Manila, Philippines – January 7, 2015 – Endeavor announced that it will expand its presence in Southeast Asia with the launch of Endeavor Philippines, its third country affiliate in the region. The launch is supported and led by some of the country’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders, including seven founding board members and a newly named managing director. According to the World Bank, the Philippine economy remains one of the fastest growing in the region, offering a promising climate for high-impact, high-growth entrepreneurship.
With a population of nearly 100 million spread across more than 7,000 islands, the nation is the seventh most populous in Asia and one of the most diverse. While the Philippine economy has grown at an average of 6% since 2012 according to the World Bank, over 20% of the population still lives in poverty. Supporting high-impact entrepreneurship in the region offers a critical opportunity to fuel economic growth at all levels. With an estimated 99% of Philippine enterprises considered small- or medium-sized businesses, many are facing the crucial scale-up stage that determines whether or not they can grow into impactful businesses that create thousands of jobs. Endeavor research found that just 5% of the country’s total number of firms are considered high-growth (with a minimum of 20% average annual growth), but created 75% of the net new jobs in the country.
The landscape of entrepreneurship in the country continues to show much promise. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that nearly half (48%) of all Filipinos have a very positive view of the entrepreneurial opportunities in their country; furthermore, 68% believe they have the capabilities needed to start a business. At the same time, many recognize the barriers to entrepreneurial development in the country, including a lack of access to financial support, government programming and guidance from role models.
This is where Endeavor’s model can make a difference. By providing access to a world-class network of industry leaders, investors and talent, Endeavor’s support can give the best entrepreneurs in the region the chance to turn their ventures into transformational businesses. Endeavor aims to take the magic of networks like Silicon Valley and bring it to regions with great ideas and potential, but not necessarily the resources to help founders take their visions to the next level. Once selected into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are connected with strategic mentors and given access to an array of tools that can catapult them to success. Since its beginning in 1997, Endeavor has selected and supported 1,030 entrepreneurs representing 651 companies in the 22 markets where it operates. In 2013, from Miami to Morocco, these entrepreneurs have generated $6.8 billion in revenue and created 400,000 jobs across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia.
“It is an exciting time in the history of Endeavor, as we have now helped more than a thousand entrepreneurs realize their dreams,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “The addition of Endeavor Philippines ensures that we will continue to make an impact in one of the most dynamic and exciting regions in the world.”
All Endeavor affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of leading business people, each of whom believes that entrepreneurship can transform economies. The Endeavor Philippines founding board will be chaired by Eugenio (Gabby) López III, Chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation. He will be joined by Jaime A. Zobel de Ayala, Chairman & CEO of Ayala Corporation; Cezar Consing, President & CEO of the Bank of the Philippines Islands; Anthony T. Huang, President of SSI Group, Inc.; Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder, Chairwoman & CEO of Care.com; Edgar Injap Sia II, Chairman of DoubleDragon Properties Corp.; and Julio Sy, Jr., Founder & CEO of TAO Corporation.
“Endeavor has come to the Philippines at just the right time,” said Board Chairman Eugenio (Gabby) Lopez III. “Sustained economic growth has seen the rise of entrepreneurial activity in the country. We hope to accelerate the development of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem by helping to unleash the full potential of high-impact entrepreneurs.”
The board has selected Manny Ayala as Managing Director of the office, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Philippines. Mr. Ayala was a co-founder of Hatchd Digital, a tech incubator, and a Managing Director of investment bank IRG. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the Endeavor office in Manila and will be involved in screening the first entrepreneur candidates for consideration.
40 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 13 Countries Join Network at the 56th International Selection Panel in Miami; Endeavor Peru Welcomes First Entrepreneurs
Endeavor now supports 1,030 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 651 companies across 22 countries. The first International Selection Panel (ISP) in Miami, FL since the affiliate was launched in 2013, the entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from December 8 – 10th.
The ISP is the conclusion of a rigorous multi-step selection process that is at the core of the Endeavor model. At the Miami ISP, top global business and industry leaders interviewed candidates about their businesses and potential for high-impact growth, and then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. This panel was a milestone for Endeavor as the organization officially marked the selection of its thousandth entrepreneur. In addition, Endeavor Peru, which launched in 2014, welcomed its first two entrepreneur companies – Disfruta and Pulso Salud – into the network.
“As we officially cross the mark of a thousand entrepreneurs selected, Endeavor’s network has become an unparalleled force of inspiration and support,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “It was especially amazing to see the passion, professionalism and early impact of Endeavor Miami’s network since its launch.”
After their selection into the Endeavor network, the entrepreneurs are given access to customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created nearly 400,000 jobs, generated and built sustainable growth models in their home countries, transformed local economies and become role models for future generations of leaders.
“This Endeavor event was a celebration of all of the amazing entrepreneurial talent around the world,” said Endeavor Miami Board Co-Chair Adriana Cisneros. “It was exciting to showcase the great progress of Endeavor Miami over the past year and the region’s high-impact potential.”
