Release Date: June 9, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. – As early as the second grade, Robert “Bob” Neubert had an eye for opportunity. The young mogul earned his first profit creating and selling toys to his classmates.
Neubert, now with seven ventures under his belt, will join the University at Buffalo faculty in August as a clinical assistant professor in the School of Management and director of the Entrepreneurship Academy.
A serial entrepreneur and educator who transitioned from the pharmaceutical industry, Neubert will share with students the experiences and lessons that helped him launch and sell five businesses.
“There’s nothing like the fulfillment you get when a student understands a concept and it becomes beneficial in their life. That’s what drives me,” says Neubert, whose courses will focus on entrepreneurship.
Neubert is the academy’s second director and will begin his three-year term at the start of the fall semester. He will take over for Yong Li, associate professor in the School of Management, whose term as director recently ended. During his tenure, Li helped establish the annual Elevator Pitch competition and ELab, a winter-session crash course on entrepreneurship.
“The Entrepreneurship Academy was created to meet student demand at virtually a moment’s notice. Fortunately, its inaugural director was full of abundant goodwill and ceaseless energy,” says Andrew Stott, dean of undergraduate education.
“Starting from scratch, Yong took the germ of an idea and built it into one of the most vibrant and energetic pockets of activity on campus,” Stott says. “Through his innovative winter session classes, nail-biting pitch competitions or entrepreneurship seminar, Yong has provided academy students with a platform to make, invent and succeed. I thank him for all his hard work and am glad to know that Bob inherits a wonderful foundation for the continued growth of undergraduate entrepreneurship at UB.”
Neubert joins UB after teaching as an adjunct professor at Lebanon Valley College, where he also earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and management.
A former research chemist, Neubert managed divisions for companies that include Eastman Kodak, Westinghouse, SmithKline Beecham and Merck & Company.
In 1996, when he recognized an opportunity in the pharmaceutical industry caused by the passing of a law — or what Neubert refers to as “entrepreneurial awareness” — he resigned from his job and started Dakota Service Corporation in his garage.
Dakota Services provided pharmaceutical companies with prescription sampling compliance systems and salesforce management software. Within 18 months, the company grew to more than 250 employees and provided services to more than half of the pharmaceutical sales representatives in the United States.
After selling Dakota Services, Neubert launched several ventures that introduced data analytics to the pharmaceutical and restaurant industries.
Neubert is currently consulting for Snapcause — which he also co-founded — an app that helps consumers donate to their favorite causes by uploading a photo of their bill from a participating restaurant. The startup has established partnerships with several nonprofits, including the National School Boards Association.
“I want to teach students how to be aware of market opportunities,” says Neubert. “To be aware of what customers’ needs and desires are, and to find ways to deliver, that’s what defines the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Neubert received an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University.