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Fifth Annual Endeavor Colombia Conference Brings Together Top Latin American Network Members in Bogotá

logo-endeavorThe 5th annual Endeavor Colombia Conference took place in Bogotá this month with the theme “A Day to Think Big”, aiming to inspire entrepreneurs and audiences with the high-impact stories of Endeavor’s network and provide a top forum for networking. The Conference brought together over 250 Endeavor stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, board members, and mentors from across Latin America.


The opening panel featuring key members of the Endeavor network

The event marked the first time Endeavor Colombia partnered with Foros El Espectador, a top organizer of business conferences and events in the region. Of the attendees, 17 panelists from Mexico, Chile, the US and Colombia were present, as well as Endeavor Colombia mentors Juanita Ochoa and Fernando Anzures, Endeavor Miami Board Member Adriana Cisneros and Endeavor Investor Network member Chris Rogers.

Eight Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Mexico, Colombia and Chile were present, including  Carlos Anaya of Parkimovil, Diego Solorzano of Carrot.mx, Arturo Galvan of Naranya,  Alex Torrenegra and Tania Zapata of Bunny Inc., Kenneth Mendiwelson of Refinancia, Mario Hernandez of Marroquinera and Jorge Nazer of ALTO.

The content of the day-long conference opened with a panel about international expansion strategies featuring Endeavor Entrepreneurs and network members, followed by multiple panels focused on marketing trends, the impact of entrepreneurship in urban areas, and entrepreneurial success stories. Subsequent workshop events were themed around challenges in investments and marketing.

Read press coverage of the conference in El Espectador by clicking here.


Attendees fill the room during a conference panel

Argentina’s Technisys Raises $13 Million in Funding Round, Receives Participation From Endeavor Catalyst


Technisys, an Endeavor Argentina entrepreneur company, raised $13 million in a Series B round of funding that included participation from Intel Capital, Alta Ventures, KaSZeK Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investor Holdinvest. Technisys has brought an innovative business model to the banking world in Latin America by offering omnichannel technology solutions to customers through mobile devices, ATM machines, online platforms and more.

The company was founded in 1996 by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Miguel Santos and German Pugliese Bassi, and has grown to employ 300 people across 10 Latin American offices. The company’s growth has expanded as the region’s middle class continues to rise, with clients like Citibank, Banco Itaú, Banco Estado de Chile and Banco Original leveraging their solutions to reach customers for savings, payments and loans services. Technisys streamlines the information held within various applications and provides banks with a simpler and more effective means for customer interaction. The company is expected to reach close to $30 million in revenue this year.

“The banks should be reaching the customer in a holistic way. That means allowing them to connect via the Web, tablet, ATMs, smartphones and new wearable devices,” said CEO Miguel Santos.

With much of the population in Latin America still lacking access to traditional banking services, the team at Technisys has uncovered a key opportunity to leverage technology and reach consumers looking for efficient financial solutions. The Technisys team expects to use the Series B funding to expand to new markets and continue investing in R&D, particularly in the wearable devices market.

“We’re thrilled to contribute to this next phase of Technisys’ growth,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg about Endeavor Catalyst’s participation. “We’re very proud of what Miguel, German and their team has achieved so far and have big expectations for the future.”

Since joining the Endeavor in 2001, the entrepreneurs have been active members of the network, receiving custom advisory services from a local board of Endeavor mentors. In addition, Endeavor has connected the team with other entrepreneurs and business leaders through retreat and summit events, as well as through talent programs like the EY Vantage Program. Endeavor Catalyst’s participation in this round demonstrates the company’s high-impact, high-growth potential.

Read more about the investment news in the Wall Street Journal.

About Endeavor Catalyst

Endeavor Catalyst is a passive co-investment vehicle that allows Endeavor Global to invest in Endeavor Entrepreneurs in a neutral, unbiased way. The main goal of this program is to use the returns of the investment to support Endeavor’s operations. The fund also contributes to Endeavor’s mission as it promotes professional third-party angel and venture capital investors to take a stronger interest in emerging market investment opportunities. Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst by clicking here.

WeXchange 2014 Forum Empowers Female Entrepreneurs with a Focus on Latin America

1919650_669277579815095_9025990230053879794_nWeXchange is a platform dedicated to promoting the development of female entrepreneurs with a focus on Latin America by providing key networking, mentoring and growth opportunities. The 2014 WeXchange Forum will take place December 11th-12th in Miami, FL as the premiere gathering for stakeholders and audiences interested in Latin American entrepreneurship and the empowerment of women-owned businesses. This year’s event will take place after the 56th Endeavor International Selection Panel in Miami and feature keynotes from Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg as well as Endeavor Entrepreneur and Beleza Natural CEO Leila Velez.

