Alumni-run AgileThought pays it forward with generous support for MIS students

Oct 02, 2017

AgileThought_Leadership_Ryan_Dorrell_David_Romine_Jeff_AlagoodSuccessful alumni Dave Romine, Ryan Dorrell and Jeff Alagood hope recent gifts to the College of Business will spark the same kind of student collaboration and synergy that led them to create AgileThought, a Tampa-based information technology company.

Since its creation in 2004, the company, focused on custom software solutions, has had enviable success by almost any measure. Its average annual growth for the past 14 years has been 44 percent, with a projected growth of 53 percent for 2017. It has grown from three employees to 300, and from one office location to four. It’s been on the Inc. 5000 list, which ranks the fastest-growing companies in America, for 10 consecutive years. And last year, it placed No. 4 on Fortune magazine’s “50 Best Workplaces for New College Grads,” outranking Google, which came in at No. 17.  

“As young entrepreneurs, we started our business driven by a passion for the specific work we had done at our first jobs in enterprise software development in large corporations,” said Romine (MIS ’96), AgileThought’s CEO. “While the FSU management information systems (MIS) program did a tremendous job preparing us for this type of work, it took the launching and growth of our own business to realize how well the college prepared us for the numerous business challenges that we would face outside of IT. I’m still amazed 20 years later, we can trace our fundamental business acumen back to what we learned and experienced at FSU.” 

So, Romine said, it seemed fitting that he and co-founders Dorrell (MIS ’95) and Alagood (MAR ’94) would want to support and enrich the college’s MIS program, its students and the IT industry in general. 

They’re well on the way to accomplishing those goals with two recent gifts – $100,000 to establish the AgileThought Student Collaboration Lab in Legacy Hall, the college’s new home, and $75,000 to create the AgileThought Fund for MIS Student Excellence, that will support student travel to competitions, cloud-based services that provide students with tools for big data analysis, and enterprise data storage.

“We see our gift as a way of removing barriers and opening up more opportunities to students for engagement, all toward enhancing the excellent educational experience provided by FSU,” Romine said.

“If you look at the breadth of the impact our gift can have – from giving students the ability to collaborate in a purpose-built, real-world influenced lab environment, to the ability to travel to student competitions, to full-time accessibility of enterprise technology services – these activities will provide an advantage to students as they prepare for careers in IT.”

Romine, Dorrell, Alagood and John Wagner, a University of Arizona graduate, hatched the idea for AgileThought while working in close quarters in the software development department at Arthur Andersen in early 2001. Romine, Dorrell and Wagner followed through with the plan three years later, and within the first year, the company generated more than $1 million in revenue. Alagood first opted for a position at a major accounting firm, eventually joining AgileThought in 2011.

“These alumni provide an excellent example of giving back and paying it forward for the next generation of business leaders,” said Dean Michael Hartline. “We’re incredibly proud of the success Dave, Ryan and Jeff have achieved, and grateful to the entire team at AgileThought for their generosity and foresight.”

By Barbara Ash

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