2015 Emerging Voice Award Recipient
BA 2001, Sociology
Serial Entrepreneurand Investsor; Co-Founder, The Dream Builders Foundation, Colleyville, TX
Akin Ayodele is a serial entrepreneur and investor, speaker, former NFL linebacker and Co-Founder of The Dream Builders Foundation. He leads the strategic implementation of his business investments which span several industries including: film production, restaurants, event hosting, and wholesale distribution. As a motivational speaker, he speaks to corporations, educational organizations and youth groups on: leadership, winning during adversity, teambuilding, how to create a championship mindset, and more.
As a philanthropist, Akin’s The Dream Builders Foundation matches athletes from various pro-sports leagues with organizations and projects to benefit ‘at risk’, financially, or mentally-challenged youth. Dream Builders serves one-third of all NFL cities and is rapidly expanding nationally. His penchant for planning, skill in cultivating relationships and ability to see beyond the ‘right now’ helps him balance it all.
In his nine-year career in the NFL, Ayodele was known for his athleticism and work ethic, playing in 147 of 148 games and amassing 995 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, and an interception nearly every season. He was drafted in 2002 by the Jacksonville Jaguars and throughout his career, played for the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills.
Prior to the NFL, Ayodele was a scholar-athlete, receiving his Liberal Arts degree from Purdue University, focusing on Psychology & Law in Society with a minor in Organizational Leadership. He shows up in Purdue’s all-time record book 10 times, is tied for second in career sacks, and was named Second Team All Big-Ten as a sophomore & junior, followed by First Team All Big-Ten, and team MVP as a senior. Ayodele was also a two-year Team Captain while playing at Purdue. In 2014 he received his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from The George Washington University.
Now a scholar of life, Akin has traveled to five continents and is on his third passport, saying that Cape Town in South Africa was his favorite place to visit. A health and fitness advocate, he works out five days a week. Akin loves to take on new challenges and is addicted to adrenaline! You can find him jumping out of planes with a parachute or scuba diving. You can even find him on the golf course working on his game, trying to get his handicap from +12 into single digits.