Find out more about the event, as well as registration details, by visiting www.wexchange.co.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Greece, Indonesia and Malaysia Speak at the 2014 ASEAN Business Club Forum in Singapore

ASEANThe 2014 ASEAN Business Club Forum took place in Singapore this month and brought together more than 300 business leaders from across the Asia Pacific region to tackle issues in trade, industry and economic development. Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Greece’s Out There Media, Indonesia’s Kartuku and Malaysia’s GridMarkets were invited to speak at the event to address innovations in their respective industries and the impact of entrepreneurship in the region. 


Endeavor VP Cindy Ko speaking at the 2014 ABC Forum

 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is a ten-member bloc which includes such countries as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The organization aims to accelerate economic growth and promote political and social progress among its members.  The Business Club Forum is ASEAN’s leading business event focused on private sector growth and the acceleration of the organization’s regional agenda. Top executives, entrepreneurs and policymakers from an array of industries gathered to identify barriers and opportunities to the ASEAN Economic Community. Among them, Endeavor’s VP of International Expansion Cindy Ko discussed recent Endeavor Insight research on the growth of Silicon Valley and the impact of “entrepreneurial mafias” in supporting ecosystems of startups and scaleups.


Endeavor network members with AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes

Serving as an example of Endeavor’s global network, Greece’s Kerstin Trikalitis, co-founder of mobile advertising solutions firm Out There Media, was given the opportunity to present an “Idea Capsule” talk on location-based mobile marketing  strategies. Indonesian entrepreneur Niki Luhur, founder of Kartuku, presented on the cashless payment and digital transaction industry, drawing on his experience developing and promoting Kartuku’s innovate payments network. Endeavor Malaysia’s first entrepreneur and GridMarkets founder Hakim Karim discussed his company’s business model and the untapped potential in the data server sector. In addition to the entrepreneurs who spoke, Endeavor Malaysia Board Member, Forum Chairman and AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes gave a featured keynote stressing the importance of cooperation between the public sector and private businesses in the region.

Learn more about the 2014 ASEAN Business Club Forum by clicking here and see the links below for videos of each talk.

Endeavor Catalyst Participates in Recent Funding Round for Uruguay’s Scanntech

Endeavor-Catalyst-LogoEndeavor Catalyst recently joined the funding round for Uruguay’s Scanntech, a leading technology platform that connects retailers in emerging markets to consumer products companies, financial institutions and more. Marking Endeavor Catalyst’s seventeenth investment, the Scanntech news demonstrates how innovative entrepreneurial ventures are continuing to attract global interest in the world’s most unexpected markets.


Scanntech currently operates in seven countries in Latin America and represents the first Uruguay-based company in the Endeavor Catalyst portfolio.  The firm’s latest investment round included the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, Sequoia Capital, an earlier Scanntech investor, and other firms. Entrepreneur Founder and Endeavor Entrepreneur Raul Polakof is revolutionizing the way independent and traditional grocery stores in emerging markets integrate with Consumer Goods Companies. The company’s technology platform connects traditional stores with global consumer products companies, financial institutions and telecommunications firms, and government services.

 “We’d like to thank everyone at Endeavor for making this investment happen,” said Polakof, who has been an Endeavor Entrepreneur since 2001.  “One of our goals has always been to show that entrepreneurs can make an enormous difference in emerging market countries.”  The new investment round will fund further expansion across the region, including Brazil, Peru and Colombia as well as into other emerging markets.

Since joining Endeavor in 2001, Polakof has been an active network member, serving as both a mentor and, formerly, as a board member for Endeavor Uruguay. Raul has received local mentorship from Endeavor’s expert advisors with a particular focus on areas of expansion, litigation, and publicity. As an entrepreneur, he has also participated in numerous global workshops, Immersion Tours and Endeavor Summits. As a company, Scanntech has benefited from a range of Endeavor talent programs including the G-Lab program, EY Vantage program and the eMBA program

About Endeavor Catalyst

Endeavor Catalyst is a passive co-investment vehicle that allows Endeavor Global to invest in Endeavor Entrepreneurs in a neutral, unbiased way. The main goal of this program is to use the returns of the investment to support Endeavor’s operations. The fund also contributes to Endeavor’s mission as it promotes professional third-party angel and venture capital investors to take a stronger interest in emerging market investment opportunities. Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst by clicking here.

