Juan Monteverde is a professional surfer and entrepreneur with his own company, where he served as the CEO and president. Monteverde is also a board member of the Surfing Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money to support public service programs in countries like Guatemala, Mexico, and Brazil. Juan Monteverde was also one of only three American fighters on Team USA at the 2011 World Surfing Games in Turkey, where he finished third. Monteverde holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Philosophical Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His passion for surfing started at age five after he and his family moved to Hawaii. “I could never wake up on the beach to just sit, but I would wake up early and go surfing every day,” he explains. “I remember my first wave ever was a small wave in Haleiwa, Hawaii, back in 1992 that I caught from a friend’s brother who was visiting from Australia,” he remembers with a smile. “That was my first wave ever, and I was hooked.” Monteverde then took up surfing professionally in 1996, when he competed in the O’Neil Cold Water Classic. Within two years of competing, Monteverde decided to take a year off to pursue his passion for photography and travel. He documented the journey with his film camera, which gave him a great perspective and insight into the world that he had only been able to see before from a different perspective.
In 2003, Monteverde turned his focus back towards professional surfing when he joined the World Surf League (WSL), and he has continued competing each year at events worldwide. At the end of the 2009 WSL season, Monteverde placed third at the Quiksilver Pro France.
Monteverde has also been involved in many non-profit organizations and foundations that aim to give back to communities. He joined the Surfing Life Foundation in 2004 as Executive Director, where he raised over one million dollars through events like “Life is Good in the Hood.”
In 2010, Monteverde launched a clothing line titled “The Imaginary Foundation,” which he created while filming his documentary “Blue Horizon.” He first pitched the idea to clothing designer Andrew Jacobs, who agreed to partner with him and help him create his clothing line with a focus on philanthropy.
Juan Monteverde has achieved many accomplishments as an entrepreneur. In 2011, he was honored to join the Young Entrepreneurs Council after being recognized as one of the top young entrepreneurs in his field.
In 2010, Monteverde created The Imaginary Foundation (TIF). This non-profit organization helps entrepreneurs in developing countries trying to start their businesses by providing mentorship, education, social capital, and funding to launch their businesses. TIF’s mission is to help underprivileged communities take control of their future and find inspiration through entrepreneurship within the global social enterprise model. TIF also works closely with various organizations to help provide job training and opportunity that leads to economic growth in developing countries worldwide.
Monteverde is currently creating a documentary about TIF’s story and stories from other entrepreneurs to tell different perspectives about the struggle, difficulties, and successes of people trying to start their businesses worldwide. This documentary aims to bring more attention to entrepreneurs in developing countries and show that they have just as much potential, passion, and desire for success as those who can start their businesses in the United States.