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‘Could you be an Entrepreneur’ Talk Inspires Students on Path To Success


Don’t miss the next ’Could you be an Entrepreneur’ speaker, Eric Salgado. Be part of the discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 1 – 2 p.m., Scanlan  Room, Jerabeck Center.  RSVP  using the QR code in the article.

Eric SalgadoPat O'Donnell '76 is a man who loves a project. With a dual major in theology and math from the University of St. Thomas-Houston and a master’s degree from Rice University, he went into computer programming at Pennzoil. He later founded a successful software company with his sister, Teresa '77 (nursing), and wife, Sandra.  

With O'Donnell's business success and the opportunity to retire, he did not rest on his laurels. His penchant for fully living out the Basilian's motto of goodness, discipline, knowledge and community manifests into opportunities for UST students and others to grow.

"Could you be an Entrepreneur" Speaker Series

Take O'Donnell's newest venture, ""Could you be an Entrepreneur," a speaker series co-sponsored by the Cameron School of Business. Twice a semester, O'Donnell brings a young, local, successful entrepreneur to campus to talk with students who are interested in an entrepreneurial career.

O'Donnell met these impressive guest speakers by networking in the community.

Providing a quick lunch for the students, O'Donnell asks questions of these pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps businesspersons, helping to paint a picture of their triumphs.

"Their success wasn't because they started rich," O'Donnell said. "They are successful because they have the traits of an entrepreneur – they are curious and can deal with uncertainty."

Meet Eric Salgado

Don't miss the next speaker in the series, Eric Salgado. Join the conversation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 1-2 p.m., Scanlan Room, Jerabeck Center. RSVP with the QR code.

O'Donnell met Eric Salgado at the Catholic Charities Guadalupe Social Center, where the Salgado family was helping at the food pantry.

A seasoned and forward-thinking entrepreneur with an unwavering enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology and commercial ventures, Salgado, who lives in Katy, Texas, boasts extensive expertise in overseeing comprehensive business development.

The young businessman has earned multiple degrees. First, his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems in 2002 came from Tecnológico of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Then, he earned a Mini MBA in Digital Marketing from the University of Notre Dame, along with an ACE Certificate in Strategy and Innovation 2019 – ongoing (2023) from MIT in Boston, Massachusetts.

Since 2018, he has been president/CEO of Digitex Media, a strategic spin-off from Maker Media Group, which was established to streamline legal and document organization for compliance.  

From 2013-2018, Salgado founded Skybotica, a drone manufacturing startup. He created the Skybot FW, which served many clients as a surveying platform for construction purposes.

Recently, Salgado worked to set up sensors for marketing in Mexico-based Walmarts. The sensors follow a customer (with the customer’s permission) throughout the store, letting them know about current store specials.

Before Salgado, O'Donnell brought entrepreneur Nicolaus Radford to campus.

O’Donnell’s first guest speaker was a young, local entrepreneur, Nicolaus Radford, who founded Nauticus Robotics, a company developing the future of sustainable blue economy tech. Radford serves as its founder, president, and chief executive officer, and many of his crew were his former NASA team members.

Radford, was hired by NASA.  He was the first-generation in his family to go to college. He shared this and other stories with students. He also made himself available to the 10 students after the one-hour talk to answer questions and network.

"Networking Is the foundation of your career success," said O'Donnell, who met Radford in an Investment Club that they both belong to.

O'Donnell's own Entrepreneurial Success includes Plant It Forward Farms

O'Donnell is a successful serial entrepreneur with a heart for human dignity. He and his sister founded Plant-It-Forward Farms, on the corner of Yupon and Sul Ross in 2011, next to the Center for Faith & Culture. This initiative supports refugees and advocates for refugee resettlement and immigrant communities, fair wages and dignified work, sustainable agriculture and environmental protection, social justice for people of color, and equitable food access. Plant It Forward Farms grows and harvests fresh seasonal produce for Houston year-round. 

One way the community supports Plant It Forward farmers is by purchasing their produce or volunteering in the garden. The produce is sold through farmer's markets, farm share subscriptions, and farm stands and is distributed for restaurant sales. The farm on UST’s campus was highlighted on the late Anthony Bourdain's show, “Parts Unknown Houston.”

For O'Donnell and Teresa, Plant It Forward Farms was an excellent opportunity to expose UST students to reasoning, compassion, tolerance, and an understanding that things are not always as they seem.