Congratulations to the 12 nominees for Endeavor Mentor of 2011 (Global), to be revealed at our Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit later this month! The list of nominees reflect some of those Endeavor Network Members –- based in the United States or Europe –- who have best embodied the spirit of Endeavor and had the highest impact over the past 12 months through a combination of mentoring Endeavor Entrepreneurs, participating in the network, and supporting and guiding Endeavor’s continued growth. A big congratulations to all the nominees.
Mike Ahearn is Managing Partner at True North Venture Partners, a venture capital company that invests in early stage innovative businesses addressing some of the world’s most challenging problems in areas such as energy, water, agriculture and waste. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of First Solar, where he served as CEO from 2000 to 2009. Mike serves on Endeavor’s Global Board of Directors and as a mentor to Enrique Gómez Junco of Optima Energia (Mexico). This past year Mike spoke at Endeavor Mexico’s CEO Summit. He has served as a panelist at International Selection Panels (ISPs) in Brazil, California and Mexico.
Gina Bianchini is the Co-Founder and former CEO of Ning, the largest social platform for interests and passions in the world. She led Ning from its inception in 2004 to its current position as an exponentially growing top 100 global website with over 46 million members and 90 million unique visitors per month. In March 2010, Gina left Ning to join Andreessen Horowitz as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and is now starting a new company. Gina is a member of Endeavor’s Global Advisory Board, spoke at the California Tech Retreat, and served as a panelist at ISPs in Mexico and Turkey.
Juan Pablo Cappello is senior partner at Greenberg Traurig, a Miami based international law firm. His practice focuses on financing transactions in emerging markets. Previously, he was the Executive VP, Corporate Secretary, and General Counsel of Patagon, an international financial institution with retail brokerage. Juan Pablo often speaks at international conferences on the structuring of international business transactions and cross-border investments. Juan Pablo was a Panelist at the ISP in Brazil, attended the Endeavor Chile Retiro and frequently meets with Endeavor Entrepreneurs visiting his hometown of Miami.
Wences Casares is a true Endeavor success story, launching multiple successful ventures since being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 1998. He is currently co-CEO of Bling Nation, a mobile payments company based in Palo Alto. Wences serves on Endeavor’s Global Board of Directors, was a panelist at the California ISP, frequently mentors entrepreneurs from Latin America visiting Silicon Valley, and co-organized a trip of 50+ Silicon Valley founders, executives and investors to Brazil, Chile and Argentina in May 2011.
David Frazee is a partner in the Palo Alto office of K&L Gates, where he represents innovative technology companies, entrepreneurs, and funds, helping them to succeed through the creation and execution of comprehensive international corporate, business, finance, and IP strategies. Using his experience as a former Silicon Valley startup entrepreneur, David has donated countless hours to mentoring Endeavor Entrepreneurs at all stages – including a self-designed week-long mentoring trip to Argentina and Uruguay in April 2011. He was a panelist at ISPs in South Africa, Mexico and London.
Matt Harris is the co-founder and Managing General Partner of Village Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm with over $175m under management. Matt left Bain Capital in 1997 to become the founding Managing Director of The Berkshires Capital Investors, a venture capital fund associated with Williams College. Under Matt’s leadership, BCI’s first fund of $5 million invested in 12 companies, with eight successful exits to date. Matt has mentored Fatih Işbecer from Pozitron (Turkey) and was a panelist at ISPs in Egypt and London.
Shari Loessberg is an experienced entrepreneur with expertise in emerging markets. Since 1999, she has taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management about venture capital and emerging market entrepreneurship, including leading MIT’s Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab), a key partner for Endeavor’s Entrepreneur Services. Outside of MIT, Shari founded and runs Big World, which focuses on startups in the financial services sector in emerging markets. Shari serves as a director of National Financial Partners and several tech start-ups. Shari is quite active with Endeavor through the G-Lab program, spoke at the inaugural Endeavor Investor Network event in Brazil, and was a panelist at ISPs in Egypt and Mexico.
John McIntire is a Principal of Nexstar Capital Partners, a New York-based fund focused on Latin American credit and private equity. He retired in 2004 as a Partner at Goldman Sachs, where he spent 12 years focused on Latin America. During his last four years he led all of the Latin American activities of the firm, a portfolio of financial businesses with over $400 million in revenue. Prior to Goldman, John spent seven years at Credit Suisse/First Boston and five years at Chase Manhattan Bank. John serves as the Chairman of Open English, an online English teaching venture targeting the Spanish-speaking world. He is a member of the Council of the Americas and is active in policy initiatives and humanitarian work benefitting his native Cuba. John is a member of the Executive Committee of Endeavor’s Global Advisory Board and served as a Panelist at ISPs in Brazil and Mexico.
Recognized as one of the most innovative and successful leaders in sports, media, and product marketing, Roberto Muller created and was the first CEO of Pan-American Sports Network, which became Latin America’s most watched cable sports network. Previously, Roberto was the president of Reebok and was instrumental in taking the company from a women’s fitness brand to a worldwide diversified performance sports brand. Prior to Reebok, he founded PONY Sports and Leisure, developing products for professional athletes. He has been a mentor to Oscar Fuenzalida & Ricardo Duch from Doggis (Chile) and participated in the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America (ECLA) program put on by Endeavor and Columbia Business School in New York City.
Diego Piacentini has served as Senior Vice President International since joining Amazon.com in February 2000 and is a member of the Amazon executive team; he is responsible for all international retail operations. Previously, Diego was Vice President and General Manager of Apple Computer Europe. An Italian national, he has traveled and worked extensively across Europe, Asia, and North America. A member of Endeavor’s Global Advisory Board, Diego has mentored over a dozen Endeavor Entrepreneurs, including frequent sessions with the founders of Betazeta (Chile) and Minha Vida (Brazil).
He has spoken at Endeavor events in several countries and was a panelist at ISPs in Chile, Brazil and London.
Ariel is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He is currently the CEO of TextMarks, and has been involved with a number of successful internet start-ups, including roles as founder and CEO of Topica, founding board member of Kana Software and founding Chairman of LinkExchange. Ariel currently serves on the board of directors of Bills.com, LOLapps and SpeedDate. He was a speaker at Endeavor’s California Tech Retreat, a mentor to the founders of Arizona (Brazil), part of the Mentor Capital Program (MCP) and a panelist at the ISP in California. Ariel frequently meets for mentoring breakfasts with Endeavor Entrepreneurs visiting San Francisco.
Joanna Rees is a candidate for mayor of San Francisco. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of VSP Capital, where she raised and managed more than $400 million. Joanna focuses on consumer technology and marketing software & services investments. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Posit Science, Branders.com, AccountNow and QuinStreet. She has served on the board of more than 20 venture backed startup companies as well as numerous non-profits. In addition to managing investments, Joanna also serves as Chairman of the USA for Madrid-based FON, the world’s largest WiFi community. Joanna is an Adjunct Professor in the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University where she teaches Leadership. She is a member of Endeavor’s Global Board of Directors, was a panelist at ISPs in Egypt and Turkey, and graciously hosted the Endeavor California team for its first 18 months of operation at her San Francisco offices.