Babson Biz Among 16 Finalists Of Inc. Magazine’s Coolest College Start-Ups
UPDATE: Cociel Foods has advanced to the second round. This week’s round ends Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET, with the Final Four announced March 28. Vote for Cociel Foods here.
Just like the March Madness tournament, every startup is voted on and the winners make it to the next round. First round voting started March 15, 2016.
Founders: Andres Valencia M’15, 31; Diego Pacheco M’16, 27
Industry: Food & Beverage
Nominated by: Babson College
The Pitch: Cociel Foods imports traditional Latin American products to the U.S., supporting independent growers and producers who have limited access to international markets. The online store offers tropical-flavored sauces from Costa Rica, including a smoked banana steak sauce and a mango hot sauce. The Babson student founders plan to expand to a wider range of products, like roasted coffee, chocolate-covered exotic fruits, teas and marmalades. Cociel’s subscription-box service will launch later this month, allowing customers to receive product samples for a bimonthly fee. The startup aims to eventually become a certified B-Corporation and devote a percentage of its sales to help establish sustainable sourcing practices throughout Latin America.
Traction: After designing, developing, and sourcing products, Cociel Foods launched its first line of tropical hot sauces in December 2015. It was admitted to Babson’s John E. and Alice L. Venture Accelerator Program and selected to participate in the university’s largest food event. The company was bootstrapped with about $5,000 and is currently seeking an additional $15,000 from outside investors. Cociel made $1,000 from its first year of web-based sales and expects the majority of its future revenue growth to come from the subscription-box service, estimating $60,000 in revenue for 2016. Scalability plans include placing its most popular products in traditional brick-and-mortar retailers under the Cociel brand.
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