Andre Nudelman

It’s all about people. Hire the best people. Make sure they are happy and motivated so they can grow your business. Eliminate inefficiencies wherever and whenever possible.


Andre Nudelman is the CEO of Digital Media Academy, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Prior to immigrating to Canada, Mr. Nudelman had over 30 businesses in his native country of Brazil. In Canada, Andre continued to pursue his entrepreneurial ambition and would go on to open and become part of multiple successful companies including: Maple Bear Schools Latin America, Acecla Technology, Addexo Consulting, and countless others.

In addition to his role at Digital Media Academy, Andre has been extensively involved in Latin American-Canadian business relations through his role as the Chairman of the Canadian Council for the Americas-British Columbia.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

My professional career has involved many diverse business operations in education, retail, and finance. A lot of my most successful ventures have involved global franchising and licensing.

When I first came across Digital Media Academy, a successful Silicon Valley-based company started at Stanford University 20 years ago, I saw an incredible opportunity to provide cutting edge technology education globally. Digital Media Academy’s incredible pedigree and history of educational success make it an incredible opportunity to grow around the world.

In all my business ventures I mix profit with not-for-profit besides selling services to people who can afford we also offer to learn opportunities to people who would benefit from this experience but could not afford to attend. At Digital Media Academy we offer scholarships for this purpose.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I wake up at six in the morning and exercise. Then I sit and enjoy my breakfast and connect with nature before heading into the office where I meet with my team. I work on our core business of global expansion from a strategic level.

From there I manage my other investments and businesses. I always enjoy an espresso while working through many beautiful days on our incredible houseboat office on Granville Island, Vancouver.

To be productive the most important thing I do is focus on the important matters and not sweat the small things. For that, I have highly qualified people and an outstanding team.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The most important things are efficient execution with measurable success metrics. We are always looking at how we can make big moves. Whether we are creating strategic partnerships with the largest education companies in the world or working with schools globally who send thousands of students to our programs in North America.

Ideas are very important but the execution, alignment, and measurement are paramount to ensuring that business and financial objectives are met. Providing the most impactful STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) curriculum to schools in over 70 countries is one idea that has grown under this model since launching less than one year ago.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The need for change and adaptability in education, for people, and in the marketplace as well as the impact change has on people’s lives.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Not being afraid of making mistakes is the habit that makes me most productive as an entrepreneur.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Keep doing what you are doing because the results will be good.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The only way to succeed is by making lots of mistakes. For this, I have my “ERROR Theory”. ERROR: E stands for “Effort” and depends only on you. R stands for results that also depends on you. Put your effort on the right things and the results will come.

The second R stands for recognition. People or the market should recognize the results of your efforts. This still depends on you. You have to present and show the results in the right way, to the right people, and at the right time.

O stands for Opportunity. This also depends exclusively on you. There are plenty of opportunities in the market. It’s up to you to have the right eye to identify the good ones.

The last R stands for Relationships. If people like you all the doors will open for you. If they don’t the doors will be closed. This also depends on you.

Your success and your business success depend on ERROR. So do not be afraid to take risks and make mistakes.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Keep an eye on everything. We have a saying in Brazil: “the farmer’s boots fertilize the coffee trees” meaning if you don’t pass every row and coffee tree it will not produce fruit. Keep an eye on everything.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

It’s all about people. Hire the best people. Make sure they are happy and motivated so they can grow your business. Eliminate inefficiencies wherever and whenever possible.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

As a serial entrepreneur, that has owned more than 40 different businesses I have had lots of failures. It is hard to choose just one. All failures bring very relevant and valuable learning opportunities.

A smart person learns from their mistakes. The wise learn from other people’s mistakes, but I am not wise enough so I have to learn only from my own mistakes.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Open a bank.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Five weeks of poker games with my friends. The buy-in is $20. In a poker game with friends, everyone is free to say whatever is on their minds and be themselves.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

A web browser, nothing more than that. In today’s world, everything depends on the web browser. The web browser is the universe.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

A Study of History, By Arnold Toynbee. It’s a comparative analysis of more than thirty civilizations to try to identify why they are born, why they grow, why they reach the apex and why they decline. There are many valuable lessons to learn at a personal level from this history.

What is your favorite quote?

“It’s always personal”
“Do it with enthusiasm”
“Don’t expect people to be what they are not”

These are quotes from my best friend.

Key Learnings:

  • A lot of my success as an entrepreneur comes from having a process, learning from mistakes and doing what is needed to fully realize opportunities.
  • I’ve made a lot of mistakes from starting and running dozens of companies. Even when you fail, you use what you learned from those mistakes to get to success. I wouldn’t be where I am today without falling down early on a lot. Keep trying — and as you build your system, you will make your own luck.
  • It’s not enough to hire and work with smart people. You want to look for any way to improve their efficiency. A company is people.
  • It’s easier than ever to start and run a business. Just think of what gets unlocked with a web browser!