What are you studying?
Juan Carlos: I’m studying Chemical Engineering and Computer Science as a dual degree. Mauricio: I already graduated 8 years ago. I studied Chemical Engineering, Spanish, and Business Foundations.
What’s your startup?
Juan Carlos: We recycle energy wasted in HVAC systems and reduce electricity costs to our customers by 10–15%. We do it by using a really efficient wind turbine that we put on roofs of buildings that have centralized air.
How’s your summer been going so far?
Mauricio: Summer has been going awesome. It’s breathtaking to say the least, to be able to be part of a well integrated classroom and group of folks that have the same interests and passion to create a startup. The people here are very helpful and supportive. Coming from an industry of oil and gas for 6 yrs, it’s a 180 degree turn. Learning all the aspects of business and startups has truly catalyzed my career in a whole different way. Juan Carlos: My summer has been extremely busy but gratifying to say the least. It’s a new perspective that I’m really enjoying to get to know and explore. Mauricio: I took business courses but I never took startup classes, I’ve always wanted to start my own business and it’s cool to see what I’m doing here that I didn’t think I was able to do.
How is working in a co-working space?
Juan Carlos: It’s nice to have somewhere to congregate that you know is available and it has people are like minded and are always willing to help. It boosts our motivation and collaboration significantly. Mauricio: It’s very different than what I’m used to. It’s unique, not only get to know basic foundations of startups, but you also get to know other startups and people that are just as passionate as you are. It’s truly enjoyable. I’ve been in other co-working spaces but this is my favorite one. Everyone is so supportive and optimistic.
What’s your favorite aspect of the program?
Juan Carlos: The food! It’s always been great. It’s nice to sit down with my colleagues during Founders’ Lunch to talk and share ideas. Mauricio: For me, it’s the Interactive Mentoring. I get to know other mentors in the startup industries and hear from them. Also, the Founders Startups Series. It shows their stories and how they get through their problems.
How would you describe the culture?
Mauricio: It’s definitely one culture here. We’re in this together. I’m quite fascinated to see two different universities collaborating to reach one goal. It’s usually a more elitist environment, but here everyone is working together and we don’t distinguish from one another. Everyone wants to see each other succeed in every possible way. Juan Carlos: Everyone is willing to help but everyone also expects a lot from you. We hold each other accountable.
How do you feel about the consumption of La Croix here?
Juan Carlos: Above average to say the least. The selection has been great. Not a fan coming into this, but i now am! Mauricio: I didn’t know what La Croix was and I’m so shocked that they call it La Croix by just add a few drops of orange or something and I guess everyone loves it.
Would you still be doing this if it wasn’t for RED Labs?
Juan Carlos: I don’t think so. It would’ve taken us so much longer to get started. It’s been on the back burner for a long time now. It’s great to have this opportunity to get us started. Mauricio: I aspired to have a business 6 years ago. This helped me solidify things and put things into perspective. It would’ve taken us several more years without RED Labs.
What’s a random fact about you?
Juan Carlos: I have 3 citizenships: Spain, Mexico, and the US. Mauricio: I love rock climbing! I still do it. I pray for the best to happen when I do.
If this team was a pop culture character/group, what would it be?
Juan Carlos: We’re ridiculously technical. Maybe the Big Bang Theory? We’re self-proclaimed nerds. Mauricio: I agree.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Mauricio: I really want to thank RED Labs for the opportunity for embracing and guiding us through this. I’ve expressed this many times and I will continue to express this for helping us. I hope that we don’t lose these channel of communications and help because it has been life changing.
Aeolika is a duo with Juan Carlos Mier and Mauricio Andrade.
– As told to UH RED Labs