To celebrate the incoming entrepreneurs, Endeavor Miami hosted an event at the New World Center on the final night of the ISP, bringing together all ISP participants, entrepreneurs, board members, mentors and top leaders from the Miami community. The event was generously sponsored by The Knight Foundation, Cisneros Group, Grupo Arcano, Univision and The Wolfington Companies.
Endeavor will host six International Selection Panels in 2015. Locations will be in Singapore; Santiago, Chile; Amman, Jordan; San Francisco, CA; Marrakech, Morroco; and Mexico City, Mexico.
Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and companies follow.
Jampp is amplifying the global mobile application market. Mobile app-driven businesses have a challenging time navigating the changing mobile marketing industry. Jampp helps these companies drive large volumes of high-quality mobile users to their apps in a simple and cost-effective way. The company manages the entire process of marketing apps, from planning to tracking and optimization.
Avantia is the first security system in Brazil to package cutting-edge technologies from ten different global suppliers into one integrated platform. Avantia has focused its efforts in the city of Recife, one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Since installing its security system four years ago, the city has seen a reduction in the number of murders by 60.8%—spurring the company’s growth by a CAGR of 40% per year. With such success in Recife, the entrepreneurs are expanding Avantia’s scope into Sao Paolo and aim to be a global benchmark in the security market. Currently employing over 450 people, Avantia is not only keeping the city safe but also creating significant jobs for the community.
NeoAssist provides peace of mind to companies and their customers through its automated customer service software. This cloud-based platform allows clients to automate personal responses to customer inquiries and easily track a customer’s social media engagement with the company, among other capabilities. This software allows companies to improve customer satisfaction by 35%, while also reducing the cost of customer service by 30% to 70%. According to the Reclame Aqui, the authoritative agency for customer service ranking in Brazil, three out of the top five Brazilian companies in customer service – and 15 of the top 30 – are NeoAssist clients.
Printi makes it easy for small businesses in Brazil to design and procure printed promotional materials. It is the first in Brazil to serve SMEs and individuals with low-or-medium volume needs. The local printing market is highly fragmented and informal, characterized by a few major graphic printers who only work with high-volume clients, printer brokers that set arbitrary and prohibitive prices, and low-quality corner mom-and-pop shops. Printi’s convenient ecommerce site provides the most cost effective printing option in the market. Its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has resulted in consistent satisfaction scores of over 65% across more than 35,000 clients.
NiuSushi is an innovative restaurant chain that maximizes its number of satisfied customers by meticulously tracking every metric, from each store’s inventory of rice to the number of minutes it takes for each chef to make a sushi roll in real-time. Customers can choose from more than 80 different rolls of sushi, including fresh Patagonia salmon, octopus, ahi tuna, shrimp and vegetarian options. Every year, NiuSushi updates its menu with new combinations mined from customer preferences and global market studies. With eight locations in Santiago alone, NiuSushi now intends to expand throughout Chile and the region to bring its premium product to a larger audience.
Entrepreneur: Luis Ahumada
Consumers in Latin America want on to access online content on demand, but local media providers still do things the old fashioned way – through TVs and radios. Chilean company Mediastream’s streaming solutions enable companies to keep up with consumer trends and broadcast content through any internet-connected device. Mediastream is a first mover in Latin America, and has built the channels responsible for 60% of content streamed online in Chile. The end-to-end solution for recorded and live-event streaming makes it easy for traditional content providers to build new digital offerings to reach, engage, and monetize audiences.
Agrofuturo is finally enabling Colombia to compete with the other agricultural superpowers in Latin America. Despite the country’s rich terrain, only 14% of arable land is under cultivation due to violence that plagued rural areas, resulting in a lack of knowledge of how to properly invest and use fertile lands. Through information sourcing strategies, such as a world-class industry expo, and end-to-end agricultural services – including Project Design and Asset Management – Camilo Pérez, Juan Sebastián Correa and Ricardo Jaramillo have catalyzed the growth of the Agricultural sector in Colombia and made it more attractive for investors. Already, Agrofuturo has facilitated $200 million in industry transactions and cultivated 30,000 hectares of previously idle land—growing its revenues through events, project design, management, and fees.
Entrepreneur: Sherief Kesseba
Company: Nile Valley Growers
Nile Valley Growers produces and exports top-quality grapes and red onions to supermarkets across continental Europe and the UK. Egypt’s geographic location allows Nile Valley Growers to export produce when the Global supply is typically at its lowest – after the end of the Southern hemisphere’s season but before the Northern hemisphere’s crops ripen. The country’s close proximity to the European, African, and Asian markets enables produce to quickly reach supermarket shelves which equates to a longer shelf-life.
Entrepreneur: Dr. Hisham Haddara
Company: Si-ware Systems
Si-ware Systems is the first company to design semiconductors in Egypt and export to global clients in the USA, Japan, China, Russia, and France. The company designs the smallest and most cost-efficient spectrometer on the market and has plans to release a quartz-less oscillator by 2015. These semiconductor components are the foundation of electrical devices. Si-ware’s components are built to be easily adaptable to various micro-devices.
