That’s the motto that Jack Doheny ’17 (Beta-Lambda, San Diego State University) has followed to merge his passions of coffee and action sports to launch Bold Brew Coffee.
He and the company's co-founder, fellow mechanical engineering student Jake Solomon, started the brand to fuel their active lifestyle--consisting of skating, surfing, skydiving, and snowboarding--with a natural alternative to energy drinks. Their cold-brew coffee traded direct from Brazil and Guatemala gives adrenaline junkies and sports enthusiasts an additive-free pick-me-up.
And he learned much of what he needed to know to start his business (and gained a lot of loyal customers!) through Sigma Phi Delta.
How did you get the idea to start this business?
My co-founder Jake Solomon and I have always loved coffee and action sports. This was an opportunity for us to create a company about our passions. We both met through our mechanical engineering degree.
What skills/tools did you learn/gain from Sigma Phi Delta to help you in this endeavor?
Sigma Phi Delta gave me the scheduling, leadership, and problem solving skills that are crucial for a startup. SPD has been an incredible network of support by my brothers helping promote the brand in San Diego. Further, being a former recruitment chair, I gained a lot of experience putting myself out there and exciting strangers.
How have your SPD brothers supported you in this venture?
My brothers are my biggest support group for hype on campus. They not only support by consistently coming to our setup when we sell, but also tell others about us and support me 100%.
What has the response been from the student body?
The student body absolutely loves our coffee and our brand in San Diego. [Editor’s note: Earlier this month, the pair began selling their product on Fridays in the East Commons on campus.]
What advice do you have for fellow or future brothers who are interested in starting their own business?
Do what you love, with people you love, about things you love. That's the key. You are always 100% in control of your life to do it, so take that opportunity and run with it. If you fail, you can always get a great engineering job.
What is your best SPD memory to date?
The West Coast convention in Seattle, hosted by Kyle Gibb.
What are the top 3 things you've gained from your SPD experience?
Responsibility, respect, and leadership.
How will you stay involved with the Fraternity as an alum?
Inviting entrepreneurial members to chat and give advice to them about how they too can achieve their passions and act upon them.
What are your plans/goals for after graduation?
Run my business and sustain my simple, young life for as long as possible. If all else fails I'll score a job in engineering, no problem.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I am very proud to be a brother of Sigma Phi Delta. My grandfather was a member at Marquette (Eta), Donald A Doheny Sr., so knowing I am representing the brotherhood in a positive way even if it's not engineering is incredibly special to me. The qualities we maintain have enforced my character to be an excellent negotiator and team player, as well as displaying my leadership and confidence in what I set my mind to. Patience has been the motto from the start; these big ideas only happen when you are willing to put in hard work every day to achieve it.
Launching Into Success:
The pair recently placed third in the Zahn Challenge, SDSU's annual business pitch competition for ZIP Launchpad teams.
"The Zahn Challenge experience was incredibly unique and special because we had the opportunity to pitch successful entrepreneurs just like we would for capital investment," said Doheny. "It primes us to think in terms of value proposition not only for our end consumer but also for our high-level investor, which is crucial."
Learn more about Bold Brew Coffee at boldbrew.com.