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Endeavor Named Most Impactful Company in Latin America by LATAM Founders Network

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The LATAM Founders Network (LFN), a network for CEOs, partners and founders focused on the investment and technology space in Latin America, recently named Endeavor as the “Most Impactful” organization in the region. With a membership of more than 550 vetted leaders, the LFN Awards recipients were nominated and chosen by top entrepreneurs and founders working in and around Latin America.

LFN’s Second Annual Awards Gala was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil and brought together more than 200 leaders of the investment and technology sector to acknowledge and honor the companies that are true game changers in the region. The Gala provided the ultimate opportunity for effective networking with top CEO’s, founders, investors and media both in the region and abroad.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Martin Umaran, co-founder of Argentina’s Globant, presented the opening address and shared the inspiration behind the company’s mission and culture of 3,000+ employees worldwide. Last year, Globant became one  of the first Latin American technology companies to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor was subsequently recognized as the organization that has made the most impact in the region, with country offices in seven Latin American countries leading the movement for high-impact entrepreneurship. Having selected and supported over 500 entrepreneurs from the region who have gone on to build innovative companies and mentor future founders, Endeavor has transformed the idea of entrepreneurship in many of these markets.

Previous winners of the LFN Awards have seen continued success,  with many of the entrepreneurs raising significant additional rounds of funding and expanding their businesses into other key regions and countries. In addition to Endeavor’s recognition, Endeavor Entrepreneur company Kaszek Ventures (founded by Hernán Kazah and Nicolas Szekasy) was selected as the “Best Investor” in the region. The Brazil-based Printi, a promotional printing company founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Florian Hagenbuch, won in the “Best B2B Business” category, with Florian also winning “Entrepreneur of the Year”.

Read more about the awards and nominees this year by clicking here.

Mexico’s Yogome Announces R&D Partnership with Yale University to Explore Educational Gaming

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yogomeYogome, the leading developer of highly engaging, educational mobile games for children in elementary school, has announced a two-year, research and development partnership with the play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab at Yale University, a video game and mobile game research initiative. Yale’s p2P Lab builds collaborations with researchers, educators, and game developers to create and rigorously test innovative, effective, and targeted game interventions focused on behavior change and education for youth.

Researchers in the p2P Lab will work with Yogome, co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Manolo Diaz, to assess and further develop math and other subject games, including science, programming, and sustainability. The partnership also entails a randomized controlled trial with children aged 5-11, parent focus groups, and data analysis intended to optimize and measure the educational efficacy of the mobile games.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Yogome,” said Dr. Lynn Fiellin, founder and director of the p2P Lab and associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. “Not only do we want to measure their learning impact, we also want to explore if children’s attitudes towards learning are positively affected when combined with appropriate engaging content.”

“Partnering with one of the world’s leading researchuniversities, and especially with Dr. Fiellin and her team, is an amazing opportunity for us,” said Manolo Diaz, Yogome’s co-founder and CEO. “Whereas many game developers claim to be educational, we will have the scientific resources to validate the impact of playing our games, which we believe is what parents want to see.”

Yogome’s mobile games, which have been downloaded over 10 million times in 150 countries, are played by over half a million children every day. The games are based on the Common Core framework and adhere strictly to child privacy standards.

Since joining Endeavor in 2013, Manolo has been an active member  of the network, receiving key introductions to investors through the Endeavor Investor Network and tailored mentorship services from local and global business leaders.

For more details about the play2PREVENT Lab and Yogome, visit play2PREVENT.org and Yogome.com. Read additional coverage of the announcement in The New York Times’ Bits Blog.

UAE’s The Qode, A Luxury Brand Management Agency, Highlighted in Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine

The-Qode-to-Represent-1915-by-SeddiqiEndeavor Entrepreneurs Dipesh Depala and Ayman Fakoussa, co-founders of The Qode, were featured in Entrepreneur Middle East magazine as part of a profile on luxury marketing and leadership in the region. The entrepreneurs’ company is a brand management and public relations firm which utilizes a keen understanding of the MENA market to help both local and international brands engage the region’s luxury consumers.

