Reynaldo Valdez traveled a long path to join IE University and the Bachelor in Business Administration. He hoped to use the program as a launchpad to future success, drawing on his learnings to leave a positive impact. This desire laid the groundwork for a career that’s come to be defined by innovation and entrepreneurship. As co-founder of ValdeAr, Reynaldo is using his skills to find sustainable solutions for the animal feed industry while making a difference in environmental issues along the way.

How did your background motivate you to pursue entrepreneurship?

Raised in Caracas, Venezuela, I witnessed firsthand the challenges of living in a country with untapped potential. This experience motivated me to seek a better future at IE University, where I found an environment that inspired me to make a difference. ValdeAr confirmed my belief that impactful ventures can be created by whoever is willing to sacrifice and work hard—and smart—regardless of the adversities presented along the way.

My main motive to pursue entrepreneurship is to impact people positively. I believe that there are a significant number of problems worth exploring and solving.

Can you provide us with a brief overview of your startup, ValdeAr?

Our venture, ValdeAr SL, operates in the digital commerce space of animal nutrition. We identified and capitalized on the inefficiencies in the additives distribution chain. In particular, we specialize in providing nutritional additives for animals, including amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Our logistic efficiency and technological infrastructure allow us to offer our customers transparent, competitive pricing.

At ValdeAr, our vision is to lead in sustainable and healthy animal nutrition through innovative products and personalized service, revolutionizing the industry and promoting well-being across ecosystems. We are guided by our mission, which is to offer expert advice, timely solutions and personalized support in animal nutrition. By ensuring seamless logistic support and clear communication, we partner in our clients’ success.

What’s one challenge you had to overcome when starting your business?

Like many young entrepreneurs in Spain, we grappled with bureaucratic hurdles such as taxation and certification, as well as the challenge of securing initial funding. Fortunately, IE University’s flexible learning schedule allowed us to balance our academic and entrepreneurial endeavors effectively. Patience and passion have guided me through the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial process. When you’re engaged in work you truly love, it doesn’t feel like a burden.

How did your time at IE University prepare you to run your own company?

My time at IE University was instrumental in developing the skills necessary for our venture’s success. The curriculum and group projects honed my ability to work as a team, make data-driven decisions and adapt to online collaboration tools during the global pandemic. An unexpected yet invaluable skill I acquired was system management through Microsoft Excel, which has been essential for our company’s operations. 

Networking at annual fairs around the world, along with mentorship from our board members and the entire IE Community, have been pivotal to our overall strategy and success. These experiences have enriched our venture, providing insights and opening doors to new opportunities.

When it comes to future goals, our ambition is to solidify ValdeAr’s presence in both Venezuela and Spain before expanding into new markets. We are currently exploring opportunities for expansion and diversification, venturing into the human nutrition market and pharmaceutical industry to broaden our impact and reach.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

My university experience equipped me with both the hard, analytical competencies and soft skills crucial for entrepreneurship. But in hindsight, embracing technology and analytics even more could have further enhanced our venture’s foundation.

Any words of advice for fellow entrepreneurs? 

My advice to entrepreneurs is to start early. Don’t wait for the perfect idea or the right amount of experience. Persistence and a willingness to embrace the journey with all its uncertainties are your greatest assets.