After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1996 with degrees in Geological Engineering (BS, ‘96) and Geological and Geophysical Engineering (MS, ‘97) and a certificate from the Eller College of Management Entrepreneurship Program (‘97), Tom BoBo became a founding partner of Split Engineering, LLC in Tucson, Arizona, and has been with the company nearly 23 years. During his time at the University of Arizona, BoBo was also a student-athlete, earning a four-year scholarship and lettering in three of his four seasons with the team. He has been involved in Eagle Scouts and Boy Scouts of America and has had numerous publications and presentations for the ISEE, SME, NSSGA over the years, but he says his biggest accomplishment to date has to be the birth of his twin boys, Ryder and Aiden, with his beautiful wife, Jennifer.
5 Questions with Tom BoBo ('97)
Q. What is most surprising about being an entrepreneur?
A. How small the world really is! Running an international business in the mining industry has led me to travel extensively ~68 countries over the past 20+ years. While the cultures are quote diverse, with the digital age, the world has become small. The other and most important thing has been creating jobs that are life long careers with great people! These families rely on the business’s success.
Q. What was the most important lesson you learned in the Entrepreneurship Program?
A. "Trim the fat," less is more...in our pitches and presentations, we need to get to the point and not repeat, minimize fluff. People see through the BS and we need to show the value of the business we are selling.
Q. What impact has the Entrepreneurship Program had on your career or life?
A. Well, significant...For that past 23 years we have been running the venture we pitched way back in 1996, commercialized in Dec. 1997 and recently sold...I have not known anything else.
Fun Fact: “I attended the U of A on an athletic scholarship for football. Bear Down!”
Q. What do you consider your biggest entrepreneurial success?
A. Creating jobs for families around the world and creating a step change in mining operations globally with our technology.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
A. Believe in yourself, your team and advisors. Hard work does pay off, be relentless in your vision and dream, put the work in to realize it. Identify a great team to get the job done, where there is minimal overlap in the structure, so everyone has equal weight to pull. Ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction.