October Venture Spotlight: MobiRoq

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Our venture spotlight this month features Yvonne Jackson and her startup, Mobi Roq. Yvonne is an MBA student in Kenan-Flagler's class of 2015 from Ohio. Before coming to UNC, Yvonne started and ran her own digital marketing company in Cincinnati. She joined 1789 in September as 1789’s first “MBA-in-Residence.

Describe MobiRoq in 50 words or less.

We help SMB marketing managers find, evaluate and purchase the right digital marketing technology for their businesses. Our database of company reviews, product FAQs, and pricing is curated by marketers and IT professionals who have used and evaluated each digital marketing tool. Unlike company manufactured “white papers” and analyst reports, our database is free of vendor bias.

How did you come up with the name?

We originally started MobiRoq to focus on challenges within Mobile Device Management. However, after doing a feasibility study through Launching the Venture, I decided to focus on my core competency, digital marketing.

Were you an entrepreneur at a young age, or was it a skill you discovered after college?

Yes! As an industrious 10 year old, I used to iron clothes for a few wealthy families in the area. My mother and I would pick up their freshly pressed laundry and return it for about $.75 a piece. Once I entered my 20s, I began experimenting with various business ideas. I lived in the “entrepreneurial” section of our library.

Do you plan on being an entrepreneur after you graduate from UNC?

Yes, I was recently told that entrepreneurship was written in my DNA code. Whether I take a full-time position after graduating from my MBA program or not, I know my main goal is to build skills that will allow me to grow my own business.

Why did you choose Kenan-Flagler for your MBA?

I’m very competitive with myself and already push myself past my own boundaries, so I knew I didn’t want to attend a school that had a strong competitive nature. The Kenan-Flagler culture is all about helping each other succeed and reach goals. The support we provide each other in class and as alumni is unmatched by any other university.

What are your thoughts on the culture of entrepreneurship at UNC?

I’m currently the VP of Corporate Relations for our MBA Program. Our president and other club VPs are amazing!! They are committed to building our entrepreneurial brand and helping our fellow students reach their business goals. As our community grows, I believe the next few years will be a very exciting time to be here at UNC.

What first interested you about working at 1789?

Last year, I worked as the marketing manager for Launch Chapel Hill. That experience introduced me to 1789 Venture Lab. Once I decided to pursue MobiRoq, I felt that 1789 was the perfect place for me to develop my idea.

What do you think makes the entrepreneurship culture at UNC unique?

We provide a full-service ecosystem with opportunities for entrepreneurs at every level. 1789 Venture Lab, Launch Chapel Hill, Launching the Venture, The Carolina Challenge, The CUBE – all of these entities provide unique resources, support, and value to our entrepreneurial community. We literally have everything we need right here to be successful.

An abbreviated version of this interview originally appeared in the 1789 October 2014 newsletter. To read more stories like Yvonne's and stay updated on 1789 news and events, sign up for our newsletter here.