People: Man Who Survived a Terrorist Kidnapping, Cancer and The Bachelorette Becomes Successful Mushroom Entrepreneur
In 2009, Alejandro Velez had overcome a lot of obstacles to get where he was. The then senior at UC Berkeley had survived being kidnapped by terrorists while growing up in Medellín, Colombia, had beaten cancer and was just a few months away from beginning a lucrative career on Wall Street.
Then an off-hand remark by a professor changed everything.
“During a lecture, the professor brought up the fact that you could potentially grow mushrooms on coffee waste and for some odd reason I latched onto this idea,” Velez, 29, tells PEOPLE.