Jeremy Rincon (’08)
Jeremy Rincon (’08) and his company, Clarus Glassboards, went from the 11th to the sixth spot on the Cougar 100 over the past two years. That means that he leads the sixth fastest-growing Cougar-owned company in the pool of companies that submitted their businesses for competition.
Business is certainly booming in Fort Worth, Texas. In a hilarious parody video on his company’s website, he and his business partner give competitors advice on how to make cheaper and more poorly-made versions of their glassboards. In it, he makes it clear that Clarus manufactures their glassboards in the U.S. and that they spare no expense in making the product or in providing the best service to their customers. You can check it out “How to Knock Off a Clarus Glassboard” in their video gallery.
LUNAR COUGAR: What inspired you to open Clarus Glassboards? Tell me about your journey from undergraduate to business owner — and Cougar 100 business owner, at that!
JEREMY RINCON: I majored in finance with a belief that I would one day start my own business. I guess I believed that the path would be different, but things changed when my first job out of college went out of business in 2008. Competition in financial services was stiff and my resume was already blemished from being a part of a failed company.
I decided that then was as good of a time as ever to cash in on that dream of starting my own business. Times were tough and there were certainly dark days, but seven years later, and now at almost 200 employees, I feel very fortunate to have graduated from college at such a turbulent time.
Why did you choose glassboards? Did you see a need or gap in the industry?
My business partner and I had seen people writing on glass at a bank overseas. We thought it was a novel concept and were determined that we could turn it into a marketable product. It took some R&D to get the glass and the coatings just right but once we did, we knew we had a winning product.
How do you use your degree from UH in your everyday life?
Finance was a great degree for an aspiring entrepreneur. To be honest, my accounting classes have really meant a lot to me. I firmly believe that having a strong footing in both accounting and finance is essential to creating a first class enterprise.
How has your education at UH shaped your life?
I genuinely believe that I received a world class education. I hold my education from UH in high regard and take great pride in the institution. The University of Houston exudes a spirit of overcoming obstacles and breaking down barriers. Cougars always feel they have something to prove, which is exactly why they outperform everybody else in the field.
Did you have a favorite professor or class at UH?
Professor Charles Guez and Professor Ramon Rabinovich. Funny how classes in Derivatives and Banking can teach you so much more than those two topics when taught by the right professors.
What do you like best about the city of Houston?
I miss Houston. Unfortunately I had to leave to start Clarus. I would definitely be at every UH football, basketball and baseball game if I was still there. I catch every game I can, though.
What are your hobbies?
Family first, but cars and golf round me out.
What advice do you have for current UH students?
Be flexible. You never know what opportunities will come if you stick around another 10 minutes.