2017 Best & Brightest: Jake Teitelbaum, Wake Forest

Jake Teitelbaum

Wake Forest School of Business

“Crunchy businessman.”

Fun fact about yourself: I used to only be able to grow hair on the right side of my face (radiation).

Hometown: Durham, CT

High School: Coginchaug Regional High School

Major: Business & Spanish

Favorite Business Courses: Ethics, Design Thinking, Strategy

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • WFU Chambers Seed Grant Competition Winner (3X)
  • Thiel Fellowship Summit member
  • Levar Antwain Hairston Courage Award
  • Teague Scholar, Hobbs Student Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement
  • Member of Ritmo Latino (Latin dance club)
  • Member of Outdoor Pursuits

Where have you interned during your college career?

Resilience Project Inc.

Founder & CEO

  • Achieved over $27000 in sales in our first fiscal quarter
  • Raised over $6700 to for donation to financially disadvantaged chronically ill patients
  • Featured in Winston-Salem Journal, NPR, and USA Today College

Fifth-Letter

Business Development Intern

  • Developed minimum viable product of Smpl (pitch refinement tool) and brought to market.
  • Improved SearchRank position by 75% by using web analytical software to manage and track SEO related changes.
  • Boosted Social Media following by 50% by auditing current practices, creating a best practices reference guide, and calendar for suggested postings.

No Bad Apple

Founder & CEO

  • Employed extensive customer interviews and data analytics to successfully pivot online grocery business specializing in local and organic foods from its initial concept as a platform marketplace.
  • Generated over $12,000 in sales during seven week pilot in fall of 2015 while growing team to 10 members.
  • Applied lean methodology to extend $6000 seed grant prize into four pilots and two and half years in runway time.
  • Implemented logistical system to receive, process, and distribute over 200 SKUs for $600 in operating expenses per week.

Xhale Assurance

Business Strategy Intern 

  • Designed and coded VBA program to graph key parameters of the Nasal Ala Sensor test results, allowing management to easily identify trends within batches.
  • Provided weekly reports to company president on production, inventory, and sales levels.

Describe your dream Job: Challenging the notion that business exists solely to make a profit, my dream job is leading an organization that operates at the intersection of business and solving critical social issues.

Who is your favorite professor? Amy Wallis. She’s incredibly adept at facilitating class discussion and getting students to think big picture — how things impact not only business, but the world as a whole.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? Majoring in business while working on my own entrepreneurial endeavors allowed me to directly apply what I was learning in the classroom with my own businesses.

Where would you like to work after graduation? Resilience Project, CEO

What are your long-term professional goals? To create an organization widely renowned for its positive impact on all stakeholders involved.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Clearly you have strong professional goals and ambition, but have you thought about what you value in your personal life? Continue to evaluate your personal values and find a career that allows you to maximize those.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…my professor told us that we had a responsible to be agents of the change we seek.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…majoring in Computer science and Spanish.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? Receiving a clean pet scan after 18 months of treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? The work we’ve done at Resilience Project to not only provide tangible financial resources to patients struggling to pay for care, but also the emotional support we provide in helping them bring personality to treatment and providing art therapy.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? Turtle: deliberate and methodical.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My brother for showing me the meaning of perseverance. He struggled with mental health for a long time and his battle has given me a new perspective on perseverance.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? He was driven yet humble.

Favorite book: An Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan

Favorite movie: Moonlight

Favorite musical performer: Chance

Favorite vacation spot: Iceland

What are your hobbies? Rock climbing, running, yoga, biking, swimming, basketball, dancing

What made Jake such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“About four years ago, I led a workshop for Wake Forest students on how to pitch entrepreneurial ideas. Jake came up to me after the presentation to ask a series of insightful questions and to share his entrepreneurial aspirations. In the four years since that first discussion, I’ve had the pleasure of a front row seat on Jake’s entrepreneurial journey, watching as he has launched two entrepreneurial ventures and assessed many others.

Jake is one of the most hard-working and disciplined students I have known in my 10-plus years of working with college students. After years of balancing his entrepreneurial ventures with other responsibilities, he understands the value of limited resources — he doesn’t just work harder, he works smarter. Jake is mature beyond his years and passionate about causes that matter, pursuing them with a focused determination and a cheerful disposition. Nonetheless, he always has understood the value of stepping back to assess progress and tweak his game plan. He is an exceptional, motivated, lifelong learner with intellectual interests and specific academic and career goals that will serve him well. Most importantly, Jake balances effective business acumen with incredible compassion and understanding — the marks of a true leader who will go far in today’s world.”

Bren Varner
Senior Lecturer, Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Director, Business & Enterprise Management Degree Program
Wake Forest University

DON’T MISS: THE FULL HONOR ROLL: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS MAJORS OF 2017