Business is blooming for the Mzayek family, founders of Alissar, a leading flower producer and retailer in MENA. Transforming Jordan’s arid climate into an oasis, Alissar began as a retail outlet selling floral arrangements and indoor plants to the local market. The company has set its eyes on the commercial flower and plant market in the GCC, maintaining its floriculture core and expanding its product lines to growing its own flowers and distributing planting material. Future growth will be driven by increasing organizational efficiencies and geographic expansion within the GCC and into Asia for Alissar’s hotel floral supply business and planting material wholesale vertical. Alissar will also see expansion through a new partnership with Aramex that connects growers and buyers online.
Hintrag’s powdered desserts and drinks offer inexpensive and convenient alternatives to traditionally packaged goods, yet leading global brands in most countries do not cater to local palates. Investing heavily in R&D since 2008, Hintrag provides customers in 24 countries with over 120 locally-specialized varieties of high-quality powdered drinks & desserts – from Lebanese dessert mixes to Asian dumpling mixes. One of two leading players in Lebanon’s powdered food industry, Hintrag successfully secured 30% of the local market in less than six years with strong presence in MENA. Over the next three years, Hintrag plans to nearly double its global footprint and expand its product offering to better serve the African market.
Company: Open Intelligence [OPI]
Government intelligence just got smarter. OPI offers a customizable, easy to use, cloud-based platform that analyzes and visualizes the relationship between thousands of variables. Aside from using their own data, clients can access the information in OPI’s database, which warehouses all of the non-classified data that previous clients have uploaded. If clients want to generate more topic-specific data, OPI’s associated mobile apps facilitate on the ground data collection. When the Ministry of Interior used Arquimedes to understand neighborhood crime rates, it analyzed the relationship between education, single parent families, and over one thousand other variables. Later that year, the ministry started redesigning its policy and resource allocation strategies based on OPI’s contributions. The impact of OPI’s software soon garnered national and international media attention.
Anyone who’s tried searching for some tejocote (a fruit native to Mexico) or other Mexican specialties in their local grocery market knows how hard it can be find. Finding frozen tejocote that also bursts with the same fresh, authentic taste is even harder. Agroin is changing that with its frozen produce and its ready-to-eat frozen Mexican delicacies, like cheese-stuffed peppers. Already a key supplier for La Huerta, Mexico’s largest frozen vegetable brand, Agroin now seeks to expand under its own distinct brands.
Entrepreneur: José Antonio Díaz
Provive is reinvigorating foreclosed and abandoned Mexican communities with vida, or life. According Infonavit and Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal, more than two million low-income homes built in Mexico over the past ten years are suffering the effects of abandonment and foreclosure due to poor urban planning and the absence of organized social structures that strengthen communities. Provive’s business buying, refurbishing, and reselling abandoned homes and building community centers and programs regenerate the urban and social fabric of Mexico.
Entrepreneur: Edgar Cory Crespo
Mexican marketing and media agency COLOüRS helps companies brighten up their branding. COLOüRS starts with a simple truth: consumers find advertising boring. Mass-marketing might reach many, but they engage few. COLOüRS creates memorable experiences to connect brands and celebrities with consumers who share a passion for fashion, art, music, entertainment, and sports. In order to be the gateway between premium brands, top talent, and elite consumers, COLOüRS operates three vertically integrated subsidiaries specializing in marketing and talent management. One of these is CMX Talent, the first formal talent management agency in Mexico. COLOüRS produces 150 events and festivals annually, including the biannual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Mexico and the Coca-Cola Fifa World Cup Trophy Tour.
Entrepreneur: Anabel Perez
The payments ecosystem in Latin America is faced with anemic technologies that are unable to meet the demands of an ever-changing payments landscape. This imbalance leads to an underdeveloped prepaid value chain, where banks are unable to reach lower income “unbanked” customers, enterprises lack a system to incentivize their employees, and retailers are forced to rely on costly cash payments. NovoPayment helps companies reach a broader base of customers and increase their revenues by providing them with the infrastructure to build their own prepaid and mobile wallet programs. The market for cash conversion to digital means, such as prepaid account services, is estimated to reach US$16 billion in 2015. NovoPayment facilitates 70 million transactions annually through a portfolio of 9,000 clients that spans Fortune 500 companies and Latino micro-businesses.
Entrepreneur: Brian Brackeen
Kairos’ facial recognition API captures the depths and contours of a 2D facial image through 85 points of interest and renders the image as a 3D model to ensure 99% identification accuracy. Even if people change their appearance – by growing a beard or putting on glasses – Kairo’s software will recognize them. The software’s pricing model allows clients to use it for free (for up to 50,000 identifications), and scale the service to meet their specific use requirements and budget.
