High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Aggreko purchases Endeavor Entrepreneur company Poit Energia for £140 million

The Brazilian temporary infrastructure company Poit Energia, started by Endeavor Entrepreneur Wilson Poit, was recently bought by Scottish temporary power group Aggreko for £140 million GBP ($220 million USD). This marks the largest deal ever done by a Brazilian Endeavor Entrepreneur. The high sales price is also reflective of Poit’s incredible growth in the Brazilian, Chilean, Peruvian, and Argentine markets over the last 13 years. Poit earned £46 million GBP in revenue last year, and has posted a 45% compound annual growth rate over the last 3 years. They also have a fleet of over 1,300 generators, and over 450 employees in their 18 depot locations throughout Latin America, making them the largest temporary energy resource in these markets.

Started in 1999, Poit Energia has been an incredible success for founder Wilson Poit. After getting his degree in Industrial Engineering, he took a look at how to overhaul the ineffective Brazilian Generator industry. Creating a scaleable business of leasing state-of-the-art generators and temporary power equipment, Poit Energia grew quickly to dominate the market. The founder is also deeply passionate about the environment, and has integrated strict recycling and sustainability measures into Poit Energia’s business. For his work, Poit was recognized as one of the “Entrepreneurs of the New Brazil” in 2002, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

However, selling his namesake company doesn’t mean that Poit will be leaving the business he grew from the ground up. As Aggreko expands their operations for the first time into Latin America, they need experts in the local market and have reached a deal to keep Wilson Poit and his management team running Poit for the next year. His expertise will be crucial for Aggreko, as they have a set goal of doubling Poit’s facilities in Latin America in the next few years. This will be the fifth acquisition of a local company which Aggreko has done in the last 4 years, and their stock price surged 1.25% after the announcement of the merger, indicating positive investor opinion of Poit’s Latin American business.

This sale will also mark the largest equity donation of an entrepreneur to Endeavor. Picked in 2002 by Endeavor’s International Selection Panel, Poit has since been a valuable and active member of the Endeavor network. When reached for comment about the sale he stated, “It is just the beginning of a long high-impact journey…I learned to dream big with Endeavor.”

CNN’s Marketplace Middle East on Endeavor, selection panel in Dubai

Endeavor’s recent International Selection Panel (ISP) in Dubai was featured on CNN’s Marketplace Middle East program.

Following the ISP process, the report focuses on how panelists, comprised of top-tier business leaders, engage potential Endeavor companies through the rigorous selection process. With their years of experience, these panelists provide feedback and, often, constructive criticism of these companies, letting them know how they can improve their businesses and presentations. While not all feedback is positive, all of the potential selectees leave the ISP with new ideas about how to improve their companies, even the ones who don’t make the final cut.

CNN highlights the rationale for why Endeavor holds a high standard for chosen companies, only selecting those high-impact entrepreneurs which show potential for substantial growth, impressive job creation, and the potential to inspire others in their region. This is especially important in the Middle East, where unemployment has reached an all-time high and youth unemployment has reached nearly 25%. Endeavor’s model of helping among high impact companies reach their potential is cited for its potential to help alleviate this problem.

Endeavor attends Global Entrepreneurship Congress

Last week, Endeavor representatives from 10 offices worldwide attended Kauffman’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Liverpool, England, a conference “where people, passion and potential are celebrated, inspired and accelerated.” As an important part of this 4th annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress, the 16 Endeavor representatives in attendance mingled with iconic business innovators such as Sir Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin, and Stephen Felice, SME and Consumer President of Dell, while spreading their message on the positive effects of entrepreneurship, particularly in the emerging markets in which they focus their activities.

Endeavor Global’s Director of Marketing & Development, Rebecca Plofker addressed the Congress about how Endeavor uses the powerful stories of High-Impact Entrepreneurs to inspire future generations in developing economies as well as going into detail on what Endeavor affiliates do as country hosts during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Citing the growing number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs participating in GEW activities, she also elaborated on how sharing these stories of success can inspire others to start their own enterprises, creating entrepreneurial ecosystems which act as a catalyst for economic growth and important job creation. This was followed up with a breakout session led by Rebecca, Mark Nager of Startup Weekend, and Nick Seguin of the Kauffman Foundation on how to foster and sustainably grow these entrepreneurial ecosystems.

It’s unsurprising that Endeavor had such an esteemed presence at the GEC, as last year ten Endeavor affiliates acted as host for Global Entrepreneurship Week in their countries. This event has become a cornerstone for Entrepreneurial creation worldwide, and is the globes’ largest celebration of innovators and job creators. Started in 2008, Global Entrepreneurship Week was celebrated last year in nearly 120 countries and directly impacted more than 6 million people worldwide, of more than 1 million of which came from Endeavor affiliate countries. Additionally, Endeavor country Turkey was recognized at the Congress for their GEW campaign, and won “Country of the Year” at the annual Gala. This week-long event has become an important tool for encouraging and inspiring entrepreneurs.

Additionally, it was announced during the Congress that Endeavor Brazil would host next years’ GEC in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil was one of the first Endeavor locations, and the country is often cited as an important example of how entrepreneurship can thrive in emerging markets to positively affect economic growth and create high-skilled jobs. This news marks another important step for Endeavor in becoming a recognized leader in the High-Impact Entrepreneurship movement.


