March 17, 2021

Alumni Spotlight: Vivek Jariwala

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BETA Camp Alumni Vivek Jarwiala talks about what it’s like being the founder of three startups, the BETA Camp experience, partnering with streetwear companies, and being an active member of his school community. 

About Vivek 

Vivek is a BETA Camp Fall 2020 Alumnus.

From a young age, Vivek has been inspired by the arts. Throughout his life, he continuously participated in various arts-related activities. He first began to work with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere in the sixth grade, entering Photoshop competitions in the following year. Vivek continues to carry these skills into his current projects. 

During the pandemic, Vivek and his long-time friend set up a graphic design Instagram account, MangoFx, stemming from their shared interest in hip-hop culture. They started with fan-made album covers, which drew attention to their account. MangoFx proceeded to contact small artists on Instagram, landing their first cover-art orders. This initiated their commissioned work journey, and eventual expansion into a clothing line after a client requested a clothing design. This was the birth of their subsidiary brand, Vandal Streetwear. 

Due to busy schedules, Vivek and his partner have temporarily stepped away from MangoFx and Vandal Streetwear. Vivek plans to soon return to his commissioned work and pursue his independent creative visions. 

Q&A with Vivek

Q: Has your perspective on entrepreneurship changed after BETA Camp? How so?

A: Prior to camp, I thought starting a business required a large capital and an idea nobody ever tried. I assumed the most feasible business was a free smartphone app, under the impression that unless you first offered your service for free, nobody would pay for it. I associated the “freemium” concept as the only successful business model, based on my very limited knowledge of Silicon Valley companies and their respective success stories. BETA Camp’s Business Model lecture, I learned I was very wrong. My mind was opened to the various possibilities of business monetization, along with the benefits of each business model. This educated me enough to consider business possibilities I’d never thought of. 

BETA Camp’s MVP (Most Viable Product) workshop changed my presumption that a business needed a certain amount of capital and infrastructure to begin. Learning the humble beginnings of AirBnB was inspiring, rebuilding my approach to entrepreneurship. I now know an envisioned product/service can be successful through leveraging resources at your disposal. 

Q: In what ways did the BETA Camp experience come in handy after camp?

A: BETA Camp allowed me to approach ideation and problem solving with efficiency, giving me room to be more creative and think outside the box. 

BETA Camp revealed so many possible career paths to me. I received incredible advice from Ivy and Yifan, industry mentors, and camp counselors. They taught me about the real world, how the hiring process works, what it's like interchanging between fields and careers, the importance of networking, what employers are looking for, the list really goes on! 

Q: What was founding your BETA Startup, POG, like and what were your key takeaways? 

A: Co-founding POG was so rewarding; the talented members of my startup team immediately clicked! I found the entrepreneurial journey is always open ended; creating a successful startup doesn’t have to be a miracle. BETA Camp teaches that anyone can act upon their entrepreneurial interests. Through following the right steps, listening to your customers, applying feedback, and putting in your best effort, you can start a business. 

POG was an incredible experience, I’d have never thought of it on my own. It was our collaboration and engagement that enabled us to create such a unique startup that really understands its customers. That in itself is a very rewarding feeling I take great pride in.

Creating a startup with BETA Camp hands-on exposure to being a founder, building on my existing skills in marketing and graphic design. I also developed newer skills related to customer relations, ideation, finances, and the other sectors of business. 

Q: Talk to us about your personal life

A: Being an active member in my school community is a top priority. As the president of my school’s art council, I oversee school visits and art spirit weeks, as well as concerts, dramas, and art galleries. 

Our DECA chapter is relatively new, so as the co-president I do lots of coaching. I train our members on how to be successful at events. I haven’t been in a coaching position before, so it’s a learning while teaching type of role. 

Sportswise, I’ve competed in YRA table tennis competitions, I also enjoy participating in cross country and track and field. 

Q: How did you manage your time between running a startup and school? 

A: School is my priority. I had BETA Camp every Saturday, so I made sure to finish my work prior to the weekend session. I regularly work late, typically bouncing between school and commission work. Online school has made my time flexible, which has been super important. I keep track of what I need to get done using the Apple Calendar, which helps me stay organized and balance all of my tasks. 

When working on commissions, the customer is paying me. I feel I owe them a delivery before the due date. This means beginning the process soon as the order comes in. There tends to be lots of revisions before producing a final copy, I need time and feedback to produce my best work. 

Q: Let’s hear about your design projects 

A: MangoFx gets tons of spam asking for our work. I find it crazy; majority of the time they’re being genuine! Usually, clients are already paying for professional work (such as recordings), we trust they have the funds for investing in our art. 

Giveaways were huge in building our account. Our followers come mainly from the digital arts community, hosting digital asset giveaways as a source of growth. This gave us traction, we stopped after hitting about 1000 followers. At that point we would have 1-2 clients per week. Consistent orders meant freedom to choose which to accept and decline. 

A recent endeavor was working with Foolish Wealth. They began as a clothing brand in San Jose, they’re currently in the process of becoming a record label. Foolishwealth approached us last August with a commissioned order for streetwear designs. We seemed to be a hit, they continued their orders. They eventually asked us to be their creative directors. 

Interested in hearing more about past campers or how to pursue your passions? Check out our other blogs! 

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