High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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June 2015 Newsletter

june newsletterTo view Endeavor’s June newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

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Endeavor Marks Third Expansion in Europe with Launch in Bulgaria


Endeavor Bulgaria Logo no tag (color) hi-resSofia, Bulgaria – June 1, 2015 – With the launch of an office in Bulgaria, Endeavor now has a presence in three European countries. With the support of some of Bulgaria’s top businesses leaders, Endeavor will focus on fostering the entrepreneurs with the most potential to create jobs and transform the regional economy. Endeavor first expanded in Europe in 2012 with Endeavor Greece followed by the launch of Endeavor Spain in 2014.

Bulgaria has come a long way from its turbulent political and economic transition in the 1990s to becoming a member of the European Union in 2007. With average annual economic growth reaching 4% over the past decade, Bulgaria needs to build on the its achievements and continue to stimulate employment, business and investment growth. According to conclusions from the Global Entrepreneurship Index, Bulgaria is in need of institutional progress in the ecosystem that will result in more high-quality and innovative ventures that can continue to propel its development. Slowing recovery from the 2008 economic crisis demonstrates that there are still many challenges to the quality of entrepreneurship in the country, but the general population has a better than average attitude towards entrepreneurial activity when compared to the rest of the EU.

High-impact entrepreneurs have the potential to transform Bulgaria into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, which will create role models and inspirational stories for future generations to follow. Given access to the right mix of mentors, business networks, capital and strategic advice, Endeavor Entrepreneurs around the world have successfully attracted top talent and investment to the regions that need it the most.  With a favorable environment for entrepreneurial growth, Bulgaria has the necessary infrastructure to build a support network for businesses that can move the needle of the economy.

“We are thrilled to continue our growth in Europe with this expansion in Bulgaria, which will continue the amazing work that Endeavor has already done in Greece and Spain,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Great talent and ideas exist in every region of the world and Endeavor will help showcase Bulgaria’s top entrepreneurs on a global stage.”

Founded in 1997, Endeavor selects and supports high-impact entrepreneurs who have the potential to scale from promising SMEs into companies that create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and generate significant revenues. Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given world-class strategic mentoring advice, access to key networks and other tools and talent programs that can catapult them to success. In the past 17 years Endeavor has selected over a thousand entrepreneurs from 22 countries around the world in North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In 2013, these entrepreneurs generated $6.8BN in revenue and created 400,000 jobs.

All of Endeavor’s global affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of business leaders and entrepreneurs. The Endeavor Bulgaria founding board include: Nedelcho Spasov, Co-Founder of Easy Asset Management; Christo Iliev, Founder & Executive Chairman of AG Capital; Lyubomir Minchev, Founder & CEO of Telelink; Atanas Simeonov, CEO of S Group; Vassil Terziev, Chief Innovation Officer of Progress Software; and Ivo Evgeniev, Co-Founder of Rosslyn Capital Partners.

“The Board of Endeavor Bulgaria looks forward to mentoring and supporting the best entrepreneurs across the country,” said Board Chairman Ivo Evgeniev. “We are at the start of making a significant and lasting impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria.”

Angel Kelchev will serve as Managing Director to oversee the successful launch of Endeavor Bulgaria. Angel has over eight years of M&A experience both in the U.S. and in Bulgaria. He has previously advised U.S. companies from a variety of sectors in the technology space, as well as various Bulgarian companies across sectors (e.g., telecom, FMCG, retail, agriculture, etc.). As MD, he will lead the day-to-day operations of the office in Sofia and will be involved in screening local entrepreneurs for selection into the network.

20 Entrepreneurs from 15 Companies Selected into the Endeavor Network at 59th International Selection Panel in Amman


Amman, Jordan – June 12, 2015 – Twenty high-impact entrepreneurs representing 15 companies and 10 countries were welcomed into the Endeavor network after the 59th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP).

Endeavor now supports 1,102 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 694 companies across the 23 markets where it operates. This newest group of entrepreneurs was chosen at a panel held from June 9-11 in Amman, Jordan.

The conclusion of an intensive multi-step selection process that is the foundation of Endeavor’s model, the ISP brought together top business and industry leaders from the Middle East and all around the world. These panelists spent a day interviewing entrepreneur candidates to learn more about their businesses and identify those with the most potential for high-impact growth. They then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become part of the Endeavor network and help lead the entrepreneurship movement in their countries.

“It was great to see so many top members of the Endeavor network come together in Amman, not only for the ISP but also for the Catalyzing Conversations investor event,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “I am proud of the team of Endeavor Jordan for leading the country’s high-impact entrepreneurship movement over the past six years.”

After their selection into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given access to world-class services and programs, including introductions to local and international mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and built sustainable and transformative growth models in their home countries. In turn, they become crucial role models for future generations of entrepreneurs.

Endeavor will be hosting three more International Selection Panels in 2015. Locations will be in San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Marrakech, Morocco; and Mexico City, Mexico

Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and their companies follow.


