GoBag: Past Summer Venture Program Participants: Where Are They Now? (2017 Series: Part 2)
Serial entrepreneur Andres Valencia, MBA’15, participated in the 2014 Summer Venture Program with the company GoBag, which sold customizable and lightweight water bottles. Although GoBag is no longer in operation, Andres’ entrepreneurial spirit means that he is always looking for new opportunities. Most recently, this passion led him to Indonesia!
What made you want to apply to the Summer Venture Program?
The Summer Venture Program has a great reputation and I wanted to get involved with the “crème de la crème” of Babson entrepreneurs. I also knew that SVP would help me move my business forward. It was a no-brainer because I came to Babson to do all things related to entrepreneurship.
Where are you now compared to when you participated in SVP?
GoBag has since closed, but I met a business partner on the program with whom I launched Cociel Foods. With Cociel, we were B.E.T.A. Challenge finalists and were selected as the one of the Coolest College Startups by Inc. Magazine. Today, Cociel is no longer running. However, my business partner, Diego, and I have moved to Bali, Indonesia, to explore opportunities in Asia. Although my previous businesses did not move forward, I grew significantly from the relationships I forged during the Summer Venture Program.
What is the biggest thing you got out of the experience?
Anyone who considers themselves a Babson entrepreneur should participate in the Summer Venture Program. In addition to the mentorship, the help, the friends, and the memorable moments, SVP teaches participants what entrepreneurship is all about and really gets the Babson entrepreneurial culture in their veins. Interacting with so many bright minds and young entrepreneurs is where I learned the most.
What is your favorite memory from SVP?
Sharing a living space with the other entrepreneurs in Mattos Hall. In the evenings, there were countless secrets and business stories shared. One night, Daquan Oliver told us one of his stories and amazed everyone. Although he was much younger than us, he had managed to get huge media coverage!
Anything else you’d like people to know?
I do think that SVP is a must if you truly want to understand the entrepreneurial mindset and move your business forward. However, it is only a piece of the wheel. During the rest of the year, you should be highly involved with the Butler Launch Pad, work in the Blank Center co-working space, participate in events (including Rocket Pitch and B.E.T.A. Challenge), and most importantly, keep in touch with the other entrepreneurs.