We are Juan and Nico, founders of Waku – both born and raised in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Our cultural heritage is a crucial part of Waku, from the very name of the company to the products that we want to share with the world. This dream was shaped and launched in Babson College where Juan is currently a MBA student and we are proud to be a Boston brand!
Since we were little kids, our mothers used to prepare herbal infusions for us whenever we felt sick. There is one in particular that we loved the most: "the healing water". So, at the beginning of 2017, we went on a road trip to the south of Ecuador to discover the origin of this traditional beverage.
We arrived in a small village called Chuquiribamba where we met Don Miguel, a local farmer who makes a living by cultivating the medicinal herbs and aromatic flowers used to prepare "the healing water" infusion. He taught us everything about this ancestral tradition, from how it is prepared to how locals revere this beverage for its healing properties.
We were shocked to learn how Don Miguel and his family have to survive with less than $2.00 a day, because they lack the means to get their products to local markets. We decided to start Waku because we saw a large potential market for "the Healing Water" in the U.S., meaning we could actually do something to help farmers like Don Miguel, to improve their livelihoods.
After developing the brand and a prototype of our product, we were accepted into the Babson Summer Venture Program. An intense program that gave us the skills, contacts and resources over the Summer to take our venture off the ground and turn Waku into a reality.
We launched the product through a crowdfunding campaign on PieShell. This was a successful campaign that received important media coverage within Boston and the Beverage Industry. Watch the campaign video>>