Lee Vaccaro started his first company in between classes at The University of Southern Florida.

His insight identified a growing marketplace for computer component sales, and his relentless drive launched Brainchild Computer Distributions from Vaccaro’s apartment into three retail storefronts. His passion was apparent to his alma mater, as USF signed a $500,000 computer contract with BCD.

In 1998, Inc. Magazine listed BCD as one of the fastest growing companies in America. Lee’s vision grew the company from $404,000 in sales to $7.8 million in four short years—a staggering 1,838 percent.

It was this same vision that enabled Vaccaro to see the writing on the wall. The barrage of dot coms were killing local retail markets by selling items below cost—playing with “monopoly money” that Vaccaro knew would run out. In 1999 he closed the doors of his brick-and-mortar stores to pioneer a model of e-commerce. BCD 2000 was the brainchild of this paradigm shift, which used a number of innovations to avoid the dot com bubble.

Vaccaro’s entrepreneurship meant he had a high tolerance for risk. In the midst of closing his retail stores and developing BCD 2000, he saw an opportunity in the options market. Vaccaro was able to parlay a $50,000 investment into $1.2 million when a high-flying fiber optic company made its mark on the industry.

In 2006, Vaccaro began directing marketing and sales for an aerospace company. He worked with a number of government agencies including the US Air Force, Department of Defense, and FBI. Vaccaro also worked with contractors Northrup and General Dynamics to develop unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs).

Within a few months, Vaccaro began working on consumer applications for the military grade technology. As a result, he co-founded Lew Racing, Inc with inventor Paul Lew. As CEO, Vaccaro marketed military grade carbon fiber technology to the cycling industry while streamlining a production model for the world’s lightest carbon-fiber wheel set. Through Vaccaro’s efforts, Lew Racing became the USA Olympic Cycling Team’s technology provider.