Ty’s at Washburn University

Michael McDonald is a freshman business and mass media major

Ty Walrod, co-founder and CEO of Bright Funds, was guest for the Feb. 20 Wake Up with Washburn breakfast lecture. The lecture series includes four programs during the academic year and assembles a versatile lineup of outstanding Washburn alumni from across the country. Each program begins with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the Convocation Hall of Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.

After growing up in Elkhart, Ks. Pop. 2000, Ty Walrod, co-founder and CEO of Bright Funds, set to better himself by attending Washburn University from 2002-2006.  As a member of Collegiate Entrepreneurs, Washburn Student Government Association, and several other clubs and organizations, Walrod capitalized on this opportunity.

Also during his time at Washburn, Walrod experienced his first failure in business by attempting to start a coffee shop in the Union, which sparked the one we have in the library now.

Walrod graduated from Washburn University summa cum laude (highest of honors), in 2006 with a Bachelors in Business Administration. He later received his first job at Deloitte in San Francisco as an auditor. Walrod credits being able to work with CEO’s and founders of various companies as the needed experience to take his business endeavors to the next level.

In 2012, with nine months previous planning without paid work, Walrod and co-founder Rutul Dave launched Bright Funds.  Rumored to be worth millions, Bright Funds remains dedicated to making the word a better place by bringing nonprofit organizations and willing donors together and vice versa.

“I don’t think I’m special,” Walrod said. “But I realized I’ve been equipped with a solid foundation, and I wanted to make an impact that is bigger than myself.”

As well as co-founding and serving on the board of directors of OutServe, a global nonprofit organization that is dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America’s military, Ty has also founded two other companies.

When asked where he gets his drive and steadfast integrity, Ty replied that it’s his outstanding team that keeps him motivated.

“…wanting to build something bigger than me, greater than the sum of the parts, and we’re doing that with Bright Fund… that keeps me motivated,” Walrod said.

During his speech, Walrod continually reinforced that anyone in the audience has the potential to build a startup. Expelling fear of failure, with dedication and commitment, and the right network of people, we all can achieve our goals, live our dreams.

Walrod now lives in San Francisco, and when he’s not helping to better the community or donating time to inspire students, he climbs mountains, metaphorically and literally “such as the big ones in Peru.”

“I’m grateful for Washburn for giving me a rock solid foundation that people respect and appreciate,” Walrod said, “I’m probably the biggest fan of Washburn.”