Learning as She Goes
Crystal Taggart, Eller MBA ’13
Principal, Atlas Innovations LLC
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Over the past six months, Crystal Taggart has launched two startups focused on human resource information solutions for small and mid-sized businesses.
“I was able to use my last courses in the MBA program to build the marketing plan and business plan for my startup, which I launched in Q1 of this year,” she said. “I took an entrepreneurship module, which gave me some great tools to assess my efforts and conduct revenue modelling – it was one of the best things in the program. The second class that was helpful was a social media strategy class, which forced me to create a plan for my launch.”
Through her company, Atlas Innovations, Taggart launched Laernos.com, a mobile and web-based learning management solution that makes it easy to schedule, push, share, and track elearning, and VelocityHiring.com, a recruiting automation solution that makes it easy to phone and video screen candidates.
Taggart has over 18 years of experience in roles including development, software architecture, design, project management, and management, but she said that even as recently as 10 years ago, she wouldn’t have expected to be starting her own company.
“When I graduated from high school, I was a lost soul,” she said. “I planned to become a masseuse and live on the beach in Mexico.” Instead, she found herself working in technology. “I started in development, then moved into management roles.” Along the way, she completed her degree in global business from ASU. “I was working for a Fortune 500 company and wanted to be more successful,” she said. The time was right for an MBA.
“The program was helpful from the first class,” she said. “We had a leadership intensive that helped me better understand my role and the role of my team within the company. I gained tremendous insights into those dynamics.”
Since completing the program, she’s also written four books.
“Education is crucial,” Taggart said. She continues to stay involved in the Eller College through the Eller MBA Alumni Club of Maricopa County, and has expanded her support network through participation in the CEI (Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation) incubator in Phoenix.
Going forward, she said, “My focus is to create a company that creates productive business solutions through technology solutions and training that helps companies do more with less.”
Top photo courtesy Crystal Taggart.