Alex Huertas is the founder of Northweek, a company born in 2013 in Cabrera de Mar (Barcelona), selling that year 20,000 pairs of sunglasses; a year later, 100,000, and this year it expects to close with sales of eight million euros. Alex studied Marketing and Digital Communities at the Pompeu Fabra University and supplemented his training with a master's degree at the University of Rome on Business Administration.
How old are you Alex?
28 just turned.
What studies have you done?
I did not finish high school, I did not like what I was doing and I left it halfway, after a few existential doubts I did a higher degree in business management and then I entered a career in marketing and advertising at Pompeu Fabra University. Finished.
When you started working, did you have experiences in companies?
I've never worked for anyone other than myself. I started very early, at the age of 13, to buy and sell things through the network, seeing that one could make a living with it and this retail led to Northweek when I was 18 years old.
How was your startup Northweek born?
It wasn't overnight, it's obvious. As I mentioned, I have always been very savvy in buying and selling, I was good at finding products that people around me could like, buying and selling them. Later we started to do this but already on the net, we sold on websites and forums. We realized that there was business and there was a lot of market.
When we turned 18, Héctor, my friend and partner, and I decided that what we really wanted was to have our own company, a company with an office, some workers, a monthly salary… a bit of a kid's dream. We looked for a product that could be sold to people like us and we saw that there was a hole in the glasses, there was no brand that young people could buy quietly, only the historic luxury or semi-luxury brands, so we decided to make a hole, make a product of a medium quality at a very reasonable price and all dressed in a powerful brand image. We invested what little we had to buy the product and build the website and the rest is history.
Why did you sell it?
It was a cluster of circumstances, asked like this it seems that it was from one day to the next, the sales opportunity arose 3 years after being born and when the company grew and grew without stopping. Hawkers was offered, which at that time was our fiercest competition, and after almost a year of negotiating we decided to merge into a single company keeping both brands in the market working independently.
There were many reasons, one of them was the exponential increase in the prices of online advertising, we were overwhelmed to think that if the costs continued to rise (how it has been) we would be drowned in the future, Hawkers was also concerned about this issue so together we were stronger, eliminated competition and managed to optimize costs.
After this experience, it seems to me that you are taking another path, that of training … have you set up another startup?
Well, I would not call it a startup, I would call it a personal project, but possibly the personal project that has made me most excited in recent years.
What is "From 0 to 1 million" and what is your goal?
FROM 0 TO 1 MILLION is a life experience program for anyone who would like to undertake, has a project in mind or is already enrolled in it.
The objective with this course is to guide these people in their projects from scratch, I know what it is to start without experience, without contacts, without money and without anyone to help you, I have stuck a lot in all this time, everything It was based on trial and error and today I am going to fixed shot, the goal is that people in my program can go to fixed shot as well, saving them time and money.
Know where to get the money for the first investment, where to find the first suppliers and how to deal with them when you still have nothing, how to manage the first sales and those to come, how to grow the business exponentially and how to manage this growth… Everything.
Is it based only on your experience?
It is based on my personal experience and everything I have seen and learned over all these years with Northweek and other companies that I have been close to or shared stories with.
How does it work ?
The course itself is almost 10 hours of videos where in first person and organized by topics and chapters I tell everything that I have described above. Additionally, there are some plans that include mentoring hours that are really interesting and I love them, where I sit down from you to you with the entrepreneurs to give them a first-hand cable on their project, to be able to advise them from within, pass on knowledge, contacts, everything necessary and exclusive for your business model
Being on the Forbes list of 30 young people under 30, what does it mean to you and how much has it helped you in your new project?
It is a recognition of my work, and little else. I would not know how to quantify how much being in Forbes has helped me, I suppose it gives credibility to people but the credibility should be given by my career in Northweek more than by what a magazine says.
But yes, it is a pride and it is really cool that the most important magazine in the world in the business sector recognizes you in this way, that will be there forever and nobody will take it away from me. It's like someone who has an Oscar.
What are the keys, the most important, to set up, launch, consolidate or sell a Startup?
There are many, and each business is different, for me the most important thing is to leave your soul in the project, maximum dedication, it may sound like a cliché but it is that consistency, work and focus is what leads to success, breaking your head every day, having clear objectives, knowing where we want to go, in short having things clear and a cool mind is for me something fundamental when starting a start up.
Your next goal: consolidate "From 0 to 1 million" or sell?
My goal is to take from 0 to 1 million as far as possible, it is a project that excites me a lot, it gives me the opportunity to meet many very valid and eager entrepreneurs and young people, to see new companies, ideas and business models . I love being around like-minded people, and with DE0A1M I'm doing it.