High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Entrepreneur Connections: Saudi Arabia’s Glowork and OTS Partner on Job Recruitment Service for Women

During a recent Endeavor KSA networking event, more than 30 board members, mentors and entrepreneurs from the local network convened to meet and discuss the impact of Endeavor. Attendees had the chance to meet casually over […]

January 29th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor Insight joins the Kauffman Foundation and the World Bank in founding the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network

In the last few years, many policymakers and business leaders have recognized that high-impact entrepreneurship is critical for job creation, economic growth and innovation. While the increased focus on entrepreneurship is great news, it is […]

October 16th, 2013 — by admin

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Endeavor Entrepreneur Daniel Rosas discusses Colombia tech biz, offers advice to entrepreneurs

In an interview with the Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA), Endeavor Entrepreneur Daniel Rosas, founder of TES America, discusses effectiveness and efficiency, challenges to starting a business in Colombia, and virtuous cycles. Founded in Bógota in 1999, TES America is the leading service provider for telecommunications in Colombia. The company designs, optimizes, and monitors wireless communications networks to provide industry-specific solutions and is branching out to other industries such as healthcare. Find the full interview here.

LAVCA: Please give us some background on TES America.

Rosas: At its core, TES America is a group of electronic and computer science engineers who create customized, industry-specific solutions and systems. Our strengths have developed by designing, optimizing, and monitoring telecommunication networks.

Today we extend our expertise to other sectors most notably Oil & Gas, Mining, Health and the Public Sector. We work with clients such as Tigo, Telefonica, Alcatel and Nokia-Semens (telecom), Petrobras and Ecopetrol (energy), Carbocol (mining) and various public entities.

We have created a “Telemedicine” division, which we are establishing as a separate business from TES America. Telemedince will allow patient diagnoses content and data to be shared through Telecommunications and human/machine software interfaces – a revolutionary tool that allows hospitals in rural areas to increase their effectiveness on patient care. Telemedicine represents a clear example of how our expertise would revolutionize the efficiency and effectiveness of operations in a new sector.

LAVCA: How did you come up with the business idea?

Rosas: The idea came after the privatization of Colombia’s telecommunications’ sector. Our business is more than just providing services and products; it is about nurturing and developing the human capital of Colombia while contributing towards the efficiency and effectiveness of strategic industries which are critical to Colombia’s growth, and that of Latin America in the international arena. Our vision is social impact and high quality job creation in a constantly evolving sector.

LAVCA: Who is your competition and what do you see as TES America’s competitive advantages?

Rosas: From a corporate perspective, we are not aware of any competitors that offer the breadth and depth of products and services. Our competitive advantage derives from four key areas:

1. R&D: TES America invests in Colombia’s most talented and trained engineers by financing the research and thesis work of young engineers throughout universities in Colombia. We also invest 20% of revenues into our own R&D staff through the training and hiring of talented engineers.
2. Neutrality: Unlike the majority of competitors, we are not tied to any OEM and therefore offer impartial and objective services regarding technology.
3. Technology expertise: TES America has developed leading expertise in telecom technology, hardware integration and software development.
4. Customization: TES America is unique in that its solutions are customizable to the specific needs given a client’s industry and area of expertise.
Our most pressing strategic challenge right now is reinforcing our organizational structure to extend our expertise to foreign markets.

LAVCA: You are currently preparing the company to fundraise in the second quarter 2011. What types of investors do you plan to approach? How much capital are you seeking?

Rosas: We are seeking USD $2M for TES America and USD $500K for Telemedicine. We hope to partner with “smart capital” investors with a long-term view that can provide financing but also a network to help facilitate new market entry. We are not looking for pure equity investors seeking attractive returns in a short time frame.

We are open to both international and domestic source of capital and plan to target these investors via our own industry and personal contacts, but also with the help of Endeavor Colombia to broaden our network.

LAVCA: How do you plan to put your next round of financing to use?

Rosas: This will depend. If we find a suitable investor for the Telemedince division, we would extend to new markets. We have analyzed the drivers of adoption for rural intra-hospital consulting (rural populations, density of physicians and per-capita healthcare expenditure) and found that the best initial targets for this practice are Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Chile. Second-tier markets would include the US and additional Latin American markets.

LAVCA: Where do you see your company five years from now?

Rosas: We strive to be a leading technology and engineering services group with integrated operations in Latin America, the USA and Asia.

