Restless, is the first word that comes to mind after hearing Valeria Valverde tell her story, that in
the last four years, has led her to create numerous startups and study at a University where
there is no teachers and you learn by doing.
In the curriculum of this 23-year-old girl from
Alajuelita, figures traveling the world and living in countries like China, the United States and
Spain, doing what she likes the most: creating.
Her most recent invention is a company called OX Riders, a startup of “electric, smart and
retrofuturistic motorcycles”, that is, motorcycles that take up the classic aesthetics of the 1950s
and unite it with cutting-edge technology, just as she and her partners explain.
Mobility for the near future
These vehicles are designed for the post-COVID-19 world, Valeria said from Madrid, Spain. She
is convinced that the way people transport themselves will change in the world after the Pandemic,
because social distancing will motivate many to avoid public transport, to prevent
“At OX Riders, as an emerging company, we see this as an opportunity, we are committed to
sustainable, attractive and affordable mobility,” said the young woman, a former student at the
Don Bosco Technical College.
The team made up of Ticos, Martín Fernández de Labastida, Lizhong Zhang and Adrián
González will initially offer the OX One motorcycle, in two modes: 50cc, which reaches speeds
of 50 kilometers per hour, and 125cc, which reaches speeds 120 kilometers, with a range of 100
The cost of an OX is around € 4,000, approximately ¢ 2,500,000, which the company defines
as: “an affordable motorcycle for an adventurous public”. In Costa Rica, these types of
motorcycles could be ridden with an A1 and B1 license.
Three features distinguish these vehicles: connected technologies, removable batteries, and
customization. They incorporate Smartbox, “a series of interconnected and fully upgradeable
technologies that allow to know and communicate the state of the vehicle and its surroundings
at all times,” said OX Riders.
Furthermore, it transmits “this information to the user, provides an anti-onslaught system,
automatic emergency call, GPS, and Artificial Intelligence, it also comes with removable
batteries, which can be charged up to 80% after two hours, in any outlet in the house. And
finally, it offers customization, so that the motorcycle is tailored to the tastes of those who buy
The objective of this young Costa Rican and her colleagues is to unite these motorcycles with
their new owners, starting in January 2021. Initially, they will reach countries such as Spain,
Italy, France, the United States and Portugal and that interested can pre-order on the web
What is the professional background of this young entrepreneur?
Although these motorcycles and OX Riders are recent, their history would not have been
possible, without its dawn four years ago, in which Valeria Valverde woke up with the need to
find out what career opportunities were available. Around three in the morning, the young
woman searched the Internet to answer her question and that’s how she found “LEINN”: a
career in entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation, the first in the world where they teach
Valeria’s eagerness to learn has always characterized her, she was at the Humboldt School until the eighth year, because she wanted to speak German, but the economic issue made her
move to the Don Bosco Technical School, which she describes as “one of the best decisions of
Why? There her concerns ran into ExpoTec, scientific fairs, the world of innovation and
technology, “I got involved with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications
(Micitt) and started meeting people from all over the country,” she said.
Already in secondary education she preferred electromechanics and thought that her future
college course would be engineering, she went through surfactant projects with detergents, a
mapping to detect turtle arrivals in Pacuare, participated in the development of a biological
chamber for waste bioinfectives, among other projects.
It was there that she realized that what was most attractive to her were strategies and business,
and the way in which she could make this come true is the vocation that led her to LEINN.
However, her path was not linear and she had to face some obstacles, both financially and the
physical departure of her father. Although initially, her first accomplice was her mother, she later
told her father, a very important figure for her, and he advised her to follow her dreams, just one
day before he passed away.
Valeria got a scholarship, just as her dad advised her, and upon arriving in Bilbao, Spain, met
with a dozen people from different parts of the world, including Korea, Egypt and China. From
the first day her task was to create a company, with clients and real money.
LEINN divided the students into groups and two weeks later, Valeria was in Shanghai, China
starting her “entrepreneurship” journey, as she defines it. There, the first projects were basic:
teaching science courses for children or making Spanish food for Chinese people. After three
months, they returned to Bilbao for a year, from where their company searched mobile phone
trends and imported them from Asia.
Later, she and her companions went to Seattle, United States, and lived there for eight months.
The 10 students in the program lived together, in the same house, with all the challenges that
this entailed, for example, the schedules and types of food of each culture involved.
Valeria assures that although her values have not changed, learned very well at home, she is
99% different from the one who first traveled to the international LEINN program four years ago.
She has had to have an open mind, to understand the cultural differences among her peers and
also to face the challenges of a program based on the methodology of the Finnish University of
Tiimiakatemia, in which they only have a coach but do not go to classes, nor do they have
teachers. This June, the program is nearing completion, and graduation will be in 2021.
For now, Valeria lives in Madrid since 2019 and is focused on finishing the final product that OX
Riders will offer for European streets in 2021. They also want to hold an investment round, so
those interested can write to her email: [email protected]
But she and her colleagues seem unstoppable since in addition to that startup they found
Gravity Wave, a company that recollects plastic waste from the Mediterranean Sea and turn it
into cell phone cases.
There is also Kendani, what Valeria defines as “an Amazon of sustainable products” and a
financial education company in emerging technologies, where people are taught to make
investments in Blockchain with Cryptocurrencies.
After her entrepreneurial journey, the young Costa Rican is convinced that sometimes doors
that do not open must be pushed open, “because there is so much to change and improve, and
the energy of young people cannot be lost along the way.”
She states to continue dreaming and creating: “Apart from the human will, what gives the most
strength are dreams, I tell my family, the day I don’t have dreams, then they have to worry,”
concluded the young Costa Rican.