Romeo Ibanez: Entrepreneur and Wine Connoisseur

Romeo Ibanez spent his gap year in a unconventional fashion - rather than traveling abroad or performing communtiy service, he founded three new technology companies and provided innovative solutions to common problems (including but not limited to the Friday night blues). 

HC: How did you spend your gap year?RI: "I spent the first three months working on a company that I founded at Bowdoin called 'Dining With Strangers.' I focused on expansion - we launched at the University of Central Florida in late February of 2014. It was fairly successful, but I had an opportunity to join another company called Cliq, which was based around an app designed to anonymously connect like-minded individuals. We specialized in matching people - if you're looking for someone to play Cards Against Humanity with on a Friday night, or if you're looking for a local hangout, we can provide the right people and the right experiences. Cliq was quite successful. We had over one-thousand students sign up in the first few days. Unfortunately, we had to suspend that project because one of our teammates had some family issues and had to return home to Taiwan. Afterwards, I got involved with a company called Klink Technologies, which is basically the Uber of alcohol."

HC: Are you still involved with Klink Technologies? RI: "Yeah, I'm still involved. I'm really excited about a great pilot program we've been doing with Budweiser in Washington D.C., which has just been so successful. Budweiser is planning on bringing our app to Boston by the end of next month and to New York City by the end of the summer."

HC: What is your specific role within the company?RI: "I primarily provide consulting for special projects, which is a pretty varied role. I design and implement strategies to enter new markets, but I also diagnose and correct serious software issues with our development team."

HC: How do you think Bowdoin helped you prepare for this role?RI: "Founding the Bowdoin Entrepreneurship Club during my sophomore year helped me meet other people who were just as passionate about starting companies as I was. I co-founded two companies with two of our founding members, and we were mentored every step of the way by accomplished Bowdoin graduates. The Bowdoin Entrepreneurship Club has been a great resource for other Bowdoin students as well, because we just have so many generous alumni that are willing to dedicate their time, energy, and resources to help fellow polar bears. That's not an understatement." 

HC: What has been your favorite part of being involved with Klink Technologies?RI: "I'd say the coolest part of working with Klink Technologies was working with people that are incredibly passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, especially our project with Budweisier to develop the Bud Light Button, which launched in D.C. in January. I think it's really amazing to see just how much you can accomplish at the age of twenty-one when you're working with a group of people that are just as passionate about something as you are. Additionally, I've loved being exposed to lots of great alcohol, especially wine!"  

HC: So, do you consider yourself a wine connossieur?RI: "I'm definitely not a sommelier, but I really appreciate good wine. Last weekend, I had a great dinner with a few friends of mine at Bowdoin, and we accompanied our meal with a few terrific bottles of wine, including a La Crema, a David Bruce, and a William Hill. They were exquisite!"

HC: Do you ever see Klink Technologies bringing the app to campus?RI: "I think Bowdoin could definitely benefit from an app like this. It's not a question of if, but when."