LAVCA: In your opinion, what remains as one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs in Colombia?
Rosas: I would point to four main areas: access to financial capital (especially for service and software providers), access to human capital with knowledge and experience in international markets, a taxing regulatory environment and a lack of government incentives for SMEs.

LAVCA: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs in Colombia?

Rosas: First of all, develop knowledge in technology-related disciplines. We believe technology is the seed that generates a virtuous cycle of innovation, education, development and economic growth. Leverage these technology skills to focus on sectors specifically focused on communications and networking.

Secondly, while Tes America is neutral on background, we urge entrepreneurs to develop skills through a background that stems from a quality education, international experience, language abilities and leadership potential.

Linda Rottenberg discusses global entrepreneurship on venture capital’s birthday

L to R: Harvard Business School’s Bill Sahlman (moderator), Advent International’s Peter Brooke, Linda Rottenberg of Endeavor, and Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Linda Rottenberg, Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO, spoke about international venture capital yesterday at VC65, a conference celebrating the 65th anniversary of the U.S. venture capital industry. Xconomy, a news and events organization which provides business and technology news, paired up with the National Venture Capital Association and the MIT Museum to hold VC65. The event, open to the public, drew nearly 1,000 attendees including entrepreneurs, technologists, and over 500 venture capitalist guests. Linda Rottenberg has also been named an “Xconomist,” serving on the volunteer advisory board of the newly launched New York chapter of Xconomy.com.

The closing panel of VC65 featured Linda, Peter Brooke of Advent International, and Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Bill Sahlman of Harvard Business School moderated the panel on the topic of global entrepreneurship and venture capital’s role in emerging markets. While discussing entrepreneurship around the world, Linda highlighted the basics behind Endeavor’s mentor capitalist model and the growing community of investors in our network — investors who are not only mentoring Endeavor Entrepreneurs but also advising burgeoning investment communities in emerging markets.

In marking the 65th birthday of venture capital, the conference looked ahead to the future of the field. Panel topics included the new Frontier of Venture, Building Biotech firms, and case studies on Kiva and Skype. In “10 Takeaways from Xconomy’s VC65,” insights about a “new entrepreneurial generation” embracing the start-up life, the potential of firms to touch lives, and increasing specialization proved most exciting to the audience.

Other featured speakers included Bob Metcalfe, who delivered the opening keynote, Henry McCance of Greylock Partners on industry best practice, Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital Ventures, Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz, Bryan Roberts of Venrock, and Terry McGuire of Polaris Venture Partners. lmerHale, Silicon Valley Bank, and the Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) Center sponsored the event.
Linda Rottenberg speaking at VC65

Endeavor marketing reps attend Global Entrepreneurship Week Congress

From March 28-31, Marketing and Communications representatives from nine Endeavor country affiliates met in Beijing to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Week Congress, a conference organized by the Kauffman Foundation to plan the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Endeavor was featured for local impact on four panels, and highlighted as a global partner on the Partner panel. Endeavor Brazil won the People’s Choice Award, voted on by all Congress attendees as the partner that made the most impact through their 2010 GEW campaign.

Below, check out our new video on YouTube about Endeavor’s participation in GEW 2010!

Bain supports Endeavor to improve operations and assist research

Bain & Company, a leading global management consulting firm, has provided a pro-bono consulting team to Endeavor Global for a full three-month engagement. The team is working with senior leadership across Endeavor’s worldwide organization to validate our five-year strategy for growth and sustainability, and to identify best practices to help improve our overall operations.

Additionally, Bain is providing several short-term externs to support Endeavor’s research arm, the Center for High-Impact Entrepreneurship (C-HIE). These externs will join Bain alumni already working within the Endeavor network, including Pilar Aguilar, our new Managing Director in Mexico, and Rhett Morris, the director of C-HIE.

Endeavor partners with Ernst & Young to support research and entrepreneur selection

Recently, the global professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with Endeavor Global. Under the agreement, EY will sponsor Endeavor research on topics related to entrepreneurship in emerging markets. EY support will also extend to Endeavor’s International Selection Panels. Endeavor will become a designated supporter of, and help to identify potential nominees for, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program in countries where both organizations operate.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Ernst & Young,” says Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “There’s an incredibly strong alignment between our two organizations’ commitments to promoting high-impact entrepreneurs throughout the world.”

