Latin American entrepreneur of the year
Entrepreneur of the year Gerard Sordo. (Photo: Courtesy)

National creativity has risen once again to the top of the region, thanks to Gerard Sordo, founder of BrandMe, being named Latin American entrepreneur of the year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

His triumph took place after having competed with 9 other young people in the Entrepreneur category, within the 2020 list of 35 Latin American innovators under 35.

While there were four other Mexican contestants in the Humanitarian, Inventor, Pioneer and Visionary categories, the winners came from Colombia, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela, respectively.

In an interview for Tec Review, Gerardo says that BrandMe had already been nominated twice in the MIT contest. This time, he finally managed to convince the panel of his company’s importance.

“This year, we improved BrandMe, which is a platform for the digital sponsorship ecosystem in order to help brands make better decisions about which content creator to hire,” says Sordo.

It’s an algorithm fed daily with public information from influencers’ social networks. This enables brands to estimate their percentage of fake followers, in addition to knowing the demographic breakdown of all their followers, and what type of people they interact with the most.

“By doing so, brands can know how authentic influencers are before hiring them, without losing any investment,” says this entrepreneur.

According to Sordo, there was a global loss of 1.3 trillion dollars from digital marketing fraud last year, due to brands investing in the wrong influencers. That is where BrandMe’s niche is.

“We rent this algorithm to different brands such as Coca Cola. The companies’ decision makers use our metrics in order to know which influencer to choose,” he explains.

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The Tec convinced him to start a business

Gerardo, 32, holds a degree in marketing, which he obtained in 2011 from Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Santa Fe campus in Mexico City.

“When I started at the Tec, I never thought I was going to start my own business. I was thinking more about starting a career in a corporation, but my mindset was changed thanks to conversations (with professors) about business development. They told me that it wasn’t necessary to come from a wealthy family, because you can build a business with off-the-shelf tools. That stuck with me,” he says.

This marketer says, especially to young people eager to put their ideas into practice, that we’re very lucky to live in these times. If you have internet and a computer, it’s possible to begin a project.

“It’s enough to study business ideas that are working in other countries and replicate them in Mexico, or to study where trends are going, particularly during this pandemic. You have to get informed, get moving, and start taking action,” he concludes.