The juice industry in Peru is ripe for innovation. Peru leads Latin America in its vast diversity of exotic fruits, and although juice has always been a staple of the Peruvian diet, production has remained informal, with most juice makers blending ingredients from small roadside carts. Disfruta is modernizing the juice industry in Peru by pioneering a chain of juice bars designed to appeal to sophisticated, health-conscious consumers. Peruvians drink one million liters of juice every year, with juice consumption skyrocketing at annual growth rates of 43%: two times the rate of their Latin American counterparts. Over the course of six years, Disfruta has taken advantage of this opportunity to launch 30 locations and aims to double its revenues by 2017.
Company: Pulso Salud
Pulso Salud is breathing new life into the healthcare industry. Occupational health laws are a growing trend in Latin America that are mandating employers to protect their workers from hazards to safety and health, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, or unsanitary conditions. In Peru, these legal mandates impose a particular challenge because of the inadequate state of the healthcare infrastructure. Pulso Salud tackles this healthcare deficit by providing medical exams to workers that ensure companies are in compliance with legal requirements. With four million individuals working in the formal economy, the market for Pulso Salud’s services is $400 million in Peru alone. Having already established two medical centers in Arequipa and one in Lima, Pulso Salud seeks to use its existing traction to expand its footprint domestically.
Entrepreneur: Sira Perez de la Coba
Company: Shot & Shop
Shot & Shop founder and CEO Sira Pérez de la Coba has invented the first image recognition and retrieval technology able to identify accurate visual matches in real-time, without having previously seen the image, pattern, or verbal tag. Shot & Shop’s proprietary technology has a host of commercial applications. In its first application, retail brands and digital advertisers are using Shot & Shop to better understand consumer preferences and improve the relevance and efficacy of targeted marketing, which drives online sales. The technology is especially equipped for real-time digital ad bidding, and is the only visual search technology able to make real-time digital ad recommendations based on a publisher’s visual content.
Entrepreneur: Cenk Soyak
For AloTech customers, the days of the phone operator are numbered. When Cenk Soyak founded the company in Turkey, local contact center solutions were extremely expensive and international players had not yet entered the market. Cenk built AloTech not only as a local and affordable contact center solution but also one that was technologically forward thinking, providing its services via the cloud. AloTech offers cloud-based and “pay-as-you-go” call center solutions, as opposed to traditional, on-premise, high cap-ex call center solutions. By eliminating hardware, software, and maintenance costs and offering flexibility and ease of use, AloTech offers significant advantages over its competitors.
Entrepreneur: Rafael Atijas
Company: Loog Guitars
Loog Guitars designs and sells three-string guitars for children that simplify the playing process without losing the quality experience. Loog’s customers assemble their own customized guitars. The experience of building the guitar instills in the child a sense of accomplishment and ownership, while allowing parents to share their appreciation for music and create memories with their kids.
The 2013-2014 Endeavor Global Impact Report is now available. This year’s report features updated profiles on the global offices, vibrant new visuals of Endeavor’s impact, and highlights of key milestones from the past year.
View the digital report by clicking HERE and learn more about the ways in which high-impact entrepreneurship is transforming growth markets, supporting local economies and innovating for future generations.
A special thanks to Open for their great design work on this year’s report.
Endeavor Insight and the Partnership for New York City Release “The Power of Entrepreneur Networks” Study of Nearly 700 Industry Trailblazers
Endeavor, with support from The Partnership for New York City and Barclays, released a report titled, “The Power of Entrepreneur Networks: How New York City Became the Role Model for Other Urban Tech Hubs” which identifies how founders who reinvest their success into others have greatly accelerated New York City’s tech growth.
“Endeavor has produced the first comprehensive analysis of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that has built Silicon Alley into a global center of innovation,” stated Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
“As companies become more successful, their founders are more likely to mentor, angel invest and become serial entrepreneurs. Companies that are connected to a top-performing company are twice as likely to become top-performers themselves,” said Fernando Fabre, President of Endeavor. “It’s a worldwide pattern that is an important building block for entrepreneurship.”
Over the past year, Endeavor conducted nearly 700 interviews with NYC tech entrepreneurs, combing through combined data from AngelList, Crunchbase and LinkedIn, with the aim of identifying lessons that leaders in other cities could use to support the growth of their own tech sectors. The study indicates that within the City’s tech sector, between 2003 and 2013: more than 2,200 companies were founded; there were 336 IPOs and acquisitions; $14.2 billion in investments and $18.1 billion in startup exits.
– New York City is the best role model for other urban tech hubs. It is the second largest tech hub in the world by most measures and the fastest growing over the last decade.
– Data from over 2,500 companies show that top-performing tech entrepreneurs are more likely than their peers to start new companies, encourage their employees to do the same, mentor, angel invest and inspire other entrepreneurs.
– Data from New York City’s tech sector debunks several common startup myths. For instance, the average NYC tech founder is thirty one years old and is more likely to have studied a non-technical subject in college than a technical one.
– Between 2003 and 2013, the New York City tech sector has grown twice as fast in terms of dollars invested as Silicon Valley’s, with its companies raising more than $3.1 billion in funding in 2013.
