Mentorship evokes entrepreneurship in ASU alumni

October 5, 2022

Herbert Roskind has met many college students over the previous decade whereas instructing the course Global Trade in Real Time at Arizona State College — and a few of these college students have shared his entrepreneurial spirit.

“A number of of our former ASU college students began companies; one already succeeded nationally,” mentioned Roskind, a courtesy affiliate and advisory board member within the Faculty of Politics and International Research who makes use of his decades-worth of expertise in entrepreneurship and commodity buying and selling to show college students about provide chain administration and negotiations whereas accounting for cultural variations.
ASU alum Sophie Aigner and her mother, Vickie, pose for a photo on a brick walkway surrounded by greenery and a mountain formation in the background.
ASU alum Sophie Aigner (left) and her mom, Vickie, co-founders of Alive, Match & Free.
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“We’re pleased with them, encouraging others to invent themselves.”

Sophie Aigner, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in international research in 2012, initially took Roskind’s course as a approach to see what a profession within the international provide chain business would seem like.

“This course was very attention-grabbing because it was tremendous sensible and gave very clear insights into the careers of the transport business,” mentioned Aigner. “Professor Roskind has an enormous expertise in international negotiations and transport, so the most important takeaways have been studying from his sensible expertise.”

After graduating, Aigner labored in Africa earlier than piloting the startup Lima Links, a Zambian agricultural expertise firm, in 2016. After 4 years, she was prepared for a change and partnered along with her mother, Vickie Aigner, to develop Alive, Fit & Free, which is a digital neighborhood the place individuals of any age all over the world can take part in stay experiences.

All through the years, Aigner has maintained a relationship with Roskind because of his mentorship.

“(Roskind) is an entrepreneur at coronary heart and has nice recommendation in lots of areas, so he’s at the moment an advisor of mine in a startup I’m engaged on,” Aigner mentioned.

ASU alum Alex Swartz standing next to a woman with his arm around her. Behidn them is a sign that reads

ASU alum Alex Swartz (proper), co-founder of Precise Veggies.

Alum Alex Swartz took Roskind’s class in 2012 whereas finishing his Bachelor of Science in provide chain administration. The course aligned together with his pursuits in commodity buying and selling and the markets.

“Realizing that (Roskind) labored in commodity buying and selling beginning within the mail room to at some point beginning his personal agency,” Swartz mentioned, was an inspiration for him to work in bodily oil buying and selling.

Now, 10 years later, Swartz is pursuing his ardour of entrepreneurship via his model Actual Veggies.

“My sister, a pal and I began a veggie burger firm that manufactures and distributes whole-food veggie burgers that remember veggies as an alternative of masks(ing) them,” mentioned Swartz.

Swartz began Precise Veggies in March 2020. Aiming to create the best-tasting veggie burger utilizing solely actual components was no straightforward job — it took eight months to create the recipe. Because of funding assist from Huge Concept Ventures, Swartz was in a position to get his veggie burgers launched nationwide in Sprouts in July 2021 and partnered with massive on-line retailers like Blue Apron, Hungryroots and Imperfect Meals.

“(Two and a half) years later, we’re in virtually 2,500 retail shops and studying from our errors,” mentioned Swartz. “We’re very pleased with what we have completed however really feel we’re simply getting began.”

It was additionally in 2012 when Eduardo R. Cervantez found Roskind’s class. He was attending ASU whereas pursuing a BA in sustainability and a minor in international research. The category appealed to him because it was one of many few business-oriented courses inside his areas of research.

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ASU alum Eduardo R. Cervantez

The category supplied him the chance to broaden his consolation zone and helped develop his abilities in negotiations — which Cervantez says is essential in each side in life.

“I believe everyone seems to be intimidated about enterprise, however this class is ideal to take due to the connections you make,” mentioned Cervantez. “All the fabric you be taught within the class might be utilized in actual life and in any state of affairs.”

Cervantez works in finance as a vice chairman of capital forecasting, and he manages the capital projections for the Citigroup Financial institution in New York Metropolis.

“(Roskind) is a superb professor, mentor and household pal,” mentioned Cervantez. “… I’ve an incredible quantity of respect for a way he has helped me in my life.”

Christopher Robin Gallego, who graduated with a movie and media manufacturing diploma from ASU in 2013, didn’t join Roskind’s course however would find yourself studying from it anyway.

In 2011, following Harvard’s “flipped’ teaching concept, Roskind was seeking to rent a pupil videographer to movie his course. He employed Gallego for what could be his first paid job as a video producer.

“Greater than that, it was the start of my mentorship by Herb,” Gallego mentioned.

In keeping with Gallego, Roskind is a “titan of business,” which helped make his distinctive course so enticing.

“So when Herb needs to do one thing like go to the Port of Lengthy Seaside to film some interviews for the video course, all he has to do is make a few telephone calls and it’s performed,” recalled Gallego.

The tour via Southern California would result in Gallego touchdown his first summer season internship in Hollywood.

Throughout the next fall, Gallego accomplished enhancing of the sequence of movies for Roskind’s course, however they weren’t as much as the standard he hoped for. Feeling like he let Roskind down, Gallego was crushed.

After commencement, he moved to LA and labored sufficient to put money into his personal upgraded digital camera equipment. The pair stayed in contact over the following couple of years, and when Roskind was in LA vising household, Gallego would get an opportunity for redemption. He provided to movie International Commerce in Actual Time freed from cost, stating, “Don’t fear about it. I owe you one.”

On condition that YouTube was the main web site in video studying, they created the “Global Trader Network” channel to host the movies.

In 2018, Gallego went full-time as an unbiased producer, finally getting employed as head of manufacturing for the streaming startup service MagicFlix in Las Vegas. Nevertheless, the pandemic would finally alter his plans, and he moved again to Los Angeles.

Utilizing his abilities in internet design and search engine optimization, Gallego helped launch a lead-generation web site with a pal within the development enterprise. They’ve run a seven-figure enterprise ever since.

It was round this time Roskind reached out to suggest working collectively once more.

“I believe we’re going to take the International Dealer Community to the following stage,” mentioned Gallego.

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