by Cristina Botero, CLB 2017 Alumni
Fernando Sierra, whose untimely death last week at the age of 29 shocked us all. But his life was well lived, and CLB alum Cristina Botero shares with our community more about her best friend and why he’s a role model for us all.
Fernando was born in Colombia, becoming an economist from Andes University. He was always characterized for being an avid learner with insatiable curiosity, which led him to take courses at Berkeley, Draper University, and Stanford, all related to technology, investment, and business.
At 29 years old, Fernando co-founded two venture capital funds: INVX and Invictum Capital, as well as three companies: X Consulting,Alpha Growth LATAM and Blockchain Center Colombia. He was also recognized as a visionary when it came to discovering high-potential start-ups in Latin America, investing in companies like Rappi, OFI, Tpaga, Escala Educación, and NXTPlabs. Some of these start-ups were even accepted at Y Combinator and now receive funding directly from Silicon Valley and international funds.
Besides his entrepreneurial drive, Fernando was an active social leader regarding development issues in the region. He was part of the Colombian delegation for the 70th Assembly of the United Nations in 2015, where the official launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) took place, and was invited to be part of the Americas Competitiveness Exchange hosted by the OAS. Last but not least, he was the Regional Director of Kairos Society, the largest community of high impact entrepreneurs worldwide, leading its launch in Latin America and being one of his greatest accomplishments.
Fernando had a very clear challenge in mind: to demonstrate the potential of Latin America for the world by orchestrating a connection between academics, the private sector, public sector, and investors, creating an ideal society that allowed entrepreneurship to become the engine of development not only for Colombia, but for all of Latin America. He strongly believed in the power of entrepreneurship as the main driver for generating opportunities and development for the whole region, and wanted to promote the early adoption of technology, especially blockchain. His mission was always to inspire as many people as possible to achieve great things and begin to solve some of the most pressing challenges in the region.
Fernando was always characterized for being obsessively passionate for the subjects that mattered to him, having a strong analytical power, and being an avid learner who always wanted to expand his knowledge and learn from the best people and institutions. Not only did he want to learn for himself, but wanted to spread knowledge to those around him. He had a unique ability to make friends, he was charming and always known for being the soul of the party. He had a strong persevering personality, stubborn and crazy; definitely a visionary.
No more than two weeks ago we were talking about what he was doing, and he said: “my dreams are bigger than I can sometimes understand myself and I love to feel that, with every thing we do I realize that we are building something much bigger than ourselves, something that transcends and that will be very valuable for society. My satisfaction comes from the only thing that matters: impact.”
Today my best friend, my biggest role model has gone away from this planet, but for him it is a huge gift. I believe he left for a reason: this world was too small for him, and because his mission is to IMPACT, I can say with complete certainty that his legacy is infinite. It is us, the young people from Latin America and the world, who have the enormous challenge in our hands to honor his hard work and make everything that he wanted to achieve come true.
In our Inspiration Corner, we will showcase stories of inspirational Latin American leaders who are changing the world; inspiring beings who already embody LALA's purpose and values through their work, and we are honored to tell their stories.