Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

2017 SVP Startup Profile: Wanku

Nicolás Estrella and Juan Giraldo of Wanku

Juan Giraldo MBA’18: Co-founder & CEO
Nicolás Estrella: Co-founder & CMO

What’s Wanku?
Wanku is bringing a delicious herbal infusion known as the ‘healing water’ that has been consumed for centuries in the Andes Mountains because of its health properties.

What is the story behind your startup?
7 months ago me (Juan) and my co-founder Nico Estrella went in a road trip to the southern part of Ecuador. There we met Don Miguel, a local smallholder farmer and he introduced us to a local herbal infusion known as “el agua que cura”, which means “the healing water”, an infusion made up with more than 20 herbs and flowers from the Andes.

It was delicious! It was fruity and aromatic with a hint of lemon.
He told us they have been drinking the healing water for centuries because of its health properties: it naturally soothes the body and helps the digestive system.

That day, Don Miguel also shared his story with us and told us how hard it is to make a living as a producer of the medicinal herbs used for the ‘healing water’. They struggle with low incomes because they lack access to big markets and they can’t sell their produce at good prices.

This event inspired us to create a market driven solution for this social problem. We want to share this amazing drink with the world, and by doing this we are going to be able to help Ecuadorian independent farmers improve their quality of life.

Watch our quick clip:

What’s been a big milestone/accomplishment you’ve made since Summer Venture Program started?
Launched the company and started sales

What’s been a big obstacle/surprise that you faced?
Dealing with manufacturers can get really hard and frustrating when you are a startup because of the small number of units you are going to produce at the beginning plus regulations and FDA compliance.

Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs that you want to share?

  • Entrepreneurship & Business is a team sport: Even though there are successful businessmen/-women who have been able to build exceptional businesses by themselves, I truly believe that working in a team considerably increases the chances to succeed. It has positive effects not only from a psychological perspective – starting a business is a roller coaster of emotions –, but from a functional perspective, too. There is no way in which you could be the best of the world in everything you do. With a team, you will focus on things you do well and your teammates will take care of the areas you are not so good at.
  • Focus on building a business and not raising capital. When you build a successful business, money will follow.

Meet Wanku at the Summer Venture Showcase on Thursday July 27. Register now! >>