China learning manufacturing and sourcing. Where he would then start his own e-commerce business.
From June 2016 to date, he has designed and filed: copyrights, patents, and trademarks. He has built up and sold 2 product based e-commerce businesses. Successfully got a product into 1,282 Wal-Mart stores nationwide. And overall built a million-dollar business with only two employees.
In December 2015, Erick started virtuous graphics, seeing the need for conversion optimization for eCommerce business owners. Building out a business that would offer: Photography, Commercials, Copywriting, and more. All while working less than five hours a week by effectively implementing an operator that he would train to grow and run the business.
In September 2019, Alpha Rock Capital bought Virtuous Graphics, at a time where the company had grown to 25 person head-count
Awards and Accomplishments
He has eight honors currently, which are:
1. Eagle Scout – Boys Scout of America (February 2008)
2. Honors Scholar – University of Florida (July 2012)
3. Google BOLD Immersion Program – Google (February 2014)
4. Career Prep Fellow – Management Leadership for Tomorrow
5. Undergraduate Diversity Forum Participant – MBA jumpstart (July 2014)
6. Intuit Lean Startup Scholarship Attendee – Intuit (December 2014)
7. Number one Student Organization of 2015 – Warrington College of Business (March 2015)
8. Student Leader of the Year – Warrington College of Business (March 2015)
He speaks English and Spanish.
He resides in Manila, Philippines, where he runs a team that launches and maintains his e-commerce businesses.
Apart from his E-commerce businesses, he is a regular speaker at Amazon conferences. The venue for these events range from Hong Kong to Las Vegas.
For more information about Erick or to get in contact with him feel free to visit his website.