This week we are shining our CalMU Business Spotlight on VeeVAçaí Spirit, and not just because it’s a “better way to drink.” After talking it over, we chose to highlight their business for two main reasons: innovation and sustainability. They are the perfect example of striking while the iron is hot, something that is paramount for starting a business and something we stress in our on-campus, hybrid and online MBA programs.
Over the past few years we have heard and seen a lot of one of the world’s most popular super fruits, the Brazilian açaíberry. Founded in 2006, VeeV is the world’s first açaíspirit, tying together two contrasting products: alcohol and antioxidants. They use all-natural ingredients and make their not-so-guilt pleasure in a renewable wind-powered distillery, so you don’t have to feel guilty about what you may do on the weekends.
Moreover, they recognize the need for sustainability, especially in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest (which as we all know is continually falls victim to deforestation). For every bottle they sell, they donate $1 to Sambazon’s Sustainable AçaíProject. So not only have they pioneered a new ‘spirited’ product that has picked up on an emerging trend (pun intended), but they also are environmentally and socially conscious, making them true innovators in the Food and Beverage industry.
In 2007, a year after being starting their operations, they had 10 employees and grossed $147,673 that year, according to Inc.com. As momentum picked up for the health benefits of the açaíberry, so too did their business growth. Three years later, their 2010 revenue was $2.1 million, a 1316% growth rate over that three-year span. They continue to make headlines with their environmental activism and have come to be loved and consequently endorsed by celebrities, a great endorsement that transcends international borders.
So for our on-campus, Hybrid MBA and online MBA students, there are two lessons to learn from VeeV. One: ingenuity in creating a product that brings together two popular and important parts of society. Two: giving back to the people, plant and planet that are the reasons they were able to launch and grow so successfully.
From the entire California Miramar University faculty and staff, thank you for being a prime example of how to create and run a successful business. We wish you continued success and are very happy to shine the CalMU Business Spotlight on you.