Campus Celebrity: Greg Rudolph

Greg is a business student, musician and entrepreneur who took an idea he saw on campus and built it to a business that has been featured in newspapers and throughout the ASU community. While Greg is not a skateboarder, he is the owner and business genius behind Board Blazers, which are lights that illuminate skateboards at night, for looks and for safety. We sat down with Greg to ask him about what it's like to own a business while still a student.

What activities are you involved in in college?

I like to call what I’m involved in the five B’s, so band, Barrett, business and Board Blazers. I’ve played trumpet and I’ve been drum major of the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band, I am an honors student at Barrett, the Honors College, I am a marketing and supply chain management double major at the W.P. Carey School of Business, and I also briefly worked there, and I started a business my sophomore year: Board Blazers LED Underglow Skateboard and Scooter Lighting.

What would you say the best and worst parts of starting a business while still in college are?

I definitely think the best part is getting experience with a wide variety of fields, so no two days are alike. I get to do a little bit of everything. I get to do marketing, design, finance, a little bit of IT, and even some film. I get experience in a lot of different things and it keeps it fresh, which is something that I like. Plus, I think my boss is a really nice guy.

One of the most difficult things is that there are so many things that I would like to do to grow the business, but school is my first priority, so oftentimes I just don’t have time. I’m looking forward to after graduation, being able to really sink in and start to work on growing the business and taking advantage of all of these opportunities that I just don’t have time to right now.

So, after college you plan on devoting full time to the business?

Yes, after college I plan on focusing on running and growing the business full time and also sharing what I’ve learned with high school and and college students using a motivational speaking package that I designed entitled: “Beyond Business: Life and Leadership Secrets from a Young Entrepreneur.”

Where did the name of Board Blazers come from?

Honestly there’s nothing funny or symbolic about it. I will tell you that it’s much better than a lot of the other names that I originally thought of. I know “Skate Light” was in there for a while, also something along the lines of “Safety Sparklers,” so I certainly think Board Blazers is better than those.

What’s it like having a business in a market that you are not a consumer of?

While it’s certainly unique, and it might seem strange, we actually invest a lot of time, money and effort into connecting with skateboarders, so whether by sponsoring competitive skateboarders, attending events, or just interacting with fans on social media, we really try to connect with boarders, because it’s really not about what I think is cool, it’s about what they think is cool.

What advice would you give another student who might have an idea but don’t quite know how to make it come to life?

Just start. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do EVERYTHING before you begin. Figure out what the next individual thing you should do is, and then do that thing. From there, each subsequent step will become easier. Just start.

What’s your proudest memory from school or Board Blazers?

At ASU, as drum major of the marching band, it was definitely a thrill being able to represent ASU by leading the marching band into the stadium with over 70,000 fans every week. As a businessperson, I honestly thought it was pretty cool to be recognized as one of Arizona’s “Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35” by The Arizona Republic.

What else would you like to say about yourself, Board Blazers, or all the five B’s to the lovely readers of Her Campus?

Something that I think really rings true is: character is what you do when no one else is watching, so don’t be afraid to take the first step toward your dream because a good attitude and good character can take you further than anything, I think.