Harvard Business School (HBS), working closely with Endeavor, profiled the organization’s U.S. expansion into Miami in a recent case study that explores Endeavor’s operating model, global strategy, and the rigorous decision process behind the establishment of a new affiliate. This is the third study conducted by HBS examining Endeavor’s work, with the first study (2003) focused on Endeavor’s plans for growth and the second study (2009) exploring the concept of high-impact entrepreneurship. In this latest case, the research led by HBS Professor William Sahlman examines both the economic conditions that made Miami an attractive choice for Endeavor’s first U.S. venture, and the steps Endeavor took to turn the idea into a reality.
When the idea of Miami was first proposed in 2012, an evaluation of the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem found that there was already a strong community of talent and a viable infrastructure, demonstrated by one of the highest rates of new business formation among the 15 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. However, since 2000, the number of large businesses in the area declined by more than 20 percent, coinciding with a rapidly rising unemployment rate. It was evident that there was a vibrant start-up scene in Miami, but a lack of consistent access to investment capital and mentorship opportunities prevented many of these small businesses from reaching the critical scaleup stage.
Supporting entrepreneurs at this level, when job creation and economic impact is most tangible, is where Endeavor’s “mentor capitalist” model would prove valuable to Miami and where members of Endeavor’s senior leadership saw a key opportunity to expand the organization’s mission. There were still questions, however, of whether a U.S. expansion would be consistent with Endeavor’s values and capabilities, and whether it was the best choice among so many other potential markets. What followed was careful consideration and debate around issues of funding, opportunity cost and organizational impact, outlined by the study in an examination of how Endeavor is working to foster high-impact entrepreneurship beyond just emerging markets, but in every region where there is a verifiable need.
Since the Miami affiliate was launched in September 2013, entrepreneurs Roger Duarte and Sam Gorenstein of My Ceviche and Jesus Rodriguez of KidoZen have already successfully been selected into the Endeavor network. Visit the HBS faculty & research site to see a list of their latest publications.