Panelists interviewing entrepreneur candidates


Entrepreneurs: Mai Medhat & Nihal Fares
Company: Eventtus
Eventtus provides event organizers with all-in-one platform to consolidate efforts for event planning, marketing, and ticket sales, while engaging attendees before, during, and after events. Through the Eventtus-branded mobile app, organizers sell tickets and provide a tool for attendees to plan their agenda, network with other participants, and collaborate through interactive forums, surveys, and polls. Eventtus collects data about user engagements and responses, which organizers leverage to measure ROI and improve future events. Eventtus has helped 700 organizers host 6,000 events, including Step Conference Dubai, RiseUp Summit Egypt, Startup Weekend in 5 cities, TEDx events, and conferences for Vodafone, Nokia, and Mercycorps.


Entrepreneur: Odi Anindito
Company: Coffee Toffee
Indonesia annually produces more than 720 million kilograms of coffee, making it the world’s third largest producer. Yet, Indonesia does not even crack the top 60 in terms of coffee consumption per capita according to a 2014 Euromonitor report. That will soon change; with domestic consumption expected to reach 400,000 tons in 2016, a 33% increase from 2014. To sate their caffeine need, Indonesians head to Coffee Toffee, Indonesia’s largest domestic coffee company.


Entrepreneurs: Mohammad Al-Shaker & Yousef Wadi
Company: ArabiaWeather Inc.
ArabiaWeather Inc. is the MENA region’s first devoted Arabic weather multiplatform (web, video, social media). ArabiaWeather collects raw data from regional satellites to generate hyper-local, real-time weather forecasts based on proprietary algorithms, distributed through its B2C and B2B channels. The B2C channel features 5-day hourly to 14 day extended weather forecasts in Arabic for 5000+ locations in 22 countries with revenue driven by platform advertising. In 2014, ArabiaWeather.com had 20 million unique visitors (15% of internet users in the region.) The B2B offerings involve customized weather services and solutions—such as advanced early weather warning systems for airlines– that help businesses (i.e. media, aviation, agriculture, construction, and oil and gas sectors) save time and money and protect property.

Entrepreneur: Penelope Shihab
Company: MonoJO
Description: : MonoJO is a biotechnology company that researches the benefits of the Middle East’s untapped resources—ultimately creating products for a variety of industries, ranging from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals. Founder and CEO Penelope Shibab has led the company to commercialize its first line of products, Skinue, an anti-acne product line made with camel’s milk that is based off of ten years of R&D. By 2017, the company plans to launch a Gastritis cure using camel milk and a biosensor used to measure diabetes. MonoJO has crucially secured a mutual collaboration agreement with the University of Cambridge and is backed by Dr.Samih Darwazah, the founder of MENA’s largest pharmaceutical company.

Entrepreneur: Ibrahim Safadi
Company:Luminus Education
Description: Luminus Education is an umbrella educational company that has six different brick-and-mortar subsidiaries in Jordan, Iraq, UAE and the UK aimed at fostering better vocational, technical and soft skills amongst the Arab youth. Luminus has successfully graduated more than 30,000 students from across 23 countries and employs more than 560 professionals from around the world. Driven by the critical and growing issue of MENA unemployment, Luminus is looking to further expand its operations across the region with the aim of becoming the Middle East’s leading vocational and technical education institution for employment.


Entrepreneur: Antoine Saab
Company: Energy24
Energy24, with its energy storage solutions (ESS), is charging Lebanon with ESS-ault and battery. Lebanon’s booming population growth overburdens its aging power grid, which is unable to match growing demand. The government’s provision of 1,900 megawatts annually matches only 60% of the country’s electricity needs, resulting in power outages of two to 12 hours daily. Energy24 augments the shortcomings of Lebanon’s formal electricity provider by offering energy storage solutions that stock energy while the power is on, and release it to for consumption during power outages. Energy24’s batteries provide savings of 60% on energy bills, and access to uninterrupted power for up to 72 hours.

Entrepreneurs: Rima Koteich El Husseini & Rana Koteich Najjar
Company: Blessing
Blessing is a chocolate, sweets, and gifts company based in Beirut, Lebanon. The company offers ready-made and customized products for special occasions, including weddings, christenings, corporate events, and holidays. The company has six branches, partnership agreements, and franchise stores across Lebanon, Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the next five years, the entrepreneurs plan to aggressively expand in the region by opening a flagship store in downtown Beirut, new partnership and franchise stores in KSA, UAE, Morocco, Kuwait, and Oman, and an online store. The sisters are working closely with Francorp, a franchise consulting company, to manage and finalize all franchise processes.


Panelists in a deliberation moderated by Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg


Entrepreneur: Manuel Wiechers Banuet
Company: Ilumexico
Ilumexico is a Mexican social enterprise that provides energy access via solar to rural populations. In Latin America, there are over 30 million people without electricity. In Mexico, there are three million – 600,000 households that you candles and fire for light. Ilumexico provides solar energy household systems through four steps in the value chain: 1) Technology – solar transfer products, electronic circuits, 2) Distribution – distribution network through rural branches and local technicians, 3) Financing – provide users with different financing plans according to their needs (the majority cannot buy the equipment upfront), 4) Community Programs – develop community programs specifically targeting organizations that would use the product, financial education, environmental awareness.


Entrepreneurs: Juha & Johanna Mikkola
Company: Wyncode Academy
Wyncode Academy, Florida’s first independent coding boot camp, aims to address the need in state’s growing tech ecosystem for developer talent. The Academy’s course offerings center on a full-time, nine-week web development course that prepares students to step into junior full stack web development jobs upon graduation. The dynamic curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of Wyncode’s 100+ local hiring partners who include South Florida’s top recruiter of developers (CareCloud) and Endeavor entrepreneurs and candidates. Wyncode has graduated 68 students from its Miami location since the inaugural cohort in May 2014. Wycnode’s second location in Ft. Lauderdale launched with its first cohort in April 2015. Success is defined by job matches: 92% of graduates are employed within three months, 86% in the Miami-FTL-West Palm Beach MSA.


Entrepreneur: Kamal Reggad
Company: Menaclick
Menaclick is an ecommerce holding company composed of three award-winning sites: Hmizate.ma, Hmall.ma, and Vayago.com. Hmizate.ma is a portal for daily deals with an emphasis on travel but with vouchers for anything from live events to consumer tech. Hmall.ma is an online B2C marketplace with a mission to connect thousands of vendors with million of consumers. Vayago.com is a global hotel booking engine through which consumers can compare prices and make reservations at hotels around the world. Vayago is the first and so far only website in Morocco to facilitate foreign transactions online using locally-issued cred cards, making it the best option for Moroccans to make international travel plans.


Entrepreneur: Gys Kappers
Company: Wyzetalk
When companies employ hundreds, even thousands of workers, getting everyone on the page can be difficult task. Establishing clear channels for communication and collaboration from the C-level executives to entry-level workers is a Herculean task. Wyzetalk breaks down these silos, through its mobile-based business communication platform that allows enterprises to drive effective collaboration and innovation. Users can broadcast announcements, deploy surveys, upload files, among other tools. CNN listed Wyzetalk as one of the top 10 African Startups that rocked 2014 and Gys intends to keep up the momentum to become the premier collaboration platform in Africa.


Entrepreneur: Ahmet Bilgin & Koray Bahar
Company: Fit Solutions
FIT Solutions is taking paper out of the picture. A wave of digitization has engulfed the world of B2C transactions: from Amazon to the Apple Store, buying online is now the status quo. Meanwhile, the B2B world remains stuck inside a time capsule, with businesses still conducting transactions through sales reps, paper invoices, and fax machines. Regardless of the fact that the B2B ecommerce market is widely predicted to be at least 10 times greater than the B2C ecommerce market (up to US$1.5 trillion globally, by some predictions), few companies have dared to tackle the challenge of digitizing business-to-business dealings – until now. FIT Solutions moves invoice and ledger procedures from paper to digital, allowing companies to transition their B2B transactions online.

Entrepreneur: Güçlü Gökozan
Company: BuldumBuldum.com
Turkish for Eureka Eureka!, Buldum Buldum describes a consumer’s feeling upon discovering the abundant means to create unique merchandise on BuldumBuldum.com. Through the ecommerce site through, individuals and small business owners can design and procure affordable, customized gifts and professional marketing materials with no minimum requirement. The newly launched BuldumBuldum.com marketplace is a forum for artists, celebrities, and trademarked brands to open their own shops and sell exclusive designs. Through exclusive licensing agreements, BuldumBuldum will be the only online marketplace selling major trademarked brands such as Disney, Marvel, and Warner Bros. Poised for exponential growth, BuldumBuldum has Endeavor’s name written all over it.


Entrepreneur: Aly Rahimtoola
Company: Harmony Cosmetics
Harmony Cosmetics is an all-natural, carcinogen-free UAE-grown beauty company that aims to fill a market gap with its brand Essentials. The brand uses ancient Ayurvedic recipes and Himalayan ingredients to offer its clients high quality, yet affordable, all-natural beauty products. Essentials is currently ranked 8th out of 63 brands sold in Boots UAE (the top 7 owned by global conglomerates). As the only PETA approved beauty product in MENA, Essentials is differentiating itself from conglomerate brands as a boutique brand that is in tune with consumer concerns.

Entrepreneur: Riath Hamed
Company: Balqees Honey
Yemeni honey is one of the purest, most exclusive natural elixirs in the world: extracted from natural desert oases, it is made by bees that feed off medicinal plants and flowers, and have never been exposed to pesticides or preservatives. The result is a full-bodied, thick honey with a rich flavor palate and unique nutritional and medicinal properties. Honey of this caliber is nearly impossible to buy at your typical supermarket. Balqees increases accessibility to the world’s most exclusive honey by supplying, packaging, and distributing it across the Gulf. Through its 13 retail kiosks, Balqees is bringing a buzz-worthy product to the Gulf States, which imported US$1.6 billion in honey in 2014 alone. It plans to diversify its product offering and expand its network of kiosks in high-end malls to penetrate the luxury hospitality sector in the Gulf.


Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg addressing ISP participants

May 2015 Newsletter

may newsletterTo view Endeavor’s May newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

Reminder: To receive our monthly newsletters by email, please enter your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of our homepage.

2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat Brings Together Nearly 300 Members of the Network


The invitation-only 2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat took place from Wednesday, May 6th – Friday, May 8th in Westchester County, New York. The Retreat offered an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning as well as a mixture of keynote speakers, site visits to Fortune 500 companies, industry breakouts, and intensive workshops focused on business development topics geared towards Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Nearly 300 members of the network convened for the event to celebrate the power of high-impact entrepreneurship.

