Young Millionaires

Sarah Gerdes, 32

By Gisela M. Pedroza

While working two separate stints as a marketing executive at high-tech firms, Sarah Gerdes noticed the lack of alliance management service providers in the technology sector. Using her industry contacts, Gerdes broke out on her own in 1996 to start Business Marketing Group Inc. Today BMG brokers partnership agreements between high-tech entrepreneurs and technology fat cats like Microsoft, Intel and Tivoli.

Gerdes faced her greatest challenge when she decided to move company headquarters from San Francisco to Kirkland, Washington, in 1998 to be nearer to her husband. Leaving most of her staff behind, it took her nine months to hire and train a partnership development staff. Nevertheless, earnings still tripled in 1998 and again in 1999.

BMG expects $12 million in sales this year. Gerdes' formula for success? "Being able to have an absolute belief that what you're doing is vital to another company's business."

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Young Millionaires.

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