Four UP students turn love for alcohol into a mobile bar business
College is the phase where most people start drinking. For these four UP students, college is where they found the opportunity to set off their dream business that involves one common interest – alcohol.
Mikee Valle, B.S. Business Administration, Bea Angala, B.S. Geography, Handrich Hernando, B.S. Tourism, and Jeff de Guzman, B.S. ECE, were all just UP students who shared one common interest – love for alcohol. These students turned their habit of drinking and entrepreneurial skills into a business that offers the ‘most affordable mobile bar in the metro’. Tipsy Box Mobile Bar offers unlimited cocktail service good for 4 hours, with rates that go as low as P50 per person.
Apart from regular private events, Tipsy Box flaunts a wide range of past clients including Toyota, OLM, Ibon Foundation, Tanghalang Ateneo, and numerous UP fraternities and organizations.
Hernando told Food Evolution that the idea initially came up as an answer to jam packed drinking places including Loading Point, Tomato Kick or Drew’s during peak nights. Brought together by their common “love” for drinking, and alcohol mixing experience from hosting org events in college, Tipsy Box came into life.
It an entrepreneurial competition called Entrep Academy that helped them set up the business. Their group, which they fondly called Teamquila, won the competition, which provided them an initial capital to start out the process of putting up the mobile bar business.
“We were basically thankful from the competition because it really pushed us in launching our business.” Hernando told Food Evolution.
They did intensive research on mixing different drinks, and held a soft opening at Valle’s house, and asked people to provide feedback on the drinks they served.
Currently, they are hands-on in managing Tipsy Box while occasionally employing the aide of some friends and org mates during event bookings.
In terms of running the business, they told Food Evolution that time management and engaging with sketchy, and hard-to-deal-with clients are among the most challenging parts.
The four ‘alcoholic’ students left the following advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Build a strong team
You do not have to be an expert when it comes to the different aspects of managing a business. Look for potential partners that complement your skills. If you have a strong background in finance, but you have trouble handling customers, get someone who is much more comfortable with talking to clients. Doing this would be more efficient and beneficial for the business.
Start early. Start now
There are aspiring entrepreneurs out there that spend so much time with perfecting their craft before venturing into a business. While there is nothing wrong with that, we believe that you learn faster once you apply your knowledge in an actual business setup. You do not have to be an expert at something to start a business, you just have to be good at it and at the same time, passionate with what you do.
Follow your passion
Behind the countless success stories of entrepreneurs are tiring hours of managing the business while studying for exams, or finishing a report for your work. Because of this, it will sometimes be tempting to quit on your business if you are not a full time entrepreneur and have other priorities, like students and employees. However, if you are doing what you love, it will give you more drive to work on it until you see your ideas turn into reality.
In the long run, the owners envision Tipsy Box to eventually expand its services, accommodating clients outside Metro Manila, integrating a mobile app into their business and more notably, establishing their own physical bar someday.