– Between 2010 and 2013, the number of New York City tech employees grew by more than 26% annually. Based on 2013 tax rates and a $100,000 average salary, the City could add nearly $160 million annually in new tech employee income tax receipts by 2019 and over $500 million by 2024.
– Tech companies led by local entrepreneurs directly employ 53,000 people, over 1% of New York City’s workforce.
– Venture funding for tech companies in New York City increased by 240% from 2003 to 2013, and more than 85% of the sector’s current companies and 86% of its current jobs were created during this time.
2014 Endeavor Gala Honoring The Abraaj Group’s Arif M. Naqvi Brings Together 400+ Members of the Global Network
On Friday, November 7, 2014, the Endeavor Gala brought together over 400 entrepreneurs, business leaders, Endeavor Board members and supporters in New York City to celebrate the power of Endeavor’s network. As Endeavor’s only annual fundraising event, the Gala is held in support of the organization’s mission to select, support and scale high-impact entrepreneurs in markets worldwide.
This year, the number of attendees included 18 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from seven countries and over 40 Endeavor board members from 15 countries, representing a total of 16 Endeavor affiliates. The event highlighted the power of Endeavor to transform global economies, with a particular focus on the connections made between cities, countries and regions. Endeavor now operates in 22 markets around the world with a goal of expanding to 25 countries by 2015.
The Gala honored Arif M. Naqvi – founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group – as the 2014 High-Impact Entrepreneur of the Year. A visionary entrepreneur, Mr. Naqvi founded The Abraaj Group in 2002. The firm has since emerged as a leading investor in growth markets with US$ 7.5 billion in assets under management. Employing over 300 people, the Group has 25 country offices spread across six regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore. Mr. Naqvi and The Abraaj Group have developed an important partnership with Endeavor over the past four years, supporting dozens of entrepreneurs and playing a critical role in Endeavor’s affiliate expansion throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.
During the event, Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg and Global Board Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. addressed the growth of the organization over the past 17 years and the high-impact entrepreneurs that have become inspirations across the network, from Argentina to Saudi Arabia. This year’s gala video featured one such success story, following the journey of Argentine entrepreneur company Globant from the team’s selection in 2005 to their IPO on the NYSE in 2014.
“The road is long, lonely and full of potholes,” Rottenberg said in her address. “Endeavor is where dreamers and do-ers come to get unstuck.”
Mr. Naqvi then took the stage to discuss the importance of supporting leaders and visionaries in growing markets, where a young generation of entrepreneurs are shaping the global economy.
“I’ve grown up in growth markets and I’ve had the privilege of building my business in those markets – in economies that are being heralded all around the world as the drivers of global growth,” Mr. Naqvi said in his speech. “All of these changes are driven by young, aspiring business leaders that inhabit these worlds…these people are the ones that will change the world of tomorrow.”
The program ended with a performance by Atlantic Records recording artist Max Frost. After dinner, attendees enjoyed the annual after-party with special guest DJ Hannah Bronfman.
42 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 12 Countries Join the Endeavor Network at the 55th International Selection Panel in Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey – October 24, 2014 – At the 55th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP), 42 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 23 companies from 12 countries were welcomed into the Endeavor network.
Endeavor now supports 990 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 629 companies across 21 countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from October 22nd – 24th in Istanbul.
The ISP is the culmination of an extensive multi-step selection process that is at the core of the Endeavor model. At the Istanbul ISP, top business and industry leaders from around the world interviewed candidates to discern their potential for high-impact growth, and then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
“The diversity of the businesses represented at this ISP is amazing,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “From mining services in Chile to transistor testing equipment in Malaysia, our network of high-impact entrepreneurs are truly innovating industries and transforming economies worldwide.”
After their selection into the Endeavor network, the entrepreneurs are given access to customized world-class services, 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 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 one more International Selection Panel in 2014 located in Miami, FL.
Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and their companies follow.
Entrepreneur(s): Mario Flores
Company: Innovators Conveyer Belt
Conveyer belts are to mines what arteries are to the human body. As the main means of transport for minerals, losses of up to US$5 million per hour can be incurred when belts are deactivated for routine maintenance or replacement. Innovators reduces maintenance time for conveyer belts by 60% by minimizing the amount of equipment and personnel required in the process – saving mines millions of dollars per hour. The company developed a proprietary machine and repair method that turns the conventional repair process upside down (literally) by cutting and replacing the belt from below, as is the standard.
Entrepreneur(s): Gustavo Montero, Elvira Montero
Many small businesses in Latin America do not have the budget or technical know how to purchase advanced enterprise software solutions, and rely instead on inefficient processes and basic spreadsheets to manage operations. Imaginex’s cloud-based, user-friendly operational management helps SMEs improve procurement and sales processes. Its main product, Bsale, has a special feature to expedite a lengthy online tax certification process and help companies submit electronic tax receipts in compliance with new regulation.