Pre-Retreat Visits

On May 5th and 6th, a series of pre-Retreat visits allowed select groups of entrepreneurs to visit and learn from executives at major corporations, including IBM’s World of Watson, Barclays, Google, PepsiCo and EY. The topics of focus ranged from talent management to product design to transaction readiness, giving participating entrepreneurs an in-depth look at strategies for corporate innovation and growth.


The mainstage during Daniel Lubetzky’s fireside chat


The Retreat featured a number of world-renowned executives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who took the main stage in keynotes, panel discussions and fireside chats.

On day one, American Express CEO Kenneth I. Chenault was interviewed by Endeavor co-founder Linda Rottenberg about leadership and the future of the payments industry, discussing how his career path took him from the consulting world to the top of the Fortune 500. In the chat, Chenault addressed how he proved himself to be a “skunk”, or intrapreneur, at American Express by turning the century-old institution into a modern, democratic and digitally-competitive brand. Best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin then took the stage to address rule-breaking in the marketing world and explore strategies for approaching advertising that could authentically engage consumers. Drawing from theories put forth in his 18 best-selling books, Godin prodded entrepreneurs in the audience to think outside of the box when approaching client and consumer engagement.

Day two brought Unilever VP of Global Media Innovation & Ventures Babs Rangaiah to discuss how he manages marketing and media activities for the company’s portfolio of CPG products sold across 190 countries. Addressing the concept of a #BrighterFuture for marketing, he discussed case studies of Unilever campaigns and how his team works to disrupt the advertising space. In a subsequent fireside chat, General Assembly co-founder Brad Hargreaves sat down with Open English’s John McIntire to discuss the future of the workforce, particularly in emerging markets where access to skills training and education are limited. The pair explored the possibilities for alternative education platforms to empower people all around the world with actionable skill sets.


Vinny, Martin and Leila during their entrepreneur panel

An afternoon panel brought together top Endeavor Entrepreneurs to share their high-impact stories and discuss the importance of multiplying their impact. South Africa’s Vinny Lingham (Gyft), Argentina’s Martin Migoya (Globant) and Brazil’s Leila Velez (Beleza Natural) were interviewed by Endeavor President Fernando Fabre about their experience as entrepreneurs, the impact of joining the Endeavor network, and what it means for them to give back to their communities. The next panel brought representatives from key corporate partners including AXA, SAP, Facebook and P&G in a discussion about global corporate development and growth, which was moderated by Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Suárez Battán (Mural.ly).

The final day started off with a fireside with Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan and Endeavor Global Board Member Nick Beim. The chat revolved around investments and how the pair discerns the potential in entrepreneurs that they place their bets on. They also addressed failure and what happens when investments go south. Following them was New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Duhigg, who drew on themes from his best-selling book The Power of Habit to explain how business leaders can shake up their routines and instill innovation in both work and life. He also delved into case studies of big brands and how they target and leverage consumer habits. The final keynote of the day brought Endeavor Global Board Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. and KIND Snacks founder Daniel Lubetzky to the stage to talk candidly about why social impact and community give-back is important. Lubetzky provided anecdotes from his personal family history and heritage to explain why he was inspired to build a socially-conscious brand to inspire future generations.

Breakout Sessions, Workshops and Roundtables

By attending smaller workshops and “hot topics” sessions, attendees benefited from personalized coaching and advice – in a sense, small “team meetings” – with some of the best entrepreneurial minds in the Endeavor network.

The Retreat kicked off with a number of industry breakouts that served as “ice breaker” networking sessions, which divided participating entrepreneurs by their company’s industries in a meet-and-greet format. The entrepreneur-led roundtables on the second day were helmed by a number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs from around the world, who moderated group discussions touching on topics that included social media, talent management, employee culture, leadership and more. The final day’s workshops were lead by Endeavor mentors who provided a high-level perspectives and furthered conversations about talent, branding, innovation and much more.


Endeavor Entrepreneur Sally Buberman leading a roundtable

Endeavor Awards

The Retreat closed with an awards ceremony – with awards sponsored by EY, Barclays and Omidyar Network – that honored the most high-impact entrepreneurs and companies in the network. Read more about the Awards by clicking here.

Social Media Highlights

The offline conversations also went online with the hashtags #EndeavorRetreat and #EE2EE, as entrepreneurs shared their thoughts and connections via social media. Over 700 tweets engaging users from nearly 10 countries used the hashtags over the three-day event. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Endeavor Expands to Third U.S. City with Launch in Louisville, KY


Endeavor Louisville Logo no tag (color) web large

Louisville, KY – May 12, 2015 – Endeavor is expanding its U.S. presence with the launch of an office in Louisville, KY that will support high-impact entrepreneurs in the greater Louisville and Southern Indiana region. With the support of key business leaders and entrepreneurs, Endeavor Louisville will help multiply the impact of the region’s most promising companies. As Endeavor’s third expansion in the U.S. following offices in Miami and Detroit, the office will leverage the region’s entrepreneurial spirit to drive job creation, wealth creation, sustained economic growth, and a culture of giving back.

Endeavor is an 18-year-old, nonprofit organization that is leading the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. In 2015, Endeavor was awarded the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership for helping support entrepreneurs whose companies have generated nearly 400,000 jobs in economies around the world. Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped over a thousand of these entrepreneurs build more than 600 companies across 23 markets, which have generated combined revenues of nearly $7 billion in 2013.

