Entrepreneur starts own marketing companySoden Ka, 23, is originally from Battambang, Cambodia, a city founded more than 1,000 years ago by the Khmer Empire. Today Battambang is a prominent tourist destination with just under 200,000 people and a treasure trove of French Colonial architecture, Buddhist shrines and temple ruins.
Soden moved to the U.S. at the age of nine and grew up in Eagan, Minnesota. He started at Inver Hills Community College during his junior year at Eagan High School via PACE (Prepared to Achieve College Education). He graduated from EHS in 2012; he graduated from Inver Hills two years later with his Associate of Arts (A.A.).
“I went to as many events as possible while I was at Inver Hills. That not only helped me build my network, but I also took advantage of all the free meals. I used the money I saved to travel and learn more about marketing from real people in the field.”
— Soden Ka, President, My Market Squad
During his time at Inver Hills, Soden belonged to TRIO Student Support Services. He joined Student Senate, served as president of the International Students Club, worked as a student ambassador, played intramural soccer, and went on two disaster relief trips as a V.I.B.E. member helping EF5 tornado survivors, one trip to Joplin, Missouri, and one to Moore, Oklahoma.
“I liked how the college is such a welcoming community with a smaller campus,” Soden said. “The teachers actually know who you are. I wish Inver could have been a four-year university.”
Earning his B.A.
After graduating from Inver Hills, Soden enrolled at the University of Minnesota with the goal to eventually enter medical school. He grew up wanting to be a doctor and was looking to combine a career in medicine with his business-oriented nature.
“I was an entrepreneur as a kid,” Soden said, “and I’ve always wanted to help people, but I hated my science courses at the U. I was spending my time in class working on my side business and not studying.”
Soden quickly found his path at Metropolitan State University. Because the A.A. is the ideal transfer degree, he was able to continue his education without a hitch, earning a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Individualized Studies with a focus on Business and Science. He graduated from Metro State in May 2017. His next step was to co-found a business, My Market Squad
More about My Market Squad
My Market Squad is a full-service marketing and advertising agency based in the Twin Cities and serving a national clientele. Services provided include Facebook advertising, graphic design, Web design and much more. My Market Squad held a grand opening June 28, 2017, at El Tejaban Mexican Grill in Richfield, Minnesota.
“The goal of our agency is to help local businesses, startups and young entrepreneurs market their brand and bring their ideas to life,” Soden said, adding that his four-person squad is dedicated to finding the most effective means to take emerging business concepts to the next level. “We love marketing and we do everything we can to assist small businesses so that we can grow together.”
The power of social
You can connect with Soden and My Market Squad on a variety of social media platforms, including:
More about Soden…
When he’s not working (which is almost all the time), Soden enjoys playing and watching soccer. He has one brother, Sodan, who serves in the U.S. Air Force. The given name, Soden, means “border” and reflects Soden’s early days living in Thailand. Sodan means “right there” and pertains to Battambang, Sodan’s birthplace.
While attending Inver Hills, Soden received a number of scholarships, which covered a good portion of his college expenses. He recommends that students take the time to research their scholarship opportunities. You can learn more by visiting the Inver Hills Foundation.
Soden Ka gallery
Soden Ka Q & AWhat is your greatest strength as an entrepreneur?
Networking. Every Friday night, I co-host Elevate Your Network at The Exchange Minneapolis. My personal brand is Motivate Daily. I have a passion for what I’m doing—and people see that. I work to inspire younger entrepreneurs and show them they can live the life they want.
What has been your toughest challenge in life?
Trying to figure out who I was in college. Everyone needs a mentor, someone with more experience who can guide you along the way. My greatest mentor has been Chanda Sour, VP at Ludwig Financial Group.
Soden’s top five StrengthsFinder talent themes:
What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Starting my own company.
What person has influenced you the most in life?
My mom. She’s a great businesswoman.
What would you tell someone thinking about starting her or his own company?
Just go for it. Get a mentor.
Soden Ka | 21 Answers
- Favorite season: Summer
- Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Beaches, especially South Beach in Miami
- Favorite sport or physical activity: Soccer
- Your national bird if you could have one: Rooster; I was born in the Year of the Rooster. [Note: 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.]
- Place you would most like to visit: I would like to backpack across Europe.
- Favorite holiday: New Year’s Eve
- Your national mammal if you could have one: Siberian husky
- Favorite actor or actress: Leonardo DiCaprio
- Favorite music genre: Hip hop and R & B
- Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Motivate Daily.”
- Coolest thing in the world: Traveling to all seven continents
- Scariest thing in the world: Not doing what you want to get done; not much scares me.
- Favorite all-time TV show: Shark Tank
- Favorite all-time movie: The Wolf of Wall Street
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Be happy.
- Most precious material possession: In the future that will be an Audi R8.
- First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: Travel the world
- Dream occupation: Marketing professional
- Person you would most like to meet: Grant Cardone
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Marketing and social media
- Problem you would most like to solve: One of my passions is helping troubled teens and kids; I try to show them the different routes to success and inspire them to be more entrepreneurial.
For more information about earning an Associate of Arts (A.A.) at Inver Hills, contact: