Reprinted from the author’s blog. See original post here.
By Alexander Torrenegra
If you follow my tweets, you may know that I was applying to become an Endeavor Entrepreneur. Endeavor Global is an organization that helps entrepreneurs unleash their potential by providing a network of seasoned business leaders. Endeavor Entrepreneurs get mentoring from members of the world’s top companies, educational and networking opportunities, and hands-on assistance with the most difficult challenges for startups.
We were invited to apply last year. The application process took hundreds of hours of paperwork, interviews, mentorships, and judging panels. Last week we flew to Cartagena, Colombia, for the Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP). Finally, the last step of the process. We felt prepared and excited as tons of support and encouragement poured in, cheering us on. Sixteen companies were judged by an independent panel and after hours of deliberation, seven were rejected, including us. Honestly, it was heartbreaking. I failed at pitching my business properly. I let my team down, as well as the members of the Endeavor team that invested innumerable hours helping us. I’ve never dissapointed so many great people at once.
There is a positive side though: the experience was life changing. We got over a dozen VIPs (top-notch VCs and executives) analyzing every detail of our business. They criticized it and proposed improvements. We got raw, honest feedback— something quite uncommon since most VCs that don’t like your idea simply tell you “Interesting… we’ll get back to you.” We also met a lot of great people that want to help us.
Professionally speaking, I’m a new Alex today. Thanks to Endeavor, I’m now pitching better, hiring differently, executing faster, and more importantly, dreaming bigger. Or at least, I hope so.