Endeavor Co-Founder Peter Kellner will serve on the Endeavor Louisville board, which will be chaired by Humana Co-Founder David A. Jones, Sr.

The remaining board members are:
– Ryan Bridgeman, President of RJE LLC
– Henry “Hank” Dudgeon, III, Co-Founder of Rubicon Global
– Sandra Frazier, CEO & Managing Member of Tandem Public Relations
– Dan Jones, Founder and CEO of 21st Century Parks
– Kent Lanum, President and CEO of Paul Ogle Foundation
– John Schnatter, Founder and CEO of Papa John’s International
– Kent Taylor, Founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse

Endeavor Louisville has received and gratefully acknowledges significant funding from the Paul Ogle Foundation, the James Graham Brown Foundation, the Blue Sky Network, and The Gheens Foundation. Endeavor Louisville will work to identify high-impact entrepreneurs in the region and provide them access to a global network of markets, industry leaders, investors, and talent, helping to expand their ventures into enterprises that can propel the local economy.

Mr. Jackson Andrews, formerly a partner and managing director at Spouting Rock Financial Partners, has been named Managing Director of Endeavor Louisville to oversee its successful launch and to identify promising entrepreneur candidates.

For entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Endeavor in Louisville, please contact louisville@endeavor.org. For more information visit EndeavorLouisville.org and Endeavor.org.


Jackson Andrews
Managing Director, Endeavor Louisville

Joanna Harries
Vice President, U.S. and Canada

Turkey’s Yemeksepeti Acquired By Delivery Hero for $589 Million; Marks Largest Deal in the Food-Ordering Sector

yemeksepeti_logoTurkey’s Yemeksepeti, a leading Turkish food ordering website founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Nevzat Aydın, Melih Ödemiş and Cem Nufusi, has announced that it has been acquired by Delivery Hero in a $589 million deal. This landmark deal marks the largest-ever acquisition in the food-ordering sector and the largest Internet-related deal in Turkey.

This is the first entry into Turkey for Delivery Hero, a billion-dollar takeout food service based in Berlin that continues to scale up its business worldwide. It previously acquired Endeavor Entrepreneur company PedidosYa, a Uruguay-based ordering platform serving Latin America and founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Ariel Burschtin, Álvaro García, and Ruben Sosenke. The cash and shares deal made with Yemeksepeti will also see investor General Atlantic becoming a shareholder in Delivery Hero. 

Delivery Hero made headlines earlier this year when Rocket Internet — another Berlin-based e-commerce company — invested $586 million in the company, which then let it to pick up nine smaller food-ordering startups to consolidate its position as an industry leader. Delivery Hero itself has raised $1.3 billion to date.

Selected by Endeavor in 2007, Yemeksepeti’s founders have received strategic guidance from Endeavor mentors as well as introductions to key investors, having attended and participated in a number of Endeavor events around the world. Endeavor Catalyst participated in Yemeksepeti’s 2012 $44 million funding round led by General Atlantic. As of 2015, Nevzat has also joined the board of Endeavor Turkey, becoming the third entrepreneur to do so locally.

As part of the deal, Yemeksepeti’s management team will stay in place.

“We are very proud to have built a company that has changed the way people think and order food in Turkey,” Nevzat said in a statement. “During our 15-year history we have had many approaches from global and local investors however we were waiting for the right time and the right partner. Today, I am delighted to team up with a company whose global ambitions, corporate culture and way of doing business are so aligned with ours. “

Read more about the news in top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Turkey’s Hürriyet Daily News.

31 Entrepreneurs from 9 Countries Join the Endeavor Network at 58th Selection Panel in Santiago


Santiago, Chile – April 22, 2015 – During the 58th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) , 31 high-impact entrepreneurs representing 18 companies and 9 countries were welcomed into the Endeavor network.

Endeavor now supports 1,082 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 684 companies across the 23 markets where it operates. This newest group of entrepreneurs was chosen at a panel held from April 20–22 in Santiago, Chile – also the site of Endeavor’s first-ever selection panel in 1998.

The conclusion of an intensive multi-step selection process that is the foundation of Endeavor’s model, the ISP brought together top business and industry leaders from Latin America and all around the world. These panelists spent a day interviewing entrepreneur candidates to learn more about their businesses and identify those with the most potential for high-impact growth. They then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become part of the Endeavor network and help lead the entrepreneurship movement in their countries.

“With candidates representing industries ranging from education to transportation to e-commerce, this panel really demonstrated the wealth of entrepreneurial talent all around the world,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Congratulations go to the Endeavor Chile team and board, particularly Board Chair Salvador Said, for bringing together so many promising entrepreneurs and notable business leaders in Santiago this week.”

After their selection into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given access to world-class services and programs, including introductions to local and international mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and built sustainable and transformative growth models in their home countries. In turn, they become crucial role models for future generations of entrepreneurs.

Endeavor will be hosting four more International Selection Panels in 2015. Locations will be in Amman, Jordan; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Marrakech, Morocco; and Mexico City, Mexico

Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and their companies follow.


Endeavor staff members at Las Majadas Casona de Campo for deliberations


Entrepreneurs: Federico Malek & Alan Kraus
Company: Avenida!

