WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL Alumni
MOBILE APP DEVELOPER HELPS PEOPLE TAKE BACK CONTROL OF THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Rob Banagale graduated from Wilson in 1998. After high school, he went on to study Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University. Rob became interested in organized social activities in college and served for three years as an electronica and rock DJ for KBVR FM. He was elected to vice president of the Memorial Union his senior year and was awarded the E.C. Alworth award for his service in this position. After college, Rob worked for Mentor Graphics Corp in Wilsonville doing marketing and technical writing. In the evenings, he built a fan website for Dave Matthews Band fans that became popular and still has an active forum with nearly 35k members. (http://www.weeklydavespeak.com/forums).
Deciding he wanted a stronger understanding for business, Rob enrolled in Babson College for a full-time MBA graduate program starting in 2007, with a focus on entrepreneurship and leadership. He served as co-president of the environmental club and worked with two other graduate students to get the Babson Wind Turbine installed on the campus. Babson College was Rob's first exposure to smartphone mobile applications. His former roommate was a CS PhD student at Rice University, and they collaborated remotely on a series of iPhone apps when the Apple App Store opened in 2008. Their apps included the first Baby Names application for the iPhone, which still sells today. (http://neutrinosllc.com/products/iphone/applications/babynames/).
After graduate school, Rob created another mobile application for iPad called Rock Show. Rock Show lets you view, share and purchase limited edition concert posters. The app debuted with the introduction of iPad, and Apple chose to feature Rock Show in the Entertainment category of the app store for two months. (http://www.rockshow.fm/). While looking for jobs managing mobile projects, Rob came across a mobile-apps agency in Seattle, called Übermind. He served as an Account Manager and was quickly promoted to Director of Strategic Consulting and Innovation. He worked to position the company as a thought leader in the mobile space and billed as a product owner on application proposals for Fortune 500 companies. Übermind sold to Deloitte Digital at the start of 2012.
With this change, Rob took the opportunity to start a new mobile startup company, Gliph. Gliph is a "digital identity" that lets you connect with someone without having to share your personal information, (think Craigslist or dating). In March his company received seed funding from the Portland Seed Fund. Check out this video to get the scoop.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTTe0iBmSWM&feature=plcp.
Rob's traveled extensively since high school, including backpacking across Europe, where he ran with the bulls in Pamplona and climbing to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Rob's older brother, Ryan Banagale is also a Wilson Alumni ('96) and received his PhD in Musicology from Harvard in May of 2011. Ryan now teaches at Colorado College.
Rob had several influential teachers at Wilson. Mr. Izzy Relampagos, in Advanced Biology, taught Rob more about birds than anyone and is the only teacher who ever sent him to the Vice Principal's office. (It seems that Rob tossed a pencil to a classmate, breaking the "no throwing things" rule.) Mr. Verl Smith was Rob's Computer Science teacher. "I didn't appreciate it at the time," adds Rob, "but he made me learn some rather advanced computer science programming that helped me for the rest of my life. I wish I knew where he was, I would take him to lunch!" One counselor at Wilson was very helpful to Rob during high school. He remembers that he had some trouble at home, "my parents were having some issues and I wasn't always 'being good'. I went to a counselor, I wish I could remember his name and he helped me not feel bad about things. I think he also helped my teachers understand why I wasn't performing as well as I could be." Rob also remembers that Sharlene Paul, in the attendance office, was "super cool to me."
When asked about words of wisdom for current Wilson students, Rob says, "There is no plan, follow your passions. Be kind to yourself and other people. Always be learning, get involved and create stuff. Take risks and accept challenges. Beware of shortcuts, don’t sweat the small stuff."