In this issue: Spring 2019

Profile

Pivotal People: Rosanna Garcia

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Ask Rosanna Garcia why she teaches and she’ll talk about changing the world—through her students.

“I often say that I’m not going to be the catalyst that changes the world, but one of my students will be,” said Garcia, the Walter Koch Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and associate professor of marketing at Daniels. “I love seeing how students work on ideas that have a real impact on the world.”

She also loves seeing the power of Daniels in action—in how faculty teach and support students, helping them take their companies to the next level. She offers PocketChange, a student start-up that makes giving to social causes easy, as an example.

“[It] received funding to [get] to the next stage. And I’m proud that our students are focused on business for good with purpose-driven goals,” she said. “It’s the dedicated faculty that supports these students in their journeys. I haven’t seen this type of passion in other entrepreneurship programs in university settings.”

Garcia’s own passion is immediately evident—just ask any of the many former students she follows.

“I still stay in touch with students from 10 to 15 years ago and follow their start-up accomplishments,” she said. “It’s so rewarding to know that I had some small impact in encouraging these students to just go out and do.”

Garcia herself has gone out and done plenty over the course of her career, including working as an engineer, new product manager, researcher and small business owner.

“Now I combine all those past careers into teaching entrepreneurship. This is important because it should let someone know it’s never too late to learn something new.”

Never too late, indeed. Just two years ago, she started a company called Vijilent after a guest vandalized her vacation rental. She learned from the ordeal that attorneys needed help collecting evidence from social media. Vijilent automates the work for them.

“We changed the direction of the company about three times before finding the legal industry,” Garcia said. “So the lesson I learned, and I teach my students, is to really understand well the value proposition of your product or service. If you can understand that, you can deliver that value.”

While she’s at Daniels, Garcia hopes to see more women and other underrepresented groups enter entrepreneurship.

“I want students to see that entrepreneurship is open to anyone no matter their background, gender or ethnicity. Take any idea, no matter how crazy, and run with it. You never know what might come out of it.”

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