Current business partners Reynaldo Valdez and Borja Arteaga met while studying the Bachelor in Business Administration at IE University. Reynaldo hoped to use the program as a launchpad to future success, drawing on his learnings to leave a positive impact. Borja was looking for a program that would escalate the passion he found for entrepreneurship during his summers in entrepreneurship camps. These hopes laid the groundwork for a career that’s come to be defined by innovation and entrepreneurship.

As co-founders of ValdeAr, Reynaldo and Borja are using their skills to find sustainable solutions for the animal feed industry while making a difference in environmental issues. We recently caught up with them to hear about their journeys at IE University and the current happenings at ValdeAr.

How did your background motivate you to pursue entrepreneurship?

Reynaldo:  My main goal is to impact people positively. 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.

Borja: Summer entrepreneurship camps were a highlight of my youth, sparking a taste for creating and collaborating on projects with friends. This passion led me to create ValdeAr and other ventures.

Reynaldo Valdez
Borja Arteaga

Please give us a brief overview of your startup, ValdeAr.

Reynaldo & Borja: 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 mean we can offer our customers transparent, competitive pricing.

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’re 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?

Reynaldo: Like many young entrepreneurs in Spain, we grappled with bureaucratic hurdles such as taxation and certification. The challenge of securing initial funding was another barrier. Fortunately, IE University’s flexible learning schedule allowed us to balance our academic and entrepreneurial endeavors effectively. Patience and passion continue to guide me through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. When you’re engaged in work you truly love, it doesn’t feel like a burden.
Borja: After facing the challenges of launching and running a startup, I’ve learned that the follow-up is crucial, sometimes even more so than the initial outreach. Persistence has always been the key.

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

Reynaldo & Borja: Our time at IE University was instrumental in developing the skills necessary for our venture’s success. The curriculum and group projects honed our 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 we 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.

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

Reynaldo & Borja: Our IE Experience equipped us with 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.

Where do you see ValdeAr in the next few years?

Reynaldo & Borja: Regarding future goals, our ambition is to solidify ValdeAr’s presence in Venezuela and Spain before expanding into new markets. We’re currently exploring opportunities for expansion and diversification, venturing into the human nutrition market and pharmaceutical industry to broaden our impact and reach.

Any words of advice for fellow entrepreneurs? 

Reynaldo & Borja: Our advice is to start early. Don’t wait for the perfect idea or the right amount of experience. Your greatest assets are persistence and a willingness to embrace the journey with all its uncertainties.