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

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

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The opening panel featuring key members of the Endeavor network

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

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

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

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

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Attendees fill the room during a conference panel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Endeavor Catalyst

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

Linda Rottenberg Appears in Top Media Outlets to Discuss “Crazy Is A Compliment” and Share Stories of Endeavor Entrepreneurs

CrazyMediaEndeavor CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenberg’s first book “Crazy Is A Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags” was released in October, bottling 17 years of insights and anecdotes from her work with nearly a thousand of the world’s best high-impact entrepreneurs. As part of the its release, Linda has appeared in a number of top media outlets – including Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, MSNBC and Fast Company – to share lessons from the over 40 Endeavor Entrepreneurs highlighted in the book.

In “Crazy Is A Compliment”, Linda expresses the idea that entrepreneurship is not just for entrepreneurs anymore. Whether it’s an employee at a Fortune 500 company, a nonprofit, or a mom-and-pop shop, everyone needs to think and act like a changemaker in order to create their own success stories. She draws on her unique experience to show readers how they can take manageable steps to achieve their dreams, utilizing an insightful blend of inspiring stories and practical tips for getting started, going big, and going home.

As part of these lessons, Linda spotlights some notable Endeavor Entrepreneurs from around the world and their successes, including:

 

Since its release, “Crazy Is A Compliment” has been named a top business book for the fall by Fortune Magazine and Business Insider, reaching #11 on the New York Times’ best sellers list as well as the top 50 books on Amazon.com. Learn more about Linda’s appearances in the media and hear her discuss lessons from the book by clicking here.

You can also join Linda’s #TeamCrazy on social media with the hashtag #CrazyIsACompliment to discuss the book. In addition, you can join the likes of LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, AOL’s Steve Case and other top entrepreneurs by sharing your #MyCrazyMoment video.

In the Media – Linda Rottenberg

The Power of Scale-Ups: Harvard Business Review and the World Economic Forum Spotlight High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Scale-up companies, defined by Endeavor Insight as companies more than three years old with a minimum of 20% average annual employment growth, have become a major force in transforming economies around the world. Bringing focus to the power of scale-ups, the Harvard Business Review recently featured an article co-authored by Endeavor President Fernando Fabre and Babson College professor Dan Isenberg emphasizing scale-ups, not start-ups, as the main drivers of economic change. The article takes a specific look at The Global Scale Up Declaration, an effort formed between top entrepreneurship influencers to offer a rallying point for the movement. Sign and share the Declaration at ScaleUpDeclaration.org and join the social conversation with #ScaleUpDeclaration.

In addition, a recent World Economic Forum report titled “The Bold Ones – High-Impact Entrepreneurs Who Transform Industries” takes an in-depth look at the power of high-impact entrepreneurs and their role in innovating industries worldwide. Drawing from surveys of entrepreneurs in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program as well as research from Endeavor, the report provides insight on how these entrepreneurs and their scale-up ventures accelerate access to new markets and become leading businesses that create high-value jobs.

In the HBR piece, Isenberg and Fabre emphasize that, despite the buzz around “startups”, the U.S. has experienced a decades long decline in entrepreneurship. Instead, more and more American companies are surviving and growing beyond 16 years. These growing businesses – known as “scale-ups” – represent the kind of long-term entrepreneurship that improves societies, jobs, quality of life, and innovation. Entrepreneurial scale-ups are companies – young or old – which are run and owned by growth-driven leaders, and which at any stage of their lives may launch a new growth trajectory. New startups are easier to count, but they alone don’t have the positive impact on economies that growing a company does. As a result, in advance of November’s Global Entrepreneurship Weekthe Declaration was developed in a coordinated effort to focus more of the entrepreneurship conversation on scale-ups and their positive impacts.

View the full HBR article by clicking here.

