Senior Tito Bohrt has announced that he is making a significant donation to the Duke Forward campaign.
Bohrt, founder of Salesource—a startup that saves money on labor costs by placing American workers in tropical locations with low costs of living—has pledged $10,000 to the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative of Duke Forward, a capital campaign to raise $3.25 billion across the University. Bohrt made the donation to thank Duke and its recent alumni for helping him launch his career.
“It’s pretty special for an undergraduate to give $10,000,” said Eric Toone, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of chemistry and professor of biochemistry, who leads the campaign’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative. “For someone in Tito’s position to do it—it’s meaningful.”
Bohrt’s history at Duke is one of entrepreneurship. As a sophomore, he started ShelfRelief—a website that sells used textbooks to college students for competitive prices. In 2011, when he was junior, Bohrt founded SaleSource, which is working with software company Citrix Solutions to relocate part of their sales team from Raleigh, N.C. to San Jose, Costa Rica.
SaleSource is projected to make over $1 million in revenue over the next year, Bohrt said.
“I started this business after realizing that the lower cost of living in Central and South America would provide Citrix a better return on investment and create a spectacular experience for the employee,” Bohrt said.
Although Bohrt said that he knows his gift is only a “small drop in the bucket” of Duke Forward’s goal to raise $3.25 billion, he wanted to show that he is happy with what Duke is doing.
The Duke Forward campaign, however, considers Bohrt’s gift to be significant, said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations.
“[Bohrt’s] investment in this program is an important vote of confidence and helps make it possible for future students to have the academic and mentoring experiences that have been so valuable to him,” Schoenfeld wrote in an email Monday.
Toone noted that the innovation and entrepreneurship initiative is trying raise $100 million.
“[Bohrt] has given to that and it’s absolutely significant—we value every dollar that people give,” Toone said.
Bohrt said that he hopes that his gift encourages other successful and entrepreneurial alumni to come back and give students a hand.
In terms of his time at Duke, Bohrt noted that his approach to his college education has been unlike many of his peers.
“Most people work hard to get a 4.0 GPA and get a job in investment banking,” Bohrt said. “I’ve decided not to play that game and build something myself.”
He said that he is probably the only student who celebrates getting a B on a test and who doesn’t focus on his GPA, which is a 2.4.
After he graduates, Bohrt said he plans to run Salesource and to grow it by expanding his work force, client base and possibly to different countries.
“I hope to stay involved with Duke,” he said.