Endeavor eMERGE Dubai Convenes 40+ Entrepreneurs and Network Members to Highlight Human Capital

emergeDubaiEndeavor hosted an Endeavor eMERGE event in Dubai this month, bringing together top members of the network from the MENA region for two days of networking, workshops and discussion. With a particular focus on the development of human capital, the event featured participation from 20+ Endeavor Entrepreneurs and candidates from the UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Spain and Saudi Arabia, as well as a number of industry and business leaders.


The first night’s networking dinner

The event kicked off with a networking dinner that gathered nearly 40 attendees, including the entrepreneurs, Endeavor staff and board members, for an informal introductory meeting. Notable members of Endeavor UAE‘s board, including Fadi Ghandour, Noor Sweid, Souheil Hajjar and Board Chairman Patrick Chalhoub, were also in attendance. A number of cross-border connections were made during the night of networking, most notably between Endeavor Spain Entrepreneur Ignasi Vilajosana, founder of Worldsensing, and members of Endeavor’s MENA network.

Selected into the network in 2014 as the first entrepreneur from Endeavor SpainIgnasi was also invited to keynote the Smart Living City conference in Dubai the same week. As the founder of Worldsensing, a traffic management and infrastructure solutions firm, Ignasi  aims to leverage the concept of the “Internet of Things” by integrating sensor monitoring technology in cities to make them smarter, safer and more efficient.  The Smart Living City event brought together high-level representatives from startups, foundations, corporations and more to highlight the future of urban living and the opportunities for technology and development to intersect. At the eMERGE dinner, Ignasi was able to meet a number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs leading companies that are also leveraging technology in unique and innovative ways. 

During the following day of workshops, Sal Giambanco, partner at the Omidyar Network, led an interactive and engaging workshop on human capital for both Endeavor staff and participating entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs conducted an organizational  review to identify key talent opportunities based on their business priorities in order to better understand their needs. Sal equipped the entrepreneurs with “tools” to help them assess their human capital and elicit better performance from their employees. In addition, he had them take a look at practical processes they could put in place as leaders to improve feedback and ensure employee satisfaction. He also placed an emphasis on work-life balance, the delegation of responsibilities, and an overall focus on personal health that could easily translate into the professional space. A subsequent Q&A session from the entrepreneurs raised critical questions about real-world business issues with talent management and employee retention.

The day culminated with positive feedback in praise of the event’s networking and learning opportunities, as well as requests for future eMERGE events. Learn more about the Endeavor eMERGE California event that took place in June by clicking here


A human capital workshop led by Omidyar Network’s Sal Giambanco


Mexico’s Kubo.Financiero, A Microfinance Platform, Receives $1.7 Million Investment

kuboMexico’s kubo.financiero recently raised nearly $1.7 million in an investment round led by venture firms Alta Ventures Mexico and  Capital Emprendedor, bringing the company’s total funding to $3.7 million. With this investment, kubo.financiero hopes to continue disrupting the financial sector in Mexico by significantly reducing interest rates to borrowers and creating a new asset class for investors across the region.

kubo.financiero is a pioneer in Mexico’s microfinance sector, offering online financial communities that link creditworthy borrowers with savvy investors through a peer to peer lending (P2P) business model. With a branch-less model that cuts overhead costs, kubo leverages technology and credit information systems that streamline the process of borrowing capital for everyone. kubo’s innovative model and strategic approach aims to encourage a “multiplier effect” for finance that can generate both economic and social impact.

Since its founding in 2012 by Endeavor Entrepreneur Vicente Fenoll Algorta, the company has met with nearly 5,200 credit requests leading to over 1,200 disbursements. Ninety percent of these loans support needs ranging from housing to education. The loans have terms that range from 16 weeks to 18 months, and nearly 95% of customers are paying 50% lower rates versus the ones they previously paid. The new venture firms in this recent round will join an existing group of angels and investors, including previous investors Vander Capital and Wayra.

Vicente joined Endeavor as an entrepreneur in 2004 as the founder of Fincomun before he went on to start kubo.financiero. With kubo, Vicente and his team have been active members of the network, participating in Endeavor Investor Network events, working with expert mentors, receiving support from the EY Vantage and eMBA programs, and giving back to Endeavor Mexico through donations.

Read more about the news by clicking here.

