This year’s winner was WiiHotels, a project that aims to change the hotel business.
We couldn’t be more proud of all the IEU young entrepreneurs out there making their mark on the world. Entrepreneurship is in our DNA here at IEU, and we work hard to encourage creativity and innovation in the classroom.
Our BBA students are required to develop a unique business plan in their first year of study. The best and brightest are selected to participate in our annual Business Plan Challenge, where members of the IEU community, as well as investors and business experts, are invited to discover our students’ creations. Prizes are handed out to the top three business plans.
This year’s winner was WiiHotels, a project that aims to change the hotel business. One of the talented students behind the idea and product is Cayetano Ortiz. Cayetano was also a finalist in the Venture Day competition, where undergrad students compete against grad students at IEU. We are very proud of Cayetano’s achievements, and his success in winning in the Best Project category at the Business Plan Challenge.
Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Cayetano Ortiz, and I am pursuing a BBA at IEU. My family is in the hotel business so I’ve always been searching for ways to improve the industry. I founded my first company when I was sixteen years old. It was based on the import of merchandising for hotels from China. I personally contacted the plants in China, sent them the logo of the hotel and then we agreed on the materials required.
After that venture, I discovered a lipstick that wasn’t manufactured in Spain and I became the only distributor at a national level. I’m currently using the money I earned from that business to fund WiiHotels.
Can you explain the idea and the project?
I started the project as a junior in high school, when I was a member of the entrepreneurship department. I needed to develop an idea into a company, so I started to think about the hotel business. I had to stop because of the selectividad exam [Spanish university entrance exam] before starting up again this year.
Since I started, the idea has completely changed. Now, it’s an app to improve the hotel service provided to customers. The features of the app have been designed by hotel owners.
How did you start the process of creating your start-up while at IEU?
For my management class, we had to present a business plan, so I proposed that my team take on WiiHotels and they accepted. Our professor, Felix Peinado, helped us during the entire process and was a great, supportive mentor to us. He gave us contacts and was available to meet us outside the classroom.
Regarding the Startup Lab, Leticia Ponce played a vital role as well. She has helped constantly as a counselor and is always encouraging me to keep the project alive. I got to Area 31 thanks to Victoria Gimeno, who contacted Conchita Galdón, Director of Area 31, after seeing my project. I was then given the opportunity to participate in Venture Day.
What are the next steps?
Next week, we will be closing the technological part of the project as well as the setup of the company. The idea is to have everything ready in June to coincide with the start of summer.
Why do you think it is important to have an entrepreneurial mindset at university?
There’s a quote I really like by Tony A. Gaskins Jr.: “If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
What advice would you give to a student looking to create a start-up while attending university?
My advice is to look into all the opportunities IEU provides, and take advantage of them. And also, never stop moving. To me, entrepreneurship is like swimming; if you stop, you drown. I mean, I’m only in my first year and I have already won the BP Challenge, been a part of Area 31, and participated in Venture Day.
You can contact Cayetano here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the website! www.wiihotels.com