Selected at the 57th International Selection Panel in Singapore, The Qode works to delve deep into the brand ethos of their clients to help them maximize market potential and achieve goals. Since its beginnings in 2010, the company has provided end-to-end services to the brands in its portfolio, including tailored event planning, diverse publishing channels, and exclusive VIP guest-lists. With the MENA region’s US$6.7B luxury retail market projected to grow annually between 10% and 15%, The Qode has already secured work with noteworthy brands including Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Chanel. The company is also looking to expand its footprint geographically to the UK, US, and Asia to become a leading agency worldwide.

In the magazine, the co-founders lay out their views on engaging influencers and consumers in the luxury market in order to maximize brand awareness. Read the full article in Entrepreneur Middle East by clicking below.

CNBC Features Endeavor Greece Research on Job Creation; Highlights the Need for Entrepreneurship

cnbcCNBC recently featured Endeavor Greece‘s Creating Jobs for Youth in Greece report, bringing focus to the need for  high-quality employment opportunities in the struggling economy.  The piece highlights the sharp decline in young college graduates in the country as many move abroad in search of better job climates. With a nearly 50% youth unemployment rate, Greece’s economy is primed for a rise in high-impact entrepreneurship that can spur job creation and usher in a new period of growth. Endeavor Entrepreneur Alexis Pantazis, co-founder of Hellas Direct, was also interviewed for the article.

The report focuses on the stagnation of value-adding sectors, the necessity of startups for initiating growth, and the promise shown by a generation of Greek youth who are more globally-minded and connected than ever before. The findings reveal that a change in the perception of entrepreneurship needs to happen, particularly among younger populations, which will only be possible if healthy role models and supportive institutions exist. Endeavor Greece Managing Director Haris Makryniotis was also featured in the article, discussing the uncertainty that has plagued the country in recent years and the role that entrepreneurship can play in improving the economic outlook.

Read the full CNBC article by clicking here and learn more about the report in the video below.

Argentina’s Fën Hoteles Plans U.S. Expansion with Properties in NYC, LA and Miami

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Argentina’s  Fën Hoteles, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Patricio Fuks and Alejandro Frenkel, recently announced that it is planning an expansion across the U.S.  In an agreement with  investment firm Rosental Group, the hotel management company will have 12 new properties under its management across New York City, Los Angeles and Miami.

To support this expansion, Fën will establish a new company headquarters in New York City. The company operates on a franchise model and currently oversees the Dazzler and Esplendor brands with 35 hotels in 17 cities. The series of U.S. openings is expected to begin in April with the 170-room Dazzler Brooklyn, which will be followed by additional openings in New York and Miami in the first stage. All together, 3,000 rooms are expected to be in operation in 2015.

“It’s exciting. This landing in the United States is a sign of continued expansion that began twelve years ago, from Argentina to the rest of the world,” said Patricio Fuks, CEO of Fën.

Since its founding in 2003, Fën has become one of the largest and fastest-growing hotel management and franchise businesses in Latin America. The founders were selected into the Endeavor network in 2007, and have since received custom mentoring from teams of business experts. The team has also been connected to other leaders in the hospitality industry through Endeavor, and has received support from initiatives like the eMBA Program.

 Read more in Argentine news by clicking here.


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The team of Fën Hoteles

Argentina’s Jampp, A Mobile App Marketing Platform, Raises Funding with Participation from Endeavor Catalyst

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Jampp, a platform that helps mobile app advertisers acquire and engage users, has raised $7 million in a Series A round led by Highland Europe. The round of funding also included participation from Innova, NXTP Labs and Endeavor Catalyst. Founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Martin Añazco and Diego MellerJampp enables brands to optimize in-app activity and conversions.

Jampp’s financing announcement comes during a period of rapid growth for the company. Started in Buenos Aires and London, Jampp bootstrapped its way to become one of the leading app marketing platforms and a strategic partner to more than 50 large global mobile advertisers. In 2014 alone, the company multiplied its revenues, grew the team from 8 to 40 people and opened offices in San Francisco, São Paulo and Cape Town.