Endeavor Co-Hosts Silicon Valley Day in Mexico with Top Members of the Local Network

Silicon-Valley-Day-MexicoOn September 9th, the Endeavor Global and Endeavor Mexico teams co-hosted a a Silicon Valley Day event with Prezi, ZenDesk, Posible, 99 Designs and other top brands at the Monterrey Institute of Technology. The event aimed to bring Silicon Valley-level innovation and dialogue to Mexico by gathering leading investors, industry experts and entrepreneurs – including many key members of the Endeavor network. Over 1,500 participants turned up for the day of panel discussions and networking.

The event featured speakers representing Latin American interests from premiere tech comapniess and venture capital firms interested in promoting entrepreneurship and investment in Mexico. Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, delivered the day’s opening remarks by pointing out the strength and importance of Mexico’s relationship with Silicon Valley, where Mexican investors contribute nearly $2 billion a year to the region’s economy.

During the event, Endeavor Mexico moderated a panel on venture capital that  included entrepreneur Arturo Galvan, founder of mobile content developer Naranya, and Investor Network partners Pepe Villaltoro of CrowdFund, Hernán Hernandez of Angel Ventures Mexico and Luis Cervantes of General Atlantic. A networking event that closed the night also brought out a number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs and representatives from their companies.

Learn more about Silicon Valley Day by clicking here.


A panel discussion on Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship during SVD

South Africa’s wiGroup Wins 2014 PwC Vision to Reality Award

wiGroup_Logo-MediumSouth Africa’s wiGroup was recently honored with the 2014 PwC Vision to Reality Award, which celebrates dynamic companies in the technology sector that have demonstrated growth and innovation. wiGroup’s mobile transactions application is leading the region’s point-of-sale sector by leveraging advancements in mobile technology to better serve consumers, merchants and retailers.

Multinational professional services firm PwC formed the Vision to Reality Awards program to acknowledge businesses that have best commercialized an innovative technology solution. The innovation must be designated as new, unique and a ‘game changer’, with demonstrated customer approval. The Awards program ultimately looks to encourage the best companies to step forward as role models, and to inspire future generations of technology startups. The winners are determined by an independent panel of judges recognized as experts in corporate technology and innovation.

Launched in 2011 by Endeavor Entrepreneur Bevan Ducasse, wiGroup’s in-store transaction platform, simply called WiPlatform, has been integrated with over 50,000 retail checkouts across South Africa and processed over three million transactions worth over $200 million. Bevan was selected into the Endeavor network in 2014 and has worked with a local team of expert Endeavor advisors to begin crafting expansion and business development strategies. Through Endeavor, Bevan has also been introduced to high-impact entrepreneurs in South Africa’s network.

Learn more about this year’s Vision to Reality Awards program by clicking here.

Argentina’s Socialmetrix Expands Presence to the U.S. with Miami Office

SocialmetrixSocialmetrix, founded by Argentine entrepreneurs Gustavo Arjones and Martin Enriquez, recently announced that the company will expand its operations to the U.S. with a team in Miami, FL. With this expansion, the growing social media analytics and monitoring company is surpassing competitors as it looks towards establishing a global presence.

With a roster of Fortune 100 clients across 10 countries, including brands like Yahoo, Starbucks, Microsoft and PepsiCo, Socialmetrix offers efficient and in-depth social media analytic services via its two product platforms, Eventia and Echo. The company provides technology that harnesses the power of social conversations, monitoring digital chatter and analyzing it for clients so that they can better understand their brands and customer base. Socialmetrix’s mission is to combine the best in product technology, local expertise, and professional services to serve an ever-expanding social marketplace.

The company’s new Miami office is focused on business development efforts that will help the entrepreneurs access more opportunities for growth in the U.S. It will be the their third office outside of Argentina, with teams already based in Mexico and Brazil. Martin Enriquez, the comapny’s CEO, will be responsible for managing the new venture.

“We have chosen Miami to start this new expansion effort because for many years Miami has been a crucial business hub for Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market,” said Martin in a statement. “Many of our current clients have their pan-regional headquarters in Miami, thus, being there is the best way to continue assisting them and grow together.”

Since joining the Endeavor network in 2010, the entrepreneurs have received critical mentoring support from expert advisers along with introductions to high profile investors. In addition, the team has participated in Endeavor talent programs that seek to provide professionals with on-the-ground entrepreneurial experience, such as the EY Vantage Program.

Read more about the company’s announcement by clicking here

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