Entrepreneur(s): Sebastian Obregan, Danel Pelaez, Sebastian Molina
In a tech-enabled world, static displays no longer engages a population accustomed to dynamic media. Enmedio is a digital signage company responding to the digital revolution with dynamic displays that deliver the right message to the right people at the right time and place. Digital signage is one of the fastest growing communication mediums in the world. Still nascent technology in Colombia, digital signage can change the way businesses communicate. With the largest digital signage coverage in the country, Enmedio will help accelerate the process of digitizing the physical world.
Entrepreneur(s): Hans Christian Boehlke, Carl Petter Boehlke, Alfredo Angel
Hans Christian Boehlke, Carl Petter Boehlke, and Alfredo Angel are creating aldeas móviles (“mobile villages”) all over the world. Aldeamo is helping customers communicate using any type of mobile phone (e.g. feature and smart) without having to use data or an Internet connection. Through established partnerships with 25 Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Aldeamo connects audiences with shared interests and delivers targeted content to its users through a B2C subscription model that charges the end-user directly through its carrier billing. Aldeamo also provides mobile solutions to public and private entities through a B2B model, currently available in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru, This model consists of the following services: (i) Intelligent SMS, a two way communication system between entities and their clients or employees; and (ii) Imenus, a way to connect directly to information systems from any mobile phone, without using data.
Entrepreneur(s): Ahmed Badr, Amir Barsoum
Few experiences transcend cultural boundaries the way a doctor’s visit does: neglected file cabinets overflowing with outdated patient records, cramped waiting rooms groaning with overcapacity, and overworked, baggy-eyed doctors burdened with frivolous administrative tasks. The health care system has reached an unparalleled level of inefficiency in Egypt, which spends 1% more of its GDP on health care than the average Middle East country, but has a life expectancy five years lower. DrBridge believes in the power of technology to overcome these inefficiencies. By delivering an end-to-end operations platform for doctors, patients, and pharmaceutical companies, DrBridge is ushering the technophobic medical profession into the digital era.
Entrepreneur(s): Mohamed Abbas, Dina Aly, Majd El Sherif
Matter is a branding firm based in Cairo, Egypt. The agency came on the scene during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, proving that their consistent and tried methodology was competitive with international firms. In 2013, the company was the first local brand agency in the Middle East to win a Dieline Packaging Award, a worldwide competition devoted to the art of consumer package design. As one of the first local agencies devoted entirely to branding, Matter has recruited top talent and secured local and international clients. In the last 10 months, the company grew its client base by 120%.
Entrepreneur(s): Laila Sedky, Adel Sedky
Company: NOLA Bakery
NOLA offers customers trendy affordable luxuries through its wide variety of freshly-baked delicious desserts that are new to the Egyptian market. NOLA focuses on the customer experience, providing a sophisticated yet cheerful setting with top customer service. For a customer, stepping into a NOLA store should be like strolling into a French bakery in Paris, with tantalizing aromas and smiling faces greeting the customer as they walk through the door. Currently, NOLA’s main product lines revolve around cupcakes in a range of flavors although it recently expanded its offering into other dessert categories like the cronut, cheesecakes, and NOLA cakes.
Entrepreneur(s): Dimitris Koutsolioutsos
Company: Farmers Republic
New York has the Union Square Market, London has Borough Market and now Greece has Farmers Republic! In a time when Greece’s Central Market is widely criticized for its relationship with farmers and quality of produce, Farmers Republic has created a disruptive physical and virtual market place—giving farmers agency over their sales with better margins and consumers higher quality certified produce. Farmers Republic is a fair-farming enterprise offering its consumers the ability to enjoy fresh produce directly from small-scale, certified producers, through its open air markets, online store, grocery store and monthly delivery service. Farmers Republic has built a superior reputation compared to other grocery stores and markets through authentically connecting with both its supplier and consumers: the farmers know that Farmers Republic will always be reliable and reasonably priced while consumers can trust that the produce will be of a certain standard through its rigorous certification process.
Entrepreneur(s): Odysseas Ntotsikas
Company: Think Digital Group
Many publishers fill their sites with underpriced advertisements and are pushed aside as advertisers opt for international competitors with huge reach and technological prowess (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Meanwhile, advertisers struggle to efficiently find the publishers that will maximize value for their ad-spend with a relevant audience and gripping content. Think Digital Group (TDG) connects publishers with advertisers through its publisher network and ad-exchange. As a publisher network, TDG acts as an outsourced salesforce for publishers, semi-manually finding the right advertisers at the right price. Its recently launched ad-exchange, Project Agora,allows advertisers to bid on bundles of ad-space segmented by different audience groups. TDG now counts some of Greece and Romania’s largest publishers among its clients, and as it expands into new markets. Seeking to change how advertising is done across Southeast and Centrel Europe, as well as MENA, Think Digital is thinking big.
Entrepreneur(s): George Voulgaroudis, Dimitris Dimitriadis
Through its automated bike-sharing system, Brainbox offers an efficient and cost effective alternative to vehicular transportation. Bike-sharing combines the convenience and flexibility of a private vehicle with the accessibility and reliability of public mass transit without the obligation of owning a bicycle. With installations across Greece, Cyprus, and Poland, last year alone, individuals cycled nearly a million miles, saving more than 150 tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of consuming 17,000 gallons of gasoline.