“Jampp provides a unique combination of scale and ROI, as our platform learns which signals produce high converting users for each app, dynamically bids on inventory, and automatically allocates budget.” said Diego. “This means we don’t just deliver app installs to our clients, but actual in-app purchases, food delivery orders, taxi bookings, new listings or whatever our advertisers are looking to optimize. App Marketing is no longer about getting installs (over 80% of users stop using the app after 6 months) but about driving engagement and conversions.”

Jampp is able to achieve this by buying mobile media inventory via its Conversion Driven Real Time Bidding engine, which dynamically bids on inventory across 18 RTB exchanges and over 150 mobile ad networks. The company also offers advertisers the capability to do re-targeting, bringing users back to the apps and driving continuous engagement. This way, Jampp completes the full cycle of app marketing, by first bringing users to the app and then re-engaging them. The company, which has been profitable since 2013, will use the investment funds to expand operations in key markets and continue to invest in R&D. After their selection by Endeavor in 2014, Jampp’s team  has received tailored mentoring and strategic advisory services through Endeavor’s global network of business leaders.

“This news demonstrates the high-impact potential of entrepreneurs in emerging markets who continue to attract global interest and inspire future generations of founders and leaders,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.

About Endeavor Catalyst

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

Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst by clicking here.

Greece’s Hellas Direct Raises New Round of Financing with Participation from Endeavor Catalyst

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The Greece-based Hellas Direct, a direct-to-consumer online insurance company, has announced the completion of an institutional investment round led by Third Point LLC’s affiliate, the Third Point Hellenic Recovery Fund (TPHR). TPHR joins a roster of  top investors including private equity veteran Jon Moulton and former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill. Endeavor Catalyst – Endeavor’s innovative co-investment vehicle – has also participated in the round, marking its first investment in Europe.

Hellas Direct was founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Emilios Markou and Alexis Pantazis, two former Goldman Sachs executives who saw an opportunity to disrupt an inefficient Greek insurance market as the country was entering recession. Hellas Direct is a long-term strategic partner of Munich Re and follows a tech-empowered, direct-to-consumer business approach similar to that adopted by insurance brands like Geico and Direct Line. This enables the company to offer better quality service at cheaper prices. Hellas Direct has experienced exponential growth during its first two years of operation, even as Greece saw a 25% reduction in GDP and a 40% drop in insurance premia. In the US$2.6 billion Greek car insurance market, Hellas Direct offers safe drivers policies at a 15-35% discount to comparable coverage options by cutting out commissions and adopting the latest web technology.

“We are delighted to have secured Third Point as a strategic investor in Hellas Direct,” said Emilios Markou. “Their global expertise in financial services and hands-on exposure in regional banking makes them an ideal partner in what we expect to be a fast consolidating insurance sector.”

“We are excited to be teaming up with two world-class institutional investors in our efforts to bring transparency and innovation to the insurance industry,” added Alexis Pantazis. “We see this as a unique opportunity to fortify our company’s balance sheet ahead of Solvency II, accelerate our organic growth, and selectively look at acquisitions across both Greece and Cyprus.”

Since joining the network in 2012, Endeavor has connected the founding pair with an advisory board of mentors and industry experts who have helped them refine their business strategy. In addition, Endeavor has introduced them to top investors and venture capitalists, enabling the team grow the company and ultimately give back to Endeavor Greece.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Hellas Direct as the first Greek investment in our Catalyst portfolio,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “These entrepreneurs are a testament to Endeavor’s willingness to support and build high-impact entrepreneurship in Greece during trying times.”

About Endeavor Catalyst

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

Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst by clicking here.

Endeavor Launches Second U.S. Affiliate in Detroit, MI

medium_9178018018Endeavor Detroit Logo (color) web small Detroit, MI – February 9, 2015 – Endeavor is officially announcing the launch of its second U.S.-based affiliate in Detroit, MI. Endeavor Detroit has identified some of the region’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs to join its local board of directors. Antonio Lück has also been selected as Managing Director. As Endeavor’s second entry in the U.S. market following its 2013 launch in Miami, Endeavor Detroit will help usher in a new era of local growth and economic development driven by high-impact entrepreneurship.