Says Greg Ericksen, EY’s Global Vice Chair, Strategic Growth Markets: “We’re excited about a financial management curriculum we’re currently developing for Endeavor Entrepreneurs. It will cover assurance, tax issues and leading practice, as well as effective risk management and funding for growth. Our intent is to equip entrepreneurs with access to our resources, knowledge and technical insight to drive and accelerate their growth.”

Expressing enthusiasm for the agreement, EY Chairman and CEO Jim Turley notes, “In emerging markets, entrepreneurship plays an important role in fueling growth, adding jobs and building the middle class. Endeavor has proven itself to be highly effective at unleashing the power of the entrepreneurial spirit in these markets.” He adds: “By supporting and aligning ourselves with Endeavor, we will continue to build relationships with the leaders of tomorrow and our status as the best brand for providing advice to entrepreneurial and fast-growth private and public business.”

Ernst & Young has long been a supporter of Endeavor, including as part of our Fellows program, where senior EY executives undertake three-month on-site mentorships with Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

Endeavor network members speak at ArabNet conference

Last week, numerous Endeavor network members participated in ArabNet, the largest digital conference in the Middle East. Featured speakers included Peter Kellner (Co-Founder, Endeavor), Fadi Ghandour (Board Member, Endeavor Jordan and Endeavor Lebanon), Omar Koudsi (Endeavor Entrepreneur, Jeeran), and Zafer Younis (Endeavor Entrepreneur, The Online Project).

Tarek Sadi, Managing Director of recently-launched Endeavor Lebanon, also spoke at ArabNet. As highlighted in the press release, Tarek “spoke of 2010 as a milestone for early stage investing in MENA,” noting the establishing of new entrepreneurial incubators and 10 new institutional investors. He noted the presence of a stronger investor base and a multiple increase in deal volumes, and highlighted a report that venture capital and private equity in emerging markets increased by 30% in 2010.

“We’ve found that two things are required for a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Tarek. “One, the right entrepreneur. And two, deep and tailored support. The biggest barrier to entrepreneurship isn’t capital.”

Meanwhile, on a panel about entrepreneurship in emerging markets, Peter Kellner stressed the importance of entrepreneurial education in the region, and developing mechanisms for creating more Arabic online content and applications. He also advocated for regulatory reform in such areas as transaction and labor laws.

Peter Kellner (right) at ArabNet

26 new High-Impact Entrepreneurs selected at Mexico panel

Endeavor invited 26 High-Impact Entrepreneurs representing 14 companies from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Mexico and Turkey to join the organization at our 38th International Selection Panel, which was held from March 23rd-25th in Mexico City. Endeavor now supports 580 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 372 companies in 11 emerging market countries.

“Once again, our International Selection Panel highlighted the innovation and vibrancy of high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “I’m particularly inspired by the fact that despite the recent upheavals in Cairo, Endeavor Egypt and Egyptian entrepreneurs were able to attend this event. I also want to extend a special thank you to Endeavor Mexico’s Board of Directors, as well as Board Chairman Emilio Azcárraga Jean, for hosting the panel.”

The International Selection Panel is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step Search & Selection process in which top local and international business leaders interview and offer guidance to entrepreneur candidates. Endeavor’s next scheduled International Selection Panel will be held in London in May.

Entrepreneur(s)/Companies selected:


Entrepreneurs: Francisco Murray, Tomás Pando & Francisco Piasentini
Description: The company designs and sells alpargatas, traditional Argentine shoes, in more than 30 countries on five continents.


Caso do Construtor
Entrepreneurs: Expedito Arena & Altino Cristofoletti
Description: Tapping into the lucrative Brazilian civil construction market, Caso do Construtor provides homeowners, self-employed professionals, and small construction companies with equipment like scaffolding and concrete mixers.

Entrepreneurs: Pedro Chiamulera & Bernardo Lustosa
Description: ClearSale’s credit and fraud management solution enables e-commerce systems to identify suspicious behavior, assign a risk factor based on more than 280 variables, and reject or flag a risky order for manual review.


Entrepreneurs: Boris Kraizel, Eduardo Stekel & Ricardo Wurgaft
Description: This e-commerce website for books sells a comprehensive collection of titles by unifying Latin America’s segmented book markets through a network of local publishers.

Entrepreneur: Juan Carlos de la Llera
Description: SIRVE designs, produces, and implements devices that protect structures from damages caused by earthquakes, a technology that was tested and proved during Chile’s 2010 earthquake.


Entrepreneur: Ricardo Leyva
Description: A fast-growing agency that specializes in “experiential marketing,” Sístole has managed campaigns in 15 countries for a client list that includes Procter & Gamble and Hyundai.


Entrepreneurs: Omar El Sanhoury & Moatasem Osam
Description: In a country where roughly 75% of the population owns a cell phone but only about 6% have bank accounts, Omar and Moatasem aspire to use online and mobile payments technology, as well as a robust network of merchants, to turn cell phones into debit cards.

T.A. Telecom
Entrepreneur: Amr Shady
Description: A true pioneer in the mobile value-added services (VAS) industry, Amr founded T.A. Telecom in 2000 when Egypt still had single-digit penetration. Since the onset of Egypt’s revolution, T.A. Telecom’s Content & Alerts Platform has been surging.


Entrepreneurs: Oscar Salazar & Jorge Soto
Description: CitiVox uses mobile and crowdsourcing technology to build and enhance the relationship between citizens and government, increasing civic engagement and government accountability and transparency.

Entrepreneurs: Jorge Camil, Moís Cherem & Raúl Maldonado
Description: Enova designs, builds, and operates small, cost-effective educational centers called the RIA, Red de Innovacíon y Aprendizaje, targeting populations that have slipped through Mexico’s notoriously deficient public education system in marginalized neighborhoods.

Ingenia Muebles
Entrepreneurs: Christian, Ernesto & Patrick Vidal Flores
Description: The Vidal Flores brothers are bringing modern, stylish furniture to the masses through an innovative business model that allows them to deliver products faster and cheaper than their competitors.

Vicky Form
Entrepreneur: José (Pepe) Zaga Saba
Description: Using a sales model similar to Avon, over 120,000 Vicky Form salespeople — almost all women — sell Vicky Form lingerie, cosmetics, and clothes to their friends and neighbors; this model, along with provocative advertising and department store sales, has given Vicky Form nearly universal brand recognition in Mexico.

Vidrios Marte (VIMA)
Entrepreneur: Hugo Hernández Basulto
Description: VIMA’s highly technical product, Thermak®, offers an insulated glass unit alternative to traditional glass panes: when installed as skyscraper windows or refrigerator doors, it reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent.


Entrepreneur: Aytül Erçil
Description: Serving a client list across a broad range of industries, Vistek delivers “smart” camera-based automation systems that can quickly and effectively scan various processes, and then output statistical analyses.

Globant receives $15 million in expansion capital

Congratulations, Globant! The high-impact technology company has just raised $15 million in expansion capital from Riverwood Capital and FTV Capital. This is the third investment in Globant from Riverwood Capital and second from FTV Capital.

Selected by Endeavor in 2005 and based in Argentina, the technology outsourcing firm has attracted major global clients across industries, including Google, Coca-Cola, Disney, LinkedIn, and Nike. Globant recently created eight new studios showcasing the breadth and depth of their services, including “High Performance Computing,” “Consumer Experience,” and “Luminous Gaming.”

Over 2,000 employees strong, Globant spans offices in Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, the US and the UK with ambitions to go public in the next few years. According to the Wall Street Journal, Globant anticipates between $80 to $90 million in sales and growth to over 3,000 employees in 2011. The present round of funding will accelerate Globant’s expansion in the Americas through acquisition and fuel growth opportunities in mobile computing.

With Globant, Endeavor Entrepreneurs Martin Migoya (CEO), Martín Umaran (COO), Guibert Englebienne (CTO) and Néstor Nocetti (EVP Innovation Labs) sought to establish Argentina as an outsourcing powerhouse. A founding partner of Riverwood Capital, one of the firms providing the investment, said that Globant is “becoming the leader provider of software product development services from Latin America and now a global reference in the space.” Globant was recently named a “Rising Star” in of the Global Outsourcing 100® list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.

Endeavor selected Globant from over 7,000 companies in 2005, connecting Globant to its first round of funding, helping streamline the company’s HR strategy, and facilitating its first acquisition, Openware (another Endeavor firm). The entrepreneurs currently sit on Endeavor Argentina’s board and give their time as speakers, panelists, and mentors.

Find more on the financing on TechCrunch and on Globant’s site.

