January 16, 2019 | Academy of Entrepreneurs


Meet Martin, Founder of RockNDog – from Venezuela ????????

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself” – Josh Billings
 
There’s no doubt that every pet is essential to their owner.
Dogs are dubbed as ‘man’s best friend,’ after all. 
Ask any pup parent and they will tell you how much they love their pet, showering them with time, love, affection, treats and even buying them cute little clothes and bringing them to the salon for a regular grooming session.
 
 
Australia is a big country with a small population of 24.6 million people – but did you know that:
  • There are more than 24 million pets in Australia (yes, more than or equivalent to humans!)
  • 38% or almost two in five households have dogs 
  • Australian pet owners spend over $12.2 billion on pet products and services
 

Martin Rodriguez – one of our #AElegends – saw this opportunity to combine his passion for pets and the market for crafted handmade dog collars, founding RockNDog Australia!
 
 
Martin arrived in Sydney a little over than one year ago. From the small town of Nirgua, Venezuela, this 24-year old came to Australia to learn English. ????????✈️????????
 
He has always loved reading and learning new things, and in his spare time he likes watching movies and going out with friends.
Earlier this year he studied at Academy of Entrepreneurs and decided to launch his own company: RockNDog. ????
 
We interviewed him about his entrepreneurial journey, read about his incredible story below! ????

 
AE: Tell us about the RockNDog ????
 

Martin: RockNDog is an idea that me and my sister had because we love dogs. Living five minutes away from a farm, we grew up surrounded by different kinds animals: hoses, dogs, deers, etc.

Dogs are not just pets – they’re family. It got us thinking and that’s when we decided to launch RockNDog – handcrafted artisan dog collars to express your love for your dog.

We have always wanted to do something different – and one time at Academy of Entrepreneurs, the teacher started talking about Warby Parker’s “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” initiative, where with every pair of glasses purchased, a pair of glasses is distributed to someone in need.

We loved the idea of helping someone in need with our business, and in the future we would like to work with organisations to help the stray dogs in Latin America.

In Mexico alone, there are more than 2 million dogs in the streets – by buying a RocknDog collar, our mission is to help a stray dog (through vaccinations, castrations, or funding adoption events) and send you a video of the dog you are helping.

 

 
AE: What is the #problem you are aiming to solve?????
 

M: We are changing the concept of a dog collar being just a necessity. We are giving people the opportunity to express their love for their dogs.

It’s like going to Chanel to buy a high-quality bag or buying a good piece of jewellery to give to your loved one. We also want to help stray dogs in Latin America by using a portion of the profit to work with organisations that will take care of them.

 

 

AE: What is your inspiration for the name ‘RockNDog’?
 

M: Where did Rock and Dog come from? I wanted something with meaning.. my sister’s friend suggested to “Why not rock and roll?” to us and it came up like that – RockNDog – to rock with your companion (your dog).

AE: What is your biggest challenge in opening a business?
 
M: I think it’s how to set up the business currently with the organisations we are partnering with in Mexico or Latin America. It’s a huge responsibility because people expect their money to be used for a good cause, not taken for granted or be used in another thing.
 
 
AE: Have you always known that you were gonna be an entrepreneur?

 

M: ALWAYS. When I was young, like 10 years old, I used to ask people, “What do I need to do to have a company?” Usually, people wanted to be a firefighter or a veterinarian, but I have always wanted to have my own company.

Back in my country, I tried all sorts of entrepreneurial ventures. I created a honey company, tried to export prawns, sold quail eggs and fish. I bought a farm and went through the difficult process of registering it. Now, I am in Australia launching a new business!

 

Entrepreneurs, great leaders and inventors like Andrew Carnegie, Mark Zuckerberg, and Thomas Edison inspired me that with your ideas you can change the world, because they did. For me, legacy is extremely important. What you do in this life is important but what you leave is more meaningful. 

I don’t want to leave this life being no one, I want to leave something positive behind in this world.

 
AE: What do you think is your No. 1 superpower?

 

M: Constancy or dedication, commitment and patience. Creating something isn’t easy. You have to fight for it and never give up. I don’t give up easily, and I think this is my greatest strength.

Never give up even if you’re old and poor! Yes, it can be a bit frustrating when you see young guys like Mark Zuckerberg having millions of dollars at their age, but if it’s not your case, it doesn’t mean that it will never be. You have your own timeline, your own way, and try to learn from your mistakes.

 
AE: Why Sydney / Australia?
 

M: My first option was actually USA, but I’ve always wanted to go somewhere more exotic and Australia was the best place. I used to watch a lot of documentaries about Australia and it was one of the best places to come as an immigrant. I really wanted to live in the energy that Sydney has, as a multicultural city you can know people from everywhere. I never expected to have friends from Mongolia, Colombia, Japan, Italy, and all over the world! 

 

I liked the weather, as I didn’t want something rainy I didn’t choose Melbourne. I also wanted to live in a big city because I lived in a small agricultural town in Venezuela. I came to Australia to learn English and I want to be a ready to help my home country when I go back.

 
AE: How did Academy of Entrepreneurs help you in your journey?

 

M: Many things!

First of all, inspiration – you get a lot of inspiration from entrepreneurs who speak during the Tuesday talks and also from the teachers and mentors during classes.

Another one, organisation – they have helped me to organise my ideas and establish a way to achieve my goals, step by step.

AE: What are your next big goals?
  1. Be the #1 in Australia in the collars industry
  2. Be really well known for our job in helping dogs in the world
  3. Do it with other animals – help animals in extinction, more than just dogs.
 
AE: What steps are you currently taking to achieve them?

 

M: I am working and partnering with organisations trying to find out the biggest problem stray dogs have. We are also working on different collar designs, trying to find low-cost materials but with the highest quality.

 
 
AE: What is your advice to the next #AElegends? What would you tell anyone who is planning to be an entrepreneur?
 
M: If you strongly think about an idea, don’t pay too much attention to people who say “you can’t do it.” I believe everything is possible – it doesn’t matter how ridiculous you think your idea is! Just try to do it. Seriously.
 
Quotable quote:
 
Every entrepreneur has a personal favourite quote, here’s Martin’s:
 

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

 
 

 
 
Massive thank you to Martin – for sharing your personal journey with us. With all your determination, hard work, and passion – there’s no wonder you deserve to be a legend!
 
Stay tuned to meet the other legends of Academy of Entrepreneurs! ???? Follow RockNDog and order some collars for your beloved pets at: 
 
 
 
 
 

Do you have an idea you want to turn into a business?

Are you a bit lost and still haven’t figured out your passion & purpose?

Do you have a startup you want to scale in Australia and around the world? 

 
Then Academy of Entrepreneurs is the place for you.
 
 
Get the skills to start or scale a startup, and become the ENTREPRENEUR you were born to be. ???? #BossYourFuture 
 
 
Send us a ‘hello’ at info@aestudy,com or contact us at +61 420 955 509.
 
 
Gab & the Academy of Entrepreneurs Team
 
 

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