Avenida is a one-stop-shop e-retailer that offers its customers a vast selection of brand-name products at affordable prices, with flexibility in payment and delivery. It has already raised over US$20M in capital from international VCs like Tiger Global and Naspers along with an initial seed funding from Quasar Ventures (founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Santiago Bilinkis). Avenida’s integrated logistics allows it to have a delivery time of 48 hours compared to the typical six days of the local post. Avenida plans to have its own delivery fleet to be the first ecommerce site to offer same day delivery in Argentina—and in doing so, reach 70% of its addressable market within 24 hours.

Entrepreneurs: Linus Spatz, Dan Kaplan & Jorge Villalonga
Company: Inmunova

Nowadays, vaccines combine two types of proteins. One is naturally neutral, while the other comes from the disease. When combined, they generate antibodies, the proteins necessary to fight the target disease. Typically, these neutral proteins are only compatible with certain types of germs – only cancer germs, for example. Inmunova’s patented IMC platform uses a specialized protein that is compatible with any germ, allowing it to serve as the base for numerous vaccines. With two products in the final stages of testing (one to prevent a fatal bovine disease and another to prevent HUS, the leading casue of pediatric kidney failure), Inmunova stands to become a big shot in the the Argentine biotech scene.

Entrepreneur: Ernesto Cambursano
Company: DataFactory

For any media company covering a sports event, displaying the right stats immediately and sleekly is always the goal. But with dozens of games across numerous leagues across every night, collecting, sorting, and presenting sports events cost valuable time and money. DataFactory’s (DF) platform aggregates data from over 30,000 live events each year and displays it in esthetic, customizable visualizations. Already counting ESPN, Yahoo! and Fox Sports as clients, DataFactory plans on developing more product offerings in its unique market.


Entrepreneurs: Cristiano Melles, Luiz Marsaioli & Rafael Valdivia
Company: Sociedade Grand Vivant

Sociedade Grand Vivant is a holding company that is comprised of Pobre Juan restaurants, the traditional Argentine steakhouse chain, and a secondary B2B beef distribution business. Pobre Juan serves high quality Argentine steaks with cutting-edge global recipes, inside restaurants where contemporary Latin American design and top-notch customer service combine to produce an exclusive yet welcoming dining experience. Pobre Juan’s 11 restaurants also maintain a consistent ”hometown” ambiance through live local jazz music, while boasting an expansive wine collection curated by the winner of Brazil’s national sommelier competition. Prime Cater is Pobre Juan’s beef distributor that portions and cuts the beef not only for all of Pobre Juan’s restaurants but also for three direct competitors and 20 other independent restaurants groups. The vertical integration allows Pobre Juan to source the best meat available – from Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Australia – portioned to perfection with 15% better margins compared to a traditional beef distribution relationship. The Pobre Juan restaurants have been awarded Best Steakhouse awards and global gastronomic prizes from a number of publications for nine of its locations.

Entrepreneurs: Francisco Salles & Renato Saraiva
Company: CERS

CERS offers online exam prep courses taught by Brazil’s top teachers. Its platform includes prep for the OAB, the Brazilian equivalent of the American Bar exam. It also offers courses for civil servant examinations that are requisite for professionals to enter government-affiliated occupations, and legal career courses that help aspiring lawyers progress in their careers. By virtue of its revenue-sharing model that provides teachers with 30-50% of the income generated from the courses they teach, CERS attracts the highest quality teachers to its platform. These teachers are financially incentivized to promote their own courses on the platform through their robust social networks.


Entrepreneurs: Pablo Guzmán, Jovino Novoa & Sergio Guzmán
Company: Sano Seafood

Sano Seafoods is in tune with its clients’ needs. In order to quickly cook perfect entrees for each customer, restaurant chefs need uniform protein portions that are consistent in shape, size, and thickness. Ensuring this consistency, adds costs such as longer prep time and additional waste to the cooking process. Enter Sano Seafoods, a secondary seafood processor that provides value-added premium seafood products to the retail and foodservice sectors. Sano Seafoods sells uniform fish fillets to the United States and Europe, bellies to Vietnam, collars and tails to Japan, and skin and bones to fish food producers, to give every client what they want, and waste no part of the fish in the process. Sano Seafoods also processes around ten additional types of seafood in order to offer clients a one-stop-shop for all of their seafood needs.

Entrepreneurs: Hernan Restini & Gonzalo Restini
Company: FMA

Inside Chile’s illustrious copper mines, FMA is striking gold. In a US$86 billion global market for mining equipment, most machinery is mass-produced; few manufacturers create products tailored for specific challenges. These challenges arise because of the diversity of terrain and equipment inherent within mines, no two of which are alike. Mines currently rely on manual labor and poor mechanization to accomplish tasks such as changing the tires of giant dump trucks or winding the heavy electric gables of large drillers. Without proper tools, these tasks are not only inefficient but also unsafe for workers. First-Class Mining Attachments (FMA) designs and manufactures semi-customized equipment to address clients’ task-specific needs. From the Andean mountains of Peru to the desert plains of Mauritania, FMA’s clients operate in 25 countries across five continents. The company is on the brink of a major international expansion campaign to conquer the lion’s share of North American and Asian-Pacific markets.


