Friday, June 19, 2009

Al Costa >

Al Costa, Owner, Alkol Inc.

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Basically to be able to work alone. If you can´t be by yourself long periods of the day then don´t even try, because that´s exactly what you´ll be doing in the first stages of your project.
What did inspire you to start your business?Seeing people who made it and they can provide a good standard of living for their families, while others are subject to jobs they cannot control and thus live in fear.

How did you finance it?
Good question. How did I do it? I don´t know, one dollar a time?

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
None: the US is very open to all nationalities. If you show VALUE then you are in!

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
By knowing that´s just part of the game, routine, and that will repeat itself.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Finding capable people to work with.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Its address! If it could be located in Palo Alto then it´d be much cheaper for me to pitch VCs!

What was your childhood ambition?
Being a world-known scientist.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire
Steve Jobs, Vinod Khosla, and ESPECIALLY Richard Branson

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Breakfast: people are much more receptive, there´s a sense of "this is a new day" that helps a lot.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Missed lots of parties and merry good fun!

What is your favorite quote?
"No battle was ever won while hiding behind walls" Napoleon Bonaparte

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Very: you get fed up of being called genius today by the very same guy who called you crazy yesterday.

Biggest mistake made?
Bet 6 years in the music industry: they still think the internet does not exist.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I remember when I was in college I was called "gadget man" because I had gizmos that nobody even knew existed, and for me they were the most common thing in the world.

About the Company
Alkol Inc is the maker of the "1HourFlex" conversion device that allows any car to run on any amount of gasoline or ethyl alcohol using BRAZILIAN technology. Brazil has been running 1/2 of its fleet on 100% ethanol for the past 30 years, and therefore has unmatched experience. Alkol Inc brings that experience into a range of products that allow everyone to save on the gas pump and polluting less.

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