The economic challenges faced by Detroit since the financial crisis of 2007-08 have made headlines across the world. With a population of about 700,000, the city has seen a sharp rise in unemployment coupled with economic decline and a dwindling talent pool. Following its landmark municipal bankruptcy filing in 2013, the city has been beleaguered by unemployment rates hovering around 14% – nearly double the national average. The region of Southeast Michigan as a whole has not fully recovered from the financial crisis either, with unemployment rates at nearly 1% above 2007 levels.

Endeavor Insight, the organization’s research team, found that Southeast Michigan suffers from a scaleup gap, with the number of high-growth firms (companies older than three years with at least 20% annual employment growth over the last three years) declining by 50% between 2007 and 2012. Scaleups, however, can be the key engines of sustainable job growth that the city needs. The average high-growth company employs eight times as many people as the average non-high-growth firm, and 35 times as many as the average startup. To return the area’s unemployment rate to 2007 levels, Southeast Michigan will need to fill the job gap by empowering entrepreneurs and ventures that have the potential to create the most high-quality employment opportunities. Learn more about Endeavor Insight’s findings on Detroit’s scaleup ecosystem by clicking here.

Now at a critical crossroads, Detroit is primed for the sort of high-impact entrepreneurship that Endeavor has successfully fostered all around the world. By providing access to a global network of industry leaders, investors and talent, Endeavor’s support can help the best entrepreneurs in the city turn their ventures into businesses that will move the local economy. Endeavor works 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 expand their visions. 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 founding in 1997, Endeavor has selected and supported over a thousand entrepreneurs representing more than 650 companies in the 22 markets where it operates.

“Detroit right now is in an exciting period of reinvention and growth, driven by a rise in entrepreneurship,” said Board Chairman Cindy Pasky, Founder & CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. “Endeavor’s unparalleled global network will equip the city’s best entrepreneurs with the resources they need to aid with ushering in a new era for Detroit.”

“The entrepreneurial talent in Detroit and the broader region is impressive,” echoed Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “We’re excited to support these companies to scale, stay and multiply their impact by investing, mentoring and inspiring the next generation of local high-impact entrepreneurs.”

All Endeavor affiliates are guided by a local board of business leaders, each of whom believes that high-impact entrepreneurship can transform entire economies. The Endeavor Detroit founding board will be chaired by Cindy Pasky, Founder, President, & CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. She will be joined by Gerard M. Anderson, Chairman & CEO of DTE Energy; Dave Egner, Executive Director of the New Economy Initiative and President & CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation; Thomas Groos, Partner of City Light Capital; Nate Lowery, Co-founder & CEO of TM3 Systems; Raj Vattikuti, Founder of Altimetrik; and Steven A. White, Chairman & CEO of Detroit Renewable Energy. The launch of Endeavor Detroit was made possible by the commitment and passion of these local board members as well as the support of some of the region’s top institutions and foundations.

“The DeVos Family first met Endeavor a couple years ago and was impressed by a proven track record to catalyze entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world,” expressed Nate Lowery, Co-founder and CEO of TM3 Systems Inc, and Board Member of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and Endeavor Detroit. “While the family has traditionally focused much of its philanthropy in Grand Rapids, taking Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to the next level will require cooperation from both sides of the state. Our Foundation is thrilled to be a driving force behind Endeavor coming to Detroit and Michigan.”

“From grassroots to high-growth, the New Economy Initiative supports programs that enable entrepreneurs to start, innovate and scale their businesses in SE Michigan,” said David Egner, President of the New Economy Initiative and Board Member of Endeavor Detroit. “The team identified a gap that Endeavor’s model could fill to support entrepreneurs to scale.”

The board has selected Antonio Lück as Managing Director of the office, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Detroit. Mr. Lück was previously the Director of Business Acceleration, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Venture Capital at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, where he directed all of the state’s early stage financial programs and the portfolio management team. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the office in Detroit and will be involved in screening entrepreneur candidates for consideration.

For entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Endeavor in Detroit, please contact Detroit@endeavor.org.

About Endeavor

Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as “the best anti-poverty program of all,” Endeavor is leading the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 40,000 entrepreneurs and selected more than a thousand individuals leading over 650 high-impact companies.

With support from Endeavor’s worldwide mentor network, these high-impact entrepreneurs:

– Have created nearly 400,000 jobs
– Generated $6.8 billion in revenues in 2013
– Inspire future generations to innovate and take risks

Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in 22 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the U.S.

Contact
Joanna Harries
Vice President, U.S. and Canada
Ph: +1-646-783-6122
joanna.harries@endeavor.org

Mexico’s Travesias Media Selected By Banamex to Publish Corporate Magazines

Mexico’s Travesias Media, founded by entrepreneur Javier Arredondo, announced that it was selected by Grupo Financiero Banamex, one of the largest banking operations in Mexico, to publish the group’s corporate magazines. Travesias has evolved to become a premiere media agency that generates high-quality editorial content focused on luxury, travel, lifestyle and current events.

Travesias will be partnering with Banamex to publish the magazines “Valor” and “Valor Corporativo”, two publications that target an affluent and finance-literate audience that is 45 years and older. In particular, the magazines will be aimed at the institution’s consumer and corporate banking clients.

Grupo Financiero Banamex has branded its print media to set the standard when it comes to personal finance, business and lifestyle content. Both “Valor” and “Valor Corporativo” will be bi-monthly magazines with controlled circulation, whose editorial content has been developed for readers with a specific interest in economic and social current affairs.

This partnership demonstrates Travesias’ growing brand and client base in Latin America. Since his selection by Endeavor in 2002, Javier has been an active member of the Endeavor network. With over 50 employees, Travesias has grown to encompass a number of lifestyle brands and works closely with an international network of over 200 collaborating writers, translators and photographers. Endeavor provided Javier and his team with a custom advisory board of mentors that helped him refine his business model and connect with industry experts.

Learn more about Travesias by clicking here.

Endeavor Lebanon Co-Hosts Global Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Investors Summit in Beirut

Endeavor Lebanon and the Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE) held the Global Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Investors Summit, a meeting that brought together over 300 Lebanese investors, business executives and local entrepreneurs. The goal of the Summit was to create a dialogue between Lebanon’s local and global stakeholders and position the country as a prime market for investment. Select Endeavor Entrepreneurs from the local network also attended the event to share their high-impact stories.

Hosted in Beirut, the day-long event showcased the evolution and high-growth potential of Lebanon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Hundreds of high net-worth, venture capital and growth equity investors attended the Summit from major financial centers including New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore and Dubai. Comprised mainly of Lebanese ex-patriates, the participants explored investment opportunities in businesses built by a young generation of local entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors. Panel discussions throughout the day highlighted the investment potential in the thriving Lebanese technology and design industries, as well as the importance of attracting and retaining human capital.

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A panel discussion during the Summit

“Lebanon boasts a vibrant scene of entrepreneurial talent and SMEs with great potential to grow, but this potential remains capped due to lack of access to capital and international markets. This summit, organized with our partners LIFE, has given birth to an investor network that specifically strengthens that weak link and creates the missing connections,” said Tarek Sadi, Managing Director of Endeavor Lebanon. “Hundreds of people are here today because they truly care to revive the country’s economy and help it grow.”

In his keynote speech, H.E. Mr. Riad Salame, Governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank, announced plans to license a stock exchange that would list SMEs and family-owned businesses and to facilitate exit strategies for Lebanese entrepreneurs. This follows a series of several important initiatives undertaken by bank in the past two years to support local entrepreneurs.

A number of top Lebanese entrepreneurs, including many in the Endeavor network, attended the event – Labib Shalak, Jamil Corbani, Mohamad Arayssi and Nada Debs all shared their success stories, failures and insights on how they attracted capital despite the challenges and risks in the country.

Find out more about the event by clicking here.

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