Alumni Spotlight

From startup to $2 billion empire: Alumnus founder to share ‘secrets of success’ on campus

Image of Gaston Taratuta

Originally published on January 24, 2024, on news.fiu.edu.

Written by Michelle Lopez

Gaston Taratuta MBA ’98 is eager to share his formula for success with entrepreneurial hopefuls at a presentation, Introduction to Unicorn Entrepreneurship, aimed at developing high-potential ventures. In 2005, he founded Miami-based Internet Media Services, seizing on the explosion of internet access via mobile phones.

“I was a beginner on a trend,” said Taratuta. “Digital marketing was a very early trend back in the year 2000. I tell people to be part of a trend when it seems to be that thing that you’re salivating and sharing.”

Internet Media Services quickly became Latin America’s largest digital ad sales and media buying firm. The business, which has continued to expand and transformed into advertising giant Aleph Group Inc., provides marketing and digital media services to businesses in 90 countries, earning Taratuta the title of 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young.

Taratuta will join Dileep Rao, clinical professor of international business at FIU, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the College of Business Complex at MCC and online. It kicks off Secrets of Unicorn Entrepreneurship, a series designed by Rao to train entrepreneurs to develop growth ventures without venture capital by building their skill sets and using the tactics of billion-dollar entrepreneurs.

Looking back at his days on FIU’s campus, Taratuta reflected on the power of networking and building community. “For those who are foreign and come to the university, academia gives your first feeling of belonging to something, to a community where people come to learn, and then that knowledge is materializing into productivity,” he said.

For Taratuta, operating on a digital landscape gave him a unique opportunity to not only scale his own business, but to share skills with others who can begin to generate their own profits through his Digital Ad Expert educational course. The online program offers a free certification designed by global experts to give participants the opportunity and access to Aleph’s ecosystem to learn strategies and create and execute campaigns on the world’s most prominent social media platforms.

“Today, you finish high school, if you learn something, you can go to academia and become a lawyer,” said Taratuta. “But in the meantime, you can learn digital marketing and in three months, you can be billable and make a living.”

The Digital Ad Expert certification is available for free to FIU students through a partnership with the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center at FIU Business and Aleph. Students can learn the fundamentals needed to understand and manage digital advertising channels and campaigns, expand their own professional network and connect with employers seeking talent.

Aside from sharing the history of Internet Media Services, his triumphs and challenges, Taratuta hopes to inspire a new mindset for his audience as well as explain what success means to him.

“Success is equal to satisfaction,” said Taratuta. “Looking at what you have, instead of focusing on what you do not. And understand it’s 50% attitude 50% aptitude.”

Click on the link to register for this event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/introduction-to-unicorn-entrepreneurship-tickets-778345320807

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