Entrepreneurs: Juan Felipe Arbeláez & Pablo Arbeláez
Company: Vive Agro

Previously, restaurants and caterers sourced produce from farmers markets. Ripe with inefficiencies – a string of middlemen sell to other middlemen before reaching the end user – these markets force farmers to underprice their vegetables and fruits while giving restaurants little transparency over the food they use. It also required restaurants to spend valuable time and resources preparing and storing the vegetables. Vive Agro offers clients washed, cut, and ready-to-use vegetables, helping restaurants reduce their costs substantially. Meanwhile, the farmers who work Vive Agro obtain better prices on their produce and receive agricultural best practice from Vive Agro’s agronomists.


Voting during panel deliberations


Entrepreneurs: Adalberto Flores & Leonardo de la Cerda
Company: Kueski

Accessing affordable capital is a longstanding problem in Mexico as a large portion of the population – the young in particular – do not qualify for a wide range of financial services – like loans, and credit cards – because of low or nonexistent credit scores. In practice, this situation means that people have high-friction alternatives to banks, such as offline pawnshop lenders, who can be slow to deliver funds. Kueski, an online micro-lending platform, applies big data and advanced analytics to approve micro-loans for Mexico’s financially underserved population within 35 minutes of customers placing their request. Fast, transparent, and available 24/7, Kueski is the most convenient lending platform for those who need an immediate loan.

Entrepreneurs: Andres Sucre, Sebastian Gomez & Adrian Cuadros
Company: Reserbus

To purchase a bus ticket in Mexico, 550 million bus passengers a year go to the station or a physical store, wasting hours of their time. At the same time, bus operators lose customer visibility and incur extra costs from maintaining physical sales locations. Reserbus solves these problems by connecting bus operators with customers through an integrated booking platform. Reserbus aggregates over 9,000 routes, and 650 destinations through 26 bus operators.

Entrepreneur: Francisco Cordero
Company: Laudex

Dinero drives diplomas. In Mexico, higher education is reserved for the privileged few, rather than the qualified masses. Only 2% of qualified applicants can afford to attend a private university, in contrast to 60% in countries such as Chile and Brazil. Laudex’s goal is to provide all Mexican students with the financial resources they need to achieve a higher education. A cohort of college-age students equal to the population of Switzerland (seven million) does not attend university in Mexico, largely due to the high cost of enrollment. Laudex continues to build alliances with Mexico’s largest private universities, it will expand its national presence.


Entrepreneur: Nicolas Droguett
Company: SeguroSimple

With SeguroSimple, five minutes could save you a lifetime of paperwork on your car insurance. The process of buying an auto insurance policy is riddled with inefficiencies for consumers: from the tedious nature of meeting with sales representatives, to the time-consuming process of sifting through tall piles of policy information. By moving the insurance industry online, developed countries now boast 50-60% online purchases of policies. Peru, in contrast, still relies entirely on offline brokers. SeguroSimple is Peru’s first digital insurance broker. The company plans to scale its business in Peru, expand regionally, and grow into new product verticals such as health and life insurance.


Entrepreneur: Kirsty Chadwick
Company: The Training Room Online

Corporate training seems more like corporate torture for most employees. The global corporate training industry is notorious for its antiquated reliance on lackluster lectures and never-ending PowerPoint presentations. Existing systems are inefficient with high auxiliary costs like facilitator fees, travel, and lost employee work days, on top of the general cost of content development and upkeep. These systems also lack the multifaceted educational approach needed to effectively train today’s increasingly tech-savvy workforce. Enter The Training Room Online (TTRO), a digital learning design and development company that transforms clients’ employee training content into blended learning resources. TTRO’s strong team uses various design strategies, including animation, mobile, and video, to produce high-quality customized learning solutions that are more convenient, stimulating, and interactive than traditional offline solutions.


Entrepreneur: Philippe Gelis
Company: Kantox

While large businesses receive preferred foreign exchange (FX) rates from banks, most SMEs are stuck paying exorbitant fees in order to do business outside of their home market. Kantox is the first peer-to-peer (P2P) foreign exchange market that connects SMEs and Mid-Caps to each other to offer equitable trade rates. While using Kantox’s platform, the majority of clients save more than 80% than if they used a bank. This is largely because Kantox offers transparency with the live market trade rates and its clear 0.09 -0.29% commission fee, compared to banks’ typical 3.0% fee.

Entrepreneur: Daniel González de Vega
Company: Smartick

Smartick is improving mathematics learning with just one click. Malaga-born learning company Smartick channeled its inner child and ventured to make math learning fun and more effective for children, ages four to fourteen. The company built an online, adaptive platform that teaches mathematics skills. The methodology consists of daily, 15-minute working sessions in mathematics, comprehensive reading, and some cognitive domains (e.g. memory, attention, reasoning, and mental flexibility). Students work on modules that adapt in real-time to the child’s individual level and performance. Since the product launched commercially in 2011, more than 10,000 students from 35+ countries have benefited from Smartick’s highly effective approach to teaching mathematics.

Entrepreneur: Juan de Antonio
Company: Cabify

Hailing a taxi the old way in Spain and Latin America is often inefficient and difficult. Across Latin America in particular, taxis are unreliable and unsafe while black cars are expensive. Meanwhile, drivers face fluctuating salaries, depending on an unpredictable stream of passengers. With Cabify, a mobile app that connects users with drivers, users can book a car in advance, know the journey’s price ahead of time, and enjoy a quality experience. Operating in Spain, Chile, Peru and Mexico, Cabify aims to push the pedal to the metal and expand rapidly in the region over the coming years.