Top 10 rules of entrepreneurship (by Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn founder & Endeavor Global board member)

Last week at the South by Southwest conference, Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a member of Endeavor’s Global Board of Directors, shared his top 10 rules for entrepreneurship. They are pasted below, and can also be found on the Greylock Partners blog.


Rule #1: Look for disruptive change.

If you’re about to start on a new venture, ask yourself: What is becoming possible or necessary that wasn’t possible before? Is a new product or service able to take over an existing market or create a new market? When I co-founded LinkedIn the tech industry was in a deep depression. I looked at all the opportunities created by the Internet and had the idea that eventually everyone would need a professional profile online. The disruption was that people were able to directly reach the best candidates rather than hoping for responses from a listing in the paper or an ad on a Web site.

Rule #2: Aim big.

Regardless of whether a start-up is targeting a big idea or a small one, it will still require the same amount of blood, sweat and tears—so aim big! What is “big?” It is a new product or service that creates or dominates a significant market.

Rule #3: Build a network to magnify your company.

People tend to think that behind every great start-up is a single entrepreneur with a whiz-bang idea. The reality is great companies are built by a number of people with talent who are surrounded by amplifying networks. The most successful entrepreneurs bring in advisors, investors, collaborators and early customer relationships.

Rule #4: Plan for good luck and bad luck.

You should always assume you will have both good luck and bad luck with your new company. Good luck is not as simple as “it worked out.” Rather, this is when you discover a great opportunity and can quickly shift to go after it. Bad luck is what happens when your first idea doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean failure; it means you need to pursue plan B.

Rule #5: Maintain flexible persistence.

Very often entrepreneurs are given conflicting advice: “Be persistent! Stay committed to your vision!” or “Pivot on key data! Know when to change!” The challenge is to follow them both, but know which advice is most appropriate for which situation. You must know how to maintain flexible persistence.

Rule #6: Launch early enough that you are embarrassed by your first product release.

With my first startup, Socialnet.com, it took us nine months to launch the first product. That was a disastrous mistake. We wanted to have all the detailed functionality right away, including social controls to people could decide to connect or not with the people in their networks. We wanted everyone to “Ooh” and “Aaah” about how terrific the product was. We wasted a bunch of time and it put us months behind on more important problems that needed to be solved, such as how to get our product in the hands of millions of people. From that I learned, if you are not embarrassed by your first release, you’ve launched too late!

Rule #7: Aspire, but don’t drink your own Kool-Aid.

Target excellence, but be very careful about blind trust or belief in your theories. It is important to launch as early as you can in order to learn how your customers use your product or service. It is equally important to identify metrics that tell you if your aspirations and vision are on target. You should also get feedback from your network in order to iterate or pivot on the target, the product and/or the service. In other words, maintain your aspiration but always look for good perspective on how you are doing. It is very easy for creative innovators to get caught up in their own story rather than learning where they should be headed.

Rule #8: Having a great product is important but having great product distribution is more important.

I meet a lot of entrepreneurs who think the best product is the most important thing and that the best product should always win. What a lot of people fail to realize is that without great distribution, the product dies. How will you get your product in the hands of millions or hundreds of millions of people?

Rule #9: Pay close attention to culture and hires from the very beginning.

Your first hires set your culture, so make them good ones. These first people hire the next people and so on. The old wisdom was that you needed people with a decade more of experience in your start-up. The things a smart person learned a decade ago won’t help you now – you’re doing things that have never been done before, and the world and the competitive landscape are changing at hyper speeds. What you really need are people who can learn fast.

Rule #10: Rules of entrepreneurship are guidelines, not laws of nature.

Do not pay too much attention to rules set by other people. Entrepreneurs are inventors. They are successful when they make something work for the very first time. Sometimes in order to make something work, you will drive over the guardrail of one of these rules. Entrepreneurs sometimes just make new rules.

Ahmed Ezzat, Director of Endeavor Egypt, to run presidential campaign of Mohamed ElBaradei

Ahmed Ezzat, Managing Director of Endeavor Egypt, has announced he will run the presidential campaign of Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei — the first multi-candidate elections in the history of Egypt.

Says Ahmed: “We will run an ethical and professional campaign to be a model for all successive elections. We intend to measure up to standards set by the youth of Egypt from Jan 25th 2011 onwards.”

Currently, Endeavor Endeavor is being run by interim Managing Director Ahmed El-Bedawy.

Click here to read more about Endeavor Egypt during this period of national transition, including descriptions of current Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

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