Daniel Ogbonna, Nigerian born and raised in the U.K., had ended up rooted in Columbus through a combination of opportunity and convenience. Ogbonna, still in his 30s, has a resume that includes master’s degree from the University of Michigan and the Harvard Business School, investment banking on Wall Street, owning a media company in the Czech Republic, and holding a position as the Director of Strategy of Bath and Body Works—during which he was first introduced to Columbus.
But most recently, he’s added founder and CEO of mysmartpac inc. to that already remarkable list. Mysmartpac is a simple concept: his and her prepackaged toiletries designed for carry-on, meant to last six days, and are TSA compliant. They’re sold online, in airports and at other retailers around the country. Ogbonna, a frequent traveler, came up with the concept through personal experience.
“I was coming back from a one-day meeting, and I had all my personal care products taken away from me because they were more than the required amount,” he says. “I thought, ‘you know, there’s got to be a better way—there’s got to be a better solution.’ When I looked at the complete universe of personal care products out there, I didn’t see a complete solution that would have everything you want in a single pack.”
So, out of necessity, mysmartpac was born. It has since gained attention from national and international media outlets. Soon, users will be able to personalize their kits to their individual needs.
Ogbonna’s success is a result of the skills he has gathered from a background in engineering and business, a long interest in media-and persistence.
“I think you always have to have a dream and never give up. Entrepreneurship is completely different than working nine-to-five for a company because you wear several different hats. You have to be a hard worker and have that mental drive to keep going when things get difficult.”