High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Inc. spotlights Endeavor Entrepreneur Wences Casares, and his $750 million “mistake”

One of the first Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected in Argentina and Endeavor Global Board member Wences Casares said in a recent interview in Inc. that after selling his first company, Patagon, for $750 million and having several other successful exits, he “is not embarrassed by being a serial entrepreneur, but I am not proud of having sold so many companies.”

Wences explains that he “would have much preferred to build one company and take it to its full potential…I think that being a serial entrepreneur should be at best something that happens, but not something you strive to be. You want to build the best company possible.”

While Wences believes selling “ultimately represents a failure” he understands that “sometimes there’s just not many options. Sometimes you have investors and you have a really attractive offer on the table, and that’s what happened to me. The offer on the table was so attractive that the investors didn’t want to take the risk of not accepting. You knew that could happen when you accepted their money, so you have to go with them. There are different ways to do it, though. You can take the company public, or sometimes you can replace VC investors with private equity investors.”

Along with investors, entrepreneurs must also consider employees. “When you have an offer to be acquired, you as a founder may be willing to take on that risk because you believe it can be a stand-alone company and make it much bigger. But it’s also fair that when some of your key people may say ‘Hey, this equity would change my life, and it would make me very uncomfortable to put it all at risk for a few more years.'”

As a global board member of Endeavor and a founding partner of MECK, a private investment firm, Wences tells entrepreneurs that they need to get stuff done to impress investors. “Being an entrepreneur, after all, is really just being a do-er. It’s impossible to judge your capacity to get things done by a PowerPoint or how articulate you are as a talker or how polished your pitch is. The only thing that hints to how you are as a do-er is by looking at what you’ve actually done.”

Wences admires a “real entrepreneur who is driven by a driven by market need and by some passion and vision” rather than what he calls “entrepreneurship groupies” who aspire to be serial entrepreneurs. Wences hopes to see less focus on raising funds and more focus on building “the best company possible.”

Financial Times highlights Endeavor

The Financial Times mentioned Endeavor in an article on “Social Entrepreneurship in Latin America.” The article quotes Rhett Morris, director of Endeavor’s Center for High-Impact Entrepreneurship (C-HIE), who “believes that, in given the relatively underdeveloped state of philanthropy in many Latin American countries, as well as the limitations of government social programmes, entrepreneurs will play an increasingly important part in delivering essential services.”

The article also spotlights Endeavor company Enova. Based in Mexico, Enova “designs, builds and operates small educational centres called the RIA – Red de Innovación y Aprendizaje (Learning and Education Network). Based on e-learning, the centres target low-income urban communities. Since May 2009, Enova has opened centres in 42 locations and more than 14,000 students have completed its courses. It aims to improve the education of 5m poor Mexicans by 2013.”

See the original post here; note that it is paywall-protected.

Former Endeavor Fellow mentioned in New York Times

The New York Times spotlighted former Endeavor Fellow Lawrence Langowski. The article follows Lawrence’s journey from wrestling for Mexico in the 2008 Beijing Olympics to moving to Mexico City on a Fulbright scholarship. Upon his move to Mexico City, “Langowski began work as a fellow at Endeavor, a nonprofit focused on Entrepreneurship in emerging markets.”

During his time with Endeavor, Langowski assisted Endeavor candidate entrepreneurs through a selection process and wrote case studies on their businesses to present at national and international selection panel events. Langowski enjoyed some success during his time with Endeavor, as “his first review was honored at a panel in Jordan.” To see the original article, click here.

Two Endeavor companies win awards at the Americas Venture Capital Conference

Endeavor companies gained valuable recognition at the second annual Americas Venture Capital Conference (AVCC) in Miami last week. Endeavor companies accounted for five of the twelve companies selected to speak in front of an audience of over 200 investors and attendees. Speakers included Endeavor Entrepreneur and Global Board member Wences Casares, Endeavor Global Network member Juan Pablo Cappello, and Allen Taylor (Director, Global Networks – Endeavor).

Two Endeavor companies were prizewinners at the conference. Buscalibre (Chile) received the FedEX Access to Global Markets Prize of $10,000 in-kind services for the company’s commitment to global trade. Cinemagic (Mexico) was voted by the public on Facebook to receive the CP Capital “People’s Choice Award,” awarding Cinemagic $10,000 in investment banking services “for a company that causes ripple effects of influence on people, industries and business around them,” according to the AVCC.

The AVCC is held annually to “provide a unique forum for innovative enterprises in South Florida and Latin America to showcase their ventures, and to meet established firms and potential investors to develop strategic alliances.” More information about the conference can be found here. Congratulations to Endeavor’s speakers and prizewinners.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Nada Debs mentioned in Wall Street Journal

An article in The Wall Street Journal‘s Life & Culture Section, “Beirut,” gives a nod to Endeavor Entrepreneur Nada Debs’ Boutique.

“After years of chaos, Lebanon’s cosmopolitan capital is making a stylish comeback,” asserts the article, explaining that Nada Debs “designs furniture and objects that blend Middle and Far Eastern influences. Her pieces are modern, but with a touch of tradition—and beautifully made.”

Nada Debs, one of the first Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected by Endeavor Lebanon in 2011, has build an elite Lebanese design brand, displaying products in top furniture stores worldwide. She spent her child in Japan, and designs peaceful zen-like furniture with a mix of the aesthetic traditions of her native Middle East. Along with The Wall Street Journal, Nada’s products have been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Monocle, and over 120 other magazines and newspapers. Featured in top furniture stores worldwide, Nada’s products give the world a tasteful peak into Beirut’s old and new culture. Check out Nada’s designs here.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Daniel Daccarett receives crime prevention award

On September 28, Chile’s government awarded Endeavor Entrepreneur Daniel Daccarett a major honor. As CEO of Producto Protegido, Daniel received the “Public-Private Partnership: Committed to Safety 2011” award for the company’s work in theft protection. The award is given annually by Chile’s Secretary of Crime Prevention to businesses that have “made notable efforts in matters of security and have become an integral component for a more efficient public safety, for the benefit of our entire community.”

Producto Protegido provides product protection services by laser printing a unique code on the property, and then storing the code in the National Register of Protected Product Goods. Besides deterring criminals from stealing the marked item in the first place, the code also contains information such as brand, manufacturer, photographs of the product, and owner contact information. If a marked good is stolen, the registered code facilitates the recovery of the stolen product. Producto Protegido’s online database works directly with authorities to minimize the market for stolen goods and to maximize the possibility of returning stolen goods to owners.

After building a website where everyone can register their marked products, Producto Protegido saw people’s great interest in marking their property and built special products for people’s most valuable goods. Producto Protegido now offers a Home Development Kit that allows people to mark goods inside of their home, an Electronic Development Kit for portable electronics, and an Auto Kit for vehicles and bikes. All these products have assisted the government’s goal of reducing criminal activity and the resale of stolen goods, and have made Producto Protegido well deserving of this major recognition.

Video (The 99 Percent conference): Linda Rottenberg offers advice to entrepreneurs in creative industries

In this talk at Behance’s 99% conference, Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg addresses some of the key challenges facing creative startups. She urges entrepreneurs to push their “crazy” ideas, think big, and engage in peer mentorship. Click here to view the video on the 99% website.

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