Entrepreneur: Sassan Khatib-Shahidi
Company: German Imaging Technologies (GIT)

GIT is leaving its imprint on businesses in MENA. As a result of the steep cost of print toner, companies save up to 50% per order by purchasing remanufactured products in lieu of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridges. German Imaging Technologies (GIT) is the market leader in producing remanufactured toner cartridges in MENA and has been the largest supplier in the UAE since 2007. The company sells toners that are 20-30% less expensive than OEM toners, do not compromise on quality, and have a reduced environmental impact. GIT has over 1600 corporate customers in the UAE and exports to 18 countries in the MENA region, an estimated US$1.3 billion toner market. The company is a full-service provider of printing solutions for businesses, offering renting, leasing, and sales of printer equipment as well as maintenance services. In 2011 and 2012 GIT was named one of the top 50 companies in the industry globally and an Arabia 500 Fast Growth Company.

Entrepreneur: Wadih Haddad
Company: The Box

In Dubai, a city built around luxury, extra closet space comes at a premium. Although Dubai is known for its modern skyscrapers, magnificent architectural buildings, opulent hotels, and shopping malls, real estate in the Emirate comes with a whopping price tag. As a result, the majority of residents struggle with space constraints. Until The Box built its first self-storage facility in 2008, there were few options for self or bulk storage. Founded during the heart of the financial crisis, The Box has grown to 25 facilities and 250,000 square feet within the UAE, operates facilities in Lebanon and Qatar, and has partnerships in Canada. The company plans to increase its footprint across multiple cities in MENA through opening new locations, constructing joint venture facilities, and management contracts with competitor companies leading to acquisitions.


Entrepreneurs at Makerspace during Candidates’ Day

April 2015 Newsletter

aprilnewsTo view Endeavor’s April newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

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Endeavor Awarded the 2015 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership

In recognition of Endeavor’s work providing support and mentorship to over a thousand high-impact entrepreneurs in more than 20 markets around the world, the organization has been named the recipient of the 10th Annual Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership. The Kravis Prize is among the world’s most prestigious awards for nonprofit leadership, akin to a Nobel geared specifically to this sector.

Endeavor will receive the Kravis Prize and $250,000 award on April 23, 2015 at Claremont McKenna College as part of a special celebration of the Prize’s 10th Anniversary and of the 20th Anniversary of the College’s Kravis Leadership Institute. The ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of best-in-class nonprofits and enables winners to share their best practices with others.

“Endeavor exemplifies the Prize’s philosophy about entrepreneurship, social good, and venture philanthropy. Endeavor’s leadership has had a profound impact on everyday people,” said Marie-Josée Kravis, an economist who is chair of the Kravis Prize Selection Committee. “We are grateful for its remarkable work to change lives all over the world, creating invaluable jobs and resources.”

“Endeavor is a perfect example of a nonprofit that has significant influence on the ground and great success creating a sustainable ecosystem for future impact,” said Henry R. Kravis, an alumnus and trustee of the College who is co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., and founder of the Kravis Prize. “We applaud Endeavor’s impressive accomplishments developing high-impact companies and entrepreneurs, and work to transform the economic landscapes of underdeveloped countries.”

Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership conducts a rigorous due diligence and selection process to choose an annual recipient. The Prize impacts the nonprofit sector overall by lauding strong performances and sharing recipients’ best practices with others. The Prize is administered by Claremont McKenna College.

Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs build more than 600 companies in 22 countries. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have collectively created more than 400,000 jobs, generating close to $7 billionin revenue.

The organization’s mission is to lead the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Endeavor helps them overcome barriers to growth by providing the key ingredients to success: mentorship; networks; strategic advice; talent; skills; access to smart capital; and inspiration from the world’s top financial institutions and consulting firms. Guided by Endeavor, these entrepreneurs generate sustainable economic growth and jobs, become self-made role models, and help nurture a culture of entrepreneurship which spurs investment and encourages people to think big. The entrepreneurs in return are required to help other local companies grow by reinvesting in their community, becoming mentors and donating their time and resources.

“We’re honored and grateful to receive the Kravis Prize,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “This is a testament to the amazing work of our board members, staff and mentors in 22 countries who have helped thousands of entrepreneurs to think big, achieve their dreams, and pay it forward in their communities.”

The Endeavor model of creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem that generates jobs and encourages social change is embedded in Claremont McKenna College’s DNA, and embodied by the Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI). Students in the academic center learn about leadership development through the lens of social entrepreneurship and are provided with unique opportunities to develop as outstanding real world leaders in the public, private, and social sectors.

“As the host of the Kravis Prize, as the hub of emerging Kravis Prize network of leaders in global social innovation, and as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, we are thrilled to welcome Endeavor to the Claremont McKenna College family,” said CMC President Hiram Chodosh.

“We are extremely grateful to Henry and Marie-Josée for the opportunity to support the Kravis Prize winners in this vitally important global social innovation movement, and Endeavor is an inspiring exemplar for our leading CMC social innovators.”

Read the press release of the announcement by clicking here. Learn more about the Kravis Prize and the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College by clicking here.

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