Entrepreneur(s): Hanifa Ambadar
Company: Female Daily Network
Female Daily Network (FDN) helps Indonesian women look and feel beautiful. Its primary portal, FemaleDaily.com, provides beauty related content to help women navigate an industry with more available products than any other retail vertical. Its customer product reviews, tip-filled articles, and video tutorials help women become beauty aficionados able to navigate countless options for makeup, skincare, treatments, and trends. The parallel portal for mothers, MommiesDaily.com, attracts FemaleDaily.com visitors as they move through new stages of life. Together, the sites create a cohesive online community that facilitates peer-to-peer connections over shared passions and concerns.
Entrepreneur(s): Bede Moore, Susie Sugden
Company: Vela Asia
Vela Asia offers a suite of end-to-end ecommerce solutions to brick-and-mortar retailers in Indonesia and international brands trying to navigate the nuances of the Indonesian market. Vela delivers the expertise and infrastructure to bring its clients online throughout the ecommerce value chain from digital marketing to warehousing and fulfillment. As a boot-strapped startup, Vela generates additional revenue through modules aimed at a particular pain point along the value chain. The company also operates multi-brand portals under websites Kukuruyuk.com and Paraplou.com (Q4 2014e), which sell electronics and fashion products respectively. Vela aims to become Southeast Asia’s leading multi-platform ecommerce retailer. In the last six months, Vela Asia has grown by 160%, attracting well-known Indonesian and international brands as clients, including Indonesia’s leading shoe manufacturer Yongki Komaladi, global clothier Lee Cooper, and international footwear brand Havaianas.
Entrepreneur(s): Nasser Saleh
Before Madfoo3atCom, the inconvenience of paying bills in Jordan was enough to make Jordanians wish they could buy back lost time. Jordanians went to the bank to withdraw money and traveled to each biller’s payment locations to physically deliver the money owed; rearranging their schedules to arrive during business hours and make time for lengthy queues. Meanwhile, billers incurred over 50% late payments and struggled to keep track of these cash payments. Madfoo3atCom, launched in June 2014, introduced a real-time bill presentment and payment system that enables the billers’ clients to inquire about and pay their bills via convenient and secure electronic channels 24/7. In 2013, the company secured an eight-year exclusive contract with the Central Bank of Jordan mandating that all 26 banks in the country process electronic payments through the company’s platform. Since launch, Madfoo3atCom averages 50 transactions per day, without any marketing. With plans for expansion in the region, the company is looking to average 125K transactions per day, grossing US$18.0M in revenues by 2017.
Entrepreneur(s): Sang Beng Ng
Semiconductors are the electrical circuits that make any computerized device function — from cell phones, to jumbo jets, to rain sensors in cars. Before a semiconductor is placed in any cell phone or device, it must be rigorously tested through an expensive, time-consuming process in order to assure its compatibility with the device. Aemulus designs and produces semiconductor testers that reduce the overall cost of testing the semiconductors by upwards of 50% and perform 15-80% faster than competitors’ offerings. As a relatively recent market entrant with a unique relationship with its clients, Aemulus has excellent insight into the demands of the market and is agile enough to respond before its larger, more established competitors—taking away market share from multinationals such as National Instruments in Malaysia. Aemulus has had impressive growth and could be a shining example of a homegrown company that dares to compete with global giants on the basis of technological excellence.
Entrepreneur: Marco Polo Bautista
Company: Game Planet
Game Planet strives to make the process of buying games just as fun as playing them. It offers the easiest and most seamless buying experience for customers in Mexico. In addition to selecting from thousands of new titles and consoles, customers can trade in used-games and attend exclusive video game launch parties. For example, in 2011 Game Planet organized a launch party for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, a best-selling first-person shooter game. Partnering with Cinepolis, Mexico’s largest theater group, Game Planet allowed over 1,000 people to play the game before anybody else in the world at a movie theater prior to the game’s midnight launch and meet the game’s developers, who flew in from the US. Originally a vendor in a local bazaar, Game Planet now operates 91 stores and is the largest video game retailer in Mexico.
Entrepreneur(s): Ginny Simon, Steve Simon, Mike Simon
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating poorly. Just ask Ginny Simon, her husband, Steve, and their son, Mike. They founded ginnybakes, a Miami-based company producing feel-good cookies, bake mixes, and health bars that have the added benefit of being organic and gluten-free. ginnybakes offers consumers outrageously delicious and healthy snacks baked with the highest quality ingredients. The ginnybakes team has leveraged close relationships with distributors in a fragmented and competitive market to sell its products in many large retailers like Whole Foods and Publix within the U.S. Its blend of premium-quality ingredients and complete ownership of the production cycle differentiates the company from its competition, as it can maintain fresh cookies while achieving economies of scale with integrated production facilities.
