May 22, 2019

May 22, 2019


Jindal School MBA Student Wins Business Hall of Fame Scholarship

Alejandro Jacob

Alejandro Jacobo

Alejandro Jacobo is used to competition. 

After all, you don’t become one of the top swimmers in Mexico without a passion to win. He has applied that same attitude to entrepreneurship, and the result has been another accolade — a Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation Scholarship. 

He credits the $10,000 award as the financial push that led him to enroll in the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s MBA program after he earned a master’s degree from the Jindal School in innovation and entrepreneurship last year. 

“I am humbled by the award,” said Jacobo, who set national records in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breast stroke in 2009. “And it’s allowing me to pursue a dream.” 

In 2013, he and Matthew Hinson were the winning graduate team in the UT Dallas Business Idea Competition that the JSOM-based Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship holds annually. They developed a full-fledged business, Rollout, which allows the architecture, engineering and construction industries to share paper-free blueprints. 

“It’s a major solution,” Jacobo said. “We talked to customers face to face and did surveys. I really believe the extensive research is what made the difference. Preparation is so important.” 

He credits the Startup Launch Track, a selective program in the innovation and entrepreneurship program, for developing much of his abilities. It has many goals for students, including launching businesses and acquiring outside funding.

Scholarship Luncheon

Alejandro Jacob is among 30 business students across Texas awarded a $10,000 scholarship this year by the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation. Recipients will be honored at a luncheon Nov. 5 in Dallas. Since its founding in 1982, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships to Texas business graduate students.

“The classes really challenged you to think about your vision,” he said. “To understand customer discovery and customer validation.” 

Dan Bochsler, a senior lecturer in the program, has taught Jacobo in multiple classes and was thrilled by his accomplishments. 

“Alejandro is a tireless worker who will do anything to succeed, but also has an incredible spirit,” he said. “I remember a judge at the California Dreamin’ (Entrepreneurship) Competition telling me how he and his partner were the most prepared out of more than 40 teams. They seemed beyond impressed by how they had done their homework.” 

How does Jacobo explain his success? 

“What I try to remember is that you can’t just memorize your way into getting people to buy into your business,” he said. “You have to connect with them and really want to make them understand. It’s not who has the most beautiful business plan.” 

The Startup Launch Track was recently selected by the Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) as a finalist for the 2014 Tech Titans of the Future University Level. 

“This is one of the best places in the country to learn entrepreneurship, a school that will help you see your vision to the end,” Jacobo said. 

Jacobo, who came to the U.S. at  age 15 without knowing the language and later dealt with tough customers as a car dealer, has learned not to take rejection personally. He knows that the next door he knocks on may lead to opportunity. 

“It’s easy to get tired and lose your best form,” he said. “Only the focused have a chance.”

This story was reported and written by freelance contributor Eric Butterman.

Media Contact: Kris Imherr, Naveen Jindal School of Management, (972) 883-4793, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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