2018 Best & Brightest: Brady Scott Acton, Villanova University

Brady Scott Acton

Villanova University School of Business

I couldn’t decide what to write, but my Mom says I’m very smart and handsome.”

Fun fact about yourself: I was in the movie Marley & Me, casted to play a member of the “Featured Family from Nantucket.”

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

High School: Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Major: Marketing

Minor: Philosophy (Villanova College of Arts and Sciences)

Favorite Business Course: Financial Accounting

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular Activities/Community Work/Leadership Roles

  • Started investment-backed tech company “TriviaNote” as a sophomore (age 20). Company raised seed round of $127,000 from angel investors and later venture capital from “Ben Franklin Technology Partners” of Philadelphia, PA. I served as TriviaNote’s Chief Marketing Officer and Design Lead, leading six sales and marketing associates.
  • Led design and marketing of funded B2B artificial intelligence company “Orai” at age 21. Helped company grow platform to 50,000 downloads in just a few months. Platform used at Wharton Business School.
  • “Head of Project” for mobile app: Led the design, development, distribution, marketing, and fundraising for mobile game “Fish Feast 3D.” Achieved 1,000+ downloads in the first week and maintained 4.5/5 stars on the Apple App Store. Personally featured in over 30 international news outlets (Miami Herald, Nigeria Teller, etc.), including a full-page newspaper article in the business section of Philadelphia Inquirer tiled “No Sophomore Slump for this College-Age Entrepreneur.”
  • Founded and continue to operate own non-profit “App.ly” in which I help other students start and run their companies. I have helped 100+ students through my various talks, office hours at Villanova (currently a Student Entrepreneur-in-Residence), online website, and podcast interviews.
  • Volunteer at “CodedbyKids” in which I helped underprivileged youth acquire coding and technology skills.
  • NCAA Division 1 Athlete: Recipient of athletic scholarship to play on Villanova’s baseball team. Two-time Big East Conference All-Academic Team.

Awards and Honors

  • Forbes “Under 30” Scholar (2016)
  • “Innovator of the Year” Award by PECO, Semifinalist (2015)
  • MIT Global Entrepreneurship Scholarship, Finalist (2016)
  • “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities 2018” by Randall-Reilly Publishing (2018)
  • Full page feature in Philadelphia Inquirer and com – 2 million combined monthly readers (2016)
  • Subject of Villanova Business feature documentary titled #BeingVSB (2016) and “Student Spotlight” in biannual Villanova Business Magazine.
  • Academics: Villanova Scholar, National Society of Collegiate Scholars inductee, frequent Dean’s List

Where have you interned during your college career?

Hambro Perks – London, UK – Investment Intern

Served as an “Investment Intern” as part of private equity and venture capital firm Hambro Perks’ “Growth Team.”

SpringEQ  – Philadelphia, PA – Marketing/Technology Intern

Led creation and optimization of financial technology company SpringEQ’s algorithm that calculates the user’s “SpringEQ.”

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte Consulting as a Business Technology Analyst. I will be a management consulting analyst, specializing in business analytics.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Thomas Monahan is my favorite professor because he demands the most out of his students. It’s a “sink or swim” environment – an environment in which I thrive.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The tremendous amount of support I received. I never had to ask twice for help or go out of my way to find a resource. In addition, whenever a VSB student achieves something notable, the university broadcasts the feat on its social media and in its various publications. Upon release, these stories consistently attract Villanova students, faculty, and alumni willing to help the given student.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The greatest lesson I gained from studying business is one that seems simple, but is often overlooked or even ignored. The lesson is that the purpose is profit. Like most young entrepreneurs, I wanted to change the world and gain recognition in doing so. But I soon came to learn that a business does not exist without a sustainable business model.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in Philosophy, with a concentration in Metaphysics or Existentialism. I have a deep interest in analyzing life from a metaphysical lens, often ruminating over being, knowing, time, space, cause, and substance.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised out how humbling it would be to major in business. The major is very rigorous because one has to be skilled at both the qualitative and quantitative sides of business. Yet, very few are equally strong in both.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father most influenced my decision to pursue business, only because he’s a very successful businessman and I’ve always strived to be like my Dad.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? The achievement I am most proud of is finishing development of my first app. I advise students frequently on the app development process, but very few actually bring their app to market. Thus, I have since concluded that my ability to develop a full-fledged mobile app with no experience or know-how, almost no money, and very little time as a full-time student was my greatest achievement. In addition, the aforementioned struggles were significantly compounded by the ubiquitous fear and uncertainty in developing a first app.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? I would add more diversity to the student body and faculty. VSB is one of the best undergraduate business schools in the U.S., but I think VSB would gain more international recognition and prestige by being more diverse.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I most admire is Trevino Rodriguez, my former teammate and roommate. He was born and raised in the southside of Chicago in a very poor neighborhood. However, he always had a vision to transcend his circumstances and eschew a life of crime that too often takes hold of kids in his neighborhood. He thus earned a full scholarship to Villanova, where he played Division 1 baseball.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents. Put simply, they’ve been by my side through everything. Even when I was at the lowest of lows, they’ve unequivocally supported me.

What would your theme song be? My theme song would be “I Want It All” by Arctic Monkeys because I think it accurately relays the strife and struggles of the modern-day entrepreneur (although it doesn’t intend to).

The song starts off with the following lyrics: “Blind faith, heartache, mind games, mistakes…I want it all.”

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Produce a film and write a novel.

Favorite book: The Great Gatsby

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting

Favorite vacation spot: Paris, France

What are your hobbies? Playing guitar, painting, and reading books on philosophy.

What made Brady such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“As the Executive Director of the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Institute, I work closely with many students across our campus. One student who particularly excelled among our population of highly capable and intelligent community members is Brady Acton.

I often name Brady as a standout among our campus-wide ICE population; this is saying a lot since ICE participants include students from across the entire campus (including graduate students). In particular, Brady supported our staff in an effort to increase, develop, and promote new initiatives for our students – including hosting office hours for student startups and delivering some of our best attended lectures on mobile applications.

As entrepreneurs, we are forced to gather information in order to make decisions quickly, accurately, and confidently, and Brady has more than proven his ability to do so. Brady is collaborative and able to provide subjective and objective opinions regarding programming, business, and logical next steps. During my time working with him at the University, Brady has provided countless hours of support and counseling to students and community members. Brady’s ability to balance his professional duties, extracurricular activities, and personal interests allowed him to engage deeply at Villanova University and in his community. Brady has the ability to listen to others, engage them, and move things forward. He has proven that he can create relationships that span the campus and community.”

II Luscri
Executive Director, Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Institute
Assistant Vice Provost, Centers and Institutes
Villanova University


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