Entrepreneur(s): Scott Harris
DeliverLean has the recipe to maximize your health, your time, and your life. Many of us want to eat healthy but lack the time or energy to do so. Scott Harris (43) founded DeliverLean to empower customers to eat well and live healthy lives. DeliverLean prepares and distributes nutrient-dense, gourmet meals and sells cold pressed juices and raw vegan snacks at select retail locations nationwide. Named the eighth fastest growing Food & Beverage company in the U.S. in 2013 by Inc. Magazine, DeliverLean has ambitious plans to change the way the world think about and consume food.
Entrepreneur(s): Khalid al-Kudair
The glass ceiling in Saudi Arabia is quickly becoming a desert mirage. For women, the Saudi job market is one of the toughest in the world; only 30% of women are employed, but those who are unemployed are far from unqualified — 75% of them hold a college degree. Legislative restrictions on women’s ability to drive, coupled with social constraints around sharing personal information and CVs, engender a workforce employing only half of the country’s brainpower. Glowork is dedicated to creating equal opportunities for women by bridging the gap between employers and female jobseekers. Having placed 20,000 women in only jobs in three years, Glowork is leveraging its stellar brand reputation to launch into other business verticals where women are underserved, to shake up industries that have historically catered to men.
Entrepreneur(s): Salvador Carrillo, Alberto Benbunan
Company: Mobile Dreams Factory
Behind every swipe, tap and scroll on a mobile app lies an assembly line. This mobile assembly line first designs the user experience, then integrates the app with existing back-end software, then manages the mobile advertising, all before landing on a consumer’s screen. To manufacture this successful mobile strategy, clients go to the Mobile Dreams Factory (MDF), which provides end-to-end services to complete a client’s mobile transformation. With 27 mobile marketing awards, including the Gold Lion in Cannes, Eurobest, and the Gold IAB award, MDF has established itself as a leader in mobile solutions for a European m-commerce market that will exceed US$32B in 2014. Having secured premiere clients such as Burger King, eBay, and Vodafone and expanded into new geographies beyond Spain, the entrepreneurs behind MDF, Salvador Carrillo and Alberto Benbunan, are on their way to making their own mobile dreams come true.
Entrepreneur(s): Barbaros Serdar Özbugutu, Tahsin Isin
With Iyzico, accepting online payments has never been easier. From obtaining contracts with banks to systemic fraud, Turkish companies, both large and small, struggle with online payments. Fortunately, Iyzico is transforming the payment processing experience for businesses through its bank-integrated, fraud-protected payment platform tailored to the nuances of the Turkish market. Iyzico’s two API platforms connect 22 banks and payment companies with over 850 merchants, enabling merchants to accept online payments in the easiest and safest manner. Iyzico’s experienced team and local know how–from collective 33 years experience in the payment market to personally setting up all the contracts with the banks–enable it to offer a more sophisticated and adaptable platform than competitors in Turkey. While there are many global competitors in the online payment market—namely Stripe and World Pay—none have entered the Turkish market because of the high barriers to entry, providing Iyzico with a window of opportunity.
Entrepreneur(s): Hande Cilingir, Serhat Soyouerel, Arda Koterin, Sinan Toktay
E-commerce in Turkey and MENA is a gold-rush, and Insider is right there to sell the spade. As these geographies’ economies become increasingly digital, companies need the technical tools to mine ecommerce for its full potential. Insider sells cloud-based suites of ecommerce tools that enable clients to convert their visitors to customers. These tools include a behavioral targeting module that creates personalized campaigns for visitors, a module that incentivizes visitors to interact with a client on social media, and over a dozen other tools. Founded in 2012, the company has already attracted premiere clients in Turkey and abroad, such as Groupon, Avis, and Nine West.
Entrepreneur(s): Murat Sahin
Company: Secure Drive
Secure yourself some peace of mind and don’t drive yourself crazy finding airport transportation – leave that to Secure Drive. Too often in Turkey getting to the airport is as big a hassle as the trip itself. Taxis are expensive, public transportation is inconvenient, and illegal car services are unreliable. Established in 2005 by Murat Şahin (43), Secure Drive is the first company in Turkey to offer door-to-door shared shuttle rides to and from airports as well as ski and beach resorts. With a fleet of over 100 cars and operating in nine of Turkey’s largest cities, the company is already the third largest shuttle service in Europe. With Turkey emerging as a vital transportation hub — Istanbul’s new airport alone is expected to accommodate 150 million travelers in 2017 — Secure Drive is ready for lift off.
Entrepreneur(s): Ahmet M. Hançer, Burak Yücelyiğit
Through its flexible online platform and vast catalogue of off-the-shelf training content, Enocta provides clients with a convenient one-stop-shop for corporate training solutions. Over the last 13 years, Enocta has developed a breadth of top courses and informal learning methods to increase individual user engagement on the platform. Enocta’s SaaS platform is versatile which allows it to house a range of content be it Enocta’s proprietary courses, a client’s corporate training programs, or even a competitor’s solutions.
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