The startup that emerged in quarantine and made history in Shark Tank Mexico

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In times of quarantine and social distance, many people managed to reinvent themselves, try new things or simply rest and make a stop in their life. In their case, Alejandro Rendón and Génesis Analy García tried to become producers of “ black garlic ”, a situation that led them to Shark Tank México .

“We were in quarantine, locked up by COVID around October, November of last year [2020], and we realized that it was a very good product for these times so that people would know it,” explains Alejandro in an interview for Entrepreneur in Spanish .

This is how “Curandero” was born, a brand that a little later would change its name to “Ajo Mexa”, thanks to the attraction felt by one of the sharks in the show that is broadcast by Sony, towards the former.

What is black garlic?

According to a blog post from Farmacia San Pablo, it is a food that is obtained from the fermentation of garlic that we normally know, at temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees Celsius for 30 days. The production process is carried out with humidity control and without preservatives or other additives.

“It is a traditional white garlic, which undergoes a fermentation process with controlled humidity and temperature, the result is black garlic… The fascinating thing about this is that it becomes a superfood. This product is 10 times more powerful than traditional white garlic, and its texture is smooth and its taste is bittersweet ”, explains Alejandro.

Image: Courtesy of Shark Tank México.

According to the entrepreneurs, this food provides “many health benefits” and in an environment where “everyone began to take better care of themselves” it seemed obvious that this could be an excellent product to offer.

“We saw the opportunity to present it to Mexico so that they could get to know it, so that people will strengthen their immune systems. And what better than through a natural product ”, says the entrepreneur.

“With these times of pandemic people are going to start taking care of themselves, that is the idea we wanted to attack ‘How are we going to start strengthening our body? How will it be in this new normal? ‘ This is how Curandero came about, ”says Génesis.

What are the properties of black garlic?

Apart from not having the strong flavor of traditional garlic, this food is antioxidant, has a high content of amino acids and zinc. Also, it is attributed anti-aging properties, in addition to all the benefits that are known from traditional garlic.

The price of this edible is higher than that of normal garlic. “A loose head costs you about 60/70 [Mexican] pesos, it depends on where you buy it. Yes, it is an expensive product, since it is gourmet, but what is it worth, yes it does. There is no doubt that the product is good ”, says Alejandro.

This is real?

“I had always wanted to participate,” says Génesis when asked about how they got to Shark Tank México, which airs every Friday at 9:30 p.m. on Canal Sony.

“Before all this I was already a fan of the program, I had seen it for a long time and dreamed of being there, but I saw it so unattainable,” says the entrepreneur.

After opening Curandero’s social media accounts and starting to sell through that channel, they received a message on Instagram inviting them to participate in the sixth season of Shark Tank México. At first, the husbands did not believe this was possible. “We wondering Is it true? How can it be possible if we have not sold more than 5 bags ”, says Alejandro.

The startup that emerged in quarantine and made history in Shark Tank MexicoImage: Courtesy of Shark Tank México.

Historic pitch

In this way, Alejandro and Génesis dedicated themselves to gathering all the documentation and information necessary for the show, in which they arrived asking for 350 thousand pesos for a 40% stake in their brand and to their surprise they managed to close two deals, a fact that happens by first time in Shark Tank history.

“Rodrigo offered us 350 thousand pesos, but for the purchase of the name, without any kind of participation. In other words, ‘you give me the rights to the Curandero brand and I will pay you the 350 thousand pesos and it’s over’, without doing any business, ”explains Alejandro.

Although Rodrigo Herrera did not want to participate in the company, Marcus Dantus and Marisa Lazo offered him 100 pesos for 40% in a different deal than Rodrigo’s. After talking with each other, the entrepreneurs decided to take both opportunities: sell the brand name and partner with Marcus and Marisa.

The startup that emerged in quarantine and made history in Shark Tank Mexico Image: Courtesy of Shark Tank México.

Garlic Mexa

After transferring the rights to the first name of their brand, Alejandro and Génesis thought of a new concept called Ajo Mexa.

“We made this decision because we needed capital, we are literally starting, that is, we are not incorporated, we had not even made an invoice, only the deliveries we had, it was to friends and acquaintances. Everything was closed, it wasn’t like you could enter the supermarkets at that moment, everything was totally stopped, ”says Alejandro.

Now entrepreneurs want to focus on expanding their production, employing more people, marketing, expanding their business, and products derived from black garlic.

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