The WEF report found that the over 600 companies in the sample (1/10,000th of the total number of U.S. companies) have created over 160,000 jobs in just the last two years (nearly 1/20th of the total U.S. economy). These ventures have outperformed comparable financial indices by a substantial margin and have created significant wealth for owners, employees, and customers. In addition, the report features insights from Endeavor CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenberg, who is recognized as an early pioneer of the high-impact entrepreneurship movement.

Read and download the full report by clicking here.

The Global Scale Up Declaration – Join the #ScaleUpDeclaration Conversation

To accelerate and highlight the scale up conversation, with a group of entrepreneurship influencers, we have developed this Scale Up Declaration, which we offer as a rallying point for what the entrepreneurship discussion should focus on, and what that can accomplish. Sign and share the Declaration today!

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

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

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

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

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

About Endeavor Catalyst

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

Harvard Business Review Highlights the Power of Scale-Ups and The Global Scale Up Declaration

hbrThe Harvard Business Review recently featured an article co-authored by Endeavor President Fernando Fabre and Babson College professor Dan Isenberg that puts the spotlight on impact of scale-up organizations and the entrepreneurs behind them. The article takes a specific look at The Global Scale Up Declaration, an effort formed between Isenberg, Endeavor and top entrepreneurship influencers to offer a rallying point for the discussion around entreprenuership. View, sign and share the Declaration at ScaleUpDeclaration.org and join the conversation with #ScaleUpDeclaration.

In the piece, Isenberg and Fabre emphasize that, despite the buzz around “startups”, the U.S. has experienced a decades long decline in entrepreneurship. Instead, more and more American companies are surviving and growing beyond 16 years. These growing businesses – known as “scale-ups” – represent the kind of long-term entrepreneurship that improves societies, jobs, quality of life, and innovation. Entrepreneurial scale-ups are companies – young or old – which are run and owned by growth-driven leaders, and which at any stage of their lives may launch a new growth trajectory. New startups are easier to count, but they alone don’t have the positive impact on economies that growing a company does. As a result, in advance of November’s Global Entrepreneurship Weekthe Declaration was developed in a coordinated effort to focus more of the entrepreneurship conversation on scale-ups and their positive impacts.

View the full HBR article by clicking here.

 

The Global Scale Up Declaration – Join the #ScaleUpDeclaration Conversation

To accelerate and highlight the scale up conversation, with a group of entrepreneurship influencers, we have developed this Scale Up Declaration, which we offer as a rallying point for what the entrepreneurship discussion should focus on, and what that can accomplish. Sign and share the Declaration today!

 

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the news by clicking here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the company’s announcement by clicking here

Greece’s Hellas Direct Named a National Champion by the European Business Awards

Hellas DirectThe European Business Awards, an annual honor that recognizes innovation and ethics in the regional business community, recently named Greece’s Hellas Direct to its rankings. Along with a selection of businesses representing more than 30 European countries, Hellas Direct joins a list of champions whose success and economic impact have helped foster a vibrant network of entrepreneurs and founders.

Founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou in 2011, Hellas Direct is Greece’s first direct-to-consumer online car insurance company. The entrepreneurs saw an opportunity and a need for an innovative, affordable model in the billion-dollar Greek car insurance market. By leveraging the latest technology, Hellas Direct offers premium customer service with more affordable rates than its competitors. The growing company now employs more than dozen people and continues to expand its customer base by offering an alternative to traditional insurers.

This honor brings Hellas Direct into the ranks alongside hundreds of other thriving business ventures recognized every year by the European Business Awards. Since 2007, the Awards have engaged with over 17,000 organisations across the continent, touching on industries ranging from fashion and technology to engineering and manufacturing. Participating businesses have represented a combined turnover of over €1 trillion (or over 8% of the EU’s GDP) and employ nearly 2.7 million people.

Since joining the Endeavor network in 2012, Alexis and Emilios have been provided a board of local advisors with expertise in the industry, helping the team develop their business model and expansion strategies. The entrepreneurs have also met with top mentors in the network as well as potential international investors.

See the full list of this year’s honorees by clicking here.

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