Endeavor Entrepreneurs receive guidance through House of Genius at SXSW


Last week, Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Gyft (South Africa/USA), Mural.ly (Argentina), and Campo Alto(Colombia) had the opportunity to meet with members of the Austin chapter of House of Genius, an organization that brings together entrepreneurs and a diverse mix of business leaders from the community for an evening of disruptive thinking, supportive input, and creative new ideas.. This intense, thought provoking event took place at the end of SXSW Interactive and just four days after Endeavor Entrepreneurs met with several House of Genius members for 1-on-1 mentoring sessions during Endeavor’s Austin Innovation Tour and nearly a week after the Endeavor and Startup America hosted Entrepreneur’s Unconference at Dell headquarters in Austin.

The House of Genius session gave the entrepreneurs the opportunity to expose their products to the scrutiny of industry experts from a variety of fields. Composed of executives, artists, entrepreneurs, and academics, House of Genius engages innovators in an intense dialogue and debate to, as they say, “disrupt normal thinking patterns and ignite new ideas.”

The entrepreneurs presented their business and then listened as the 20 “geniuses” went around the table and shared feedback, ideas, potential use cases, and concerns. Each entrepreneur was then able to narrow the focus on 1-3 points and raise specific questions to the panel. Mariano Suarez-Battan, an Argentine entrepreneur in the social media, gaming and mobile app space, found the event to be helpful for his new online venture and said the House of Genius members helped him to “frame the problem he’s trying to solve, dive deep and work with interactive agencies and teams to figure out what problems arise off-line that his online tool could address” They helped him see beyond his scope as a designer and better understand his customers’ perspective. Vinny Lingham, a South African entrepreneur in the mobile space, commented, “It was like having 20 meetings with industry experts in just 2 hours. Kind of like an incredibly efficient focus group. And the feedback was collaborative, not critical.”

These sessions went beyond advice and consulting, as there was optimistic talk of forming strategic business alliances and the possibility of launching House of Genius in some of Endeavor’s countries. A House of Genius member commented that the entrepreneurs really “grabbed his attention,” as much from the creativity and innovation of their ideas as the passion and energy they brought to their businesses. Mariano continued, “We used the word ‘partnership,’” elaborating that he and the cofounders of House of Genius planned a more in-depth strategic session once the South-by-Southwest activities calmed down.
The feeling of success was palpable as this House of Genius event wrapped up. These emerging market entrepreneurs proved themselves in front of a group of experts and were able to walk away with invaluable advice and potentially lifelong connections. With such a great end to Endeavor’s Austin Tour and South-by-Southwest, it only remains to be seen how Endeavor will top this event in the future.

After all, what is an angel investor?

Reprinted from Endeavor Brazil’s Endeavor Mag. See original post here.

By Cássio Spina

Translated by Jack Connor

The term Angel Investor, or Business Angel, was coined in the U.S. in the early twentieth century to describe investors who bankrolled the production costs of Broadway plays, taking risks and providing implementation assistance in order to take part in the financial rewards. The concept evolved into investments made by individuals, usually professionals or successful entrepreneurs in start-ups, providing not only financial capital but also intellectual support for an entrepreneur through their experience and knowledge. This is how it ended up being known as Smart Money.

For their investment, the Angel-Investor receives a minority equity share and has no executive position in the company, rather acting as an advisor guiding entrepreneurs and participating in strategic decisions, greatly increasing their chances of success as well as accelerating development.

The angel investment in a company is usually done by a group 2-5 investors, both for dilution risk as well as to share the commitment. It is worth noting that the current trend for performing the most efficient angel investment is by designating an investor-leader (Lead Investor or, sometimes just as a Deal Leader) that makes the pre-project evaluation and negotiates with the entrepreneur, which is then presented to other angel investors (in this case called followers). With this investment method the process is faster and more effective, as accomplishing the whole process as a group can be exorbitantly slow, since it can be a challenge to reconcile investors’ schedules for even a simple meeting, not to mention that consensus can take months to reach.

Of course, the lead investor must receive additional compensation for his added dedication, not necessarily in money, but by having a different percentage share of the business, as they must make more time available to accomplish this whole investment process. Nothing prevents a single angel investor from acting as a business leader for one company and a follower for another, it actually allows them to increase productivity and opportunities. On the other hand, if the main activity of the angel investor is with another company, and they have little willingness to engage in the entire investment process, it is recommended that they become a follower.

Endeavor company Yola listed a “Top 20 Tech Startup in Africa” by Forbes

Founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, the South African tech company Yola has just been listed by Forbes Africa (a licensed affiliate of Forbes magazine) as one of the “Top 20 Startups in Africa”: “Founded by South African-born internet entrepreneur Vinny Lingham in 2007, Yola (formerly known as Synthasite) is a website builder which lets you create your own website with easy-to-use drag and drop multimedia features.” Check out the Forbes.com blog post about the list.

Yola has become a valuable resource for small businesses looking for affordable, easy-to-use website solutions. Vinny currently resides in the San Francisco area where he works on growing their North American business as well as angel investing and sitting on the boards of several tech companies. Along with being selected by Endeavor for another venture, Incubeta, he was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2009.

Yola plays an important role in Africa as internet penetration continues to grow exponentially. Currently there are over 110 million users on the continent, a 2,300% increase over the last ten years, and having an online presence is becoming increasingly important for businesses and entrepreneurs on the continent.

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