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Washburn alumnus Ty Walrod spoke about his experience at Washburn and how it has shaped his career as the entrepreneur of startup business Bright Fund during the Feb. 20, 2014, Wake Up with Washburn breakfast lecture.View photos on Facebook
Visit the Washburn Alumni Association's page on YouTube for videos of speaker Ty Walrod, President Jerry Farley, School of Business Dean David Sollars and emcee Merle Blair.View the videos
Ty Walrod credits much of his success to Washburn, including the School of Business.Read about the School
By Ernie W. Webb III | email@example.com
In his spare time, Washburn alumnus Ty Walrod climbs mountains. At work, the Elkhart, Kan., native is ascending the world of entrepreneurship as the co-founder of a startup business in San Francisco.
Walrod, who received a bachelor of business administration degree in 2006, attributes much of his success to his experience at Washburn.
“Washburn laid the foundation for my career,” said Walrod, who spoke at Thursday’s Wake Up with Washburn breakfast lecture series. “In addition to rigorous academics, you have an opportunity here to experience what it takes to be an entrepreneur and apply it when you leave. You don’t have that opportunity at many places.”
Walrod is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Bright Funds, a technology company committed to “transforming the experience of personal and workplace giving.”
Formed with a co-worker at venture-backed software company Coverity, Bright Funds has six full-time employees and serves 12 enterprises and thousands of individual donors.
“We applied many of the things I learned at Washburn when we started Bright Funds,” Walrod said. “The education and skills I learned here I’d put those against any school. It also helped that I knew about technology.”
In addition to majoring in accounting and finance, Walrod took numerous classes in computer science. The background in technology is another factor in his success in building Bright Funds.
“Business and technical professionals will converge in the future,” he said. “Having that knowledge, that training, is going to be important.”
During his presentation, “Entrepreneurship in a New Era: My Journey Into Silicon Valley,” Walrod spoke about his time at Washburn, startup companies, the growth of Bright Funds and the future of entrepreneurship.
While on campus, he also spoke with students in the classroom.
“I think more students will go to Washburn because Washburn is already providing that experience you need,” Walrod said. “I’ve worked with people who went to Berkley, Ivy League schools and other colleges you hear about, and I’d put Washburn right up there with them.”
Walrod was a member of the College Entrepreneurs Organization, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Sagamore, Washburn Student Government Association and Washburn Choir.
Before co-founding Bright Funds, he worked at Deloitte in 2007 and 2008 and Coverity from 2008 to 2011. Walrod also co-founded and co-directed OutServe, a global non-profit organization that worked to foster an environment of respect and integrity in the U.S. military.
In conjunction with the School of Business, the Alumni Association has sponsored the breakfast lecture series since 1993.