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Fifth Annual Endeavor Colombia Conference Brings Together Top Latin American Network Members in Bogotá
The 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 […]
October 21st, 2014 — by adminRead more
In the news
Mobile gift card provider Gyft, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, recently announced its acquisition by First Data, a payment technology solutions provider. Based in San Francisco, Gyft has been boosted by recent funding and new merchant onboarding, […]
August 1st, 2014 — by adminRead more
Latest Video(video) Endeavor Uruguay Gala Brings Together 750+ Network Members and Regional Influencers
September 6th, 2014
From Endeavor’s invitation-only 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco (June 20, 2013).
In this fireside chat, Alex Asseily, STATE Founder & Executive Chairman and Jawbone Co-Founder, talks with Fadi Ghandour, Founder of Aramex and Endeavor board member, about the relationship between and intersection of revolution and entrepreneurship — both across industries and geographies.
Looking to transform the consumer electronics industry with Jawbone, Alex Asseily’s company became a leader in the mobile lifestyle field with products like the Jawbone Icon & Era headsets, the Jambox wireless speaker line and UP personal health solutions. In addition to his role as Jawbone Chairman, he has also been lauded for his work with the software company STATE, a global opinion network, and with organizations like General Assembly.
One of the Middle East’s leading businessmen and entrepreneurs, Fadi Ghandour founded Aramex, the region’s premiere logistics and transportation company, and served for over 30 years as the company’s CEO. As both an active supporter of the Endeavor network and a well-recognized investor, he has become a noted figure in the world of entrepreneurship and social innovation.
Watch the playlist of excerpts from their discussion:
The UAE news outlet The National recently profiled Endeavor’s work in the region, including the formation of the Endeavor UAE affiliate in 2013.
In the article, contributor Neil Parmar highlights the growing interest in scale-up entrepreneurship in the Middle East, evidenced by some of the region’s top business leaders and investors volunteering to join the governing board of Endeavor UAE. Given the success of the Endeavor model in Latin America, many saw an opportunity to expand the concept in the Middle East where the ecosystem of entrepreneurship is not only helping to bring stability and change, but also showcasing regional talent to the world.
The article also discusses the 51st Endeavor International Selection Panel which took place in Dubai in December 2013 and highlights Duplays and PropertyFinder, the first UAE entrepreneurs to be selected at the panel. Other Endeavor Entrepreneurs mentioned include Anghami from Lebanon, TalentS from Saudi Arabia, and Konut Kredisi and Pozitron from Turkey.
Endeavor currently operates affiliates across the region in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE. Read the full article from The National by clicking here.
Silvina Leibenberg appeared on the channel’s “America Latina: Fuerza En Movimiento” series, which spotlights successful business leaders and entrepreneurs across Latin America. Silvina and her husband and partner Michel Cohen have grown Lolita, their Uruguay-based women’s apparel company, from a small family store to a multi-national retailer operating across 17 countries. In the interview, Silvina offers insight on the company’s success thus far and why Latin America is proving to be a vital market and economy.
Selected in 2002, Silvina and Michel have been active entrepreneurs in the Endeavor network, utilizing Endeavor programs like G-Lab and eMBA to support expansion, management, and product organization efforts.
Watch Silvina’s Spanish interview:
María Noel Ache was featured as the founder of AIVA, a company that provides technology and outsourcing business services to investment and insurance companies in the Latin American, Caribbean and Pacific Rim regions.
In the interview, María acknowledges Endeavor’s role in supporting the growth and success of AIVA and the need to foster a larger entrepreneurial network within the region. As the first female entrepreneur selected by Endeavor Uruguay, she also explains that being a woman has not been an obstacle; rather, it has allowed her a unique perspective on the business world that she hopes to share with other female entrepreneurs. Since their selection in 2007, María and her son Frederico Cella have been active supporters of Endeavor’s network and events, including participation in the Ernst & Young Fellows program.
Watch Maria’s Spanish interview:
Endeavor Entrepreneur Company Cinemagic recently announced plans to begin a four-year expansion of its theaters throughout Mexico. The Puebla-based chain was founded in 2005 by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Jose Ignacio Irigoyen and Roberto Quintero with the aim of bringing high-tech, modern movie complexes to smaller cities with populations of 50,000 to 150,000 throughout Mexico. Discovering that the small city demographic often lacked access to the same entertainment facilities as their larger urban counterparts, Jose and Roberto sought to bring affordable entertainment options and democratize the movie experience for all Mexicans.
With 70 theaters currently in operation and plans to expand to 200 screens over the next four years, Cinemagic’s growth strategy was announced on the heels of a capital injection by Agersa Group, a Mexico-based real estate development operation. In addition, the company is moving towards digitizing all of its movie screens, becoming the second exhibition company in the country to achieve this status.
After their selection by Endeavor in 2010, Jose and Roberto have been active participants in a number of networking and mentoring events within the Endeavor network, including work with the Endeavor eMBA Program.
Endeavor Entrepreneur and Global Board Member Wences Casares‘ most recent venture, LemonWallet, recently announced its $50 million acquisition by LifeLock, a U.S.-based identity theft protection company. As one of the first entrepreneurs selected by Endeavor, Wences has been involved in numerous successful companies including Patagon.com, MECK, and Wanako Games, and is a prime example of the Endeavor model, transitioning to serve as an influential mentor and angel investor for the network. Raised on a sheep farm in Patagonia, Argentina, Wences was selected by Endeavor in 1998 for creating Patagon.com, an electronic brokerage site, and subsequently raised $4 million through the Endeavor network. In 2000, he sold a 75% stake in the business to Banco Santander for $750 million, instantly transforming him into one of Endeavor’s top success stories.
The LemonWallet acquisition is adding to his portfolio of entrepreneurial achievements. Launched in 2011 as a free cloud-based receipt organizer and spending tracker, the service allows users snap images of debit, credit, loyalty, health insurance and ID cards, as well as receipts, tickets and coupons, then upload these to a secure account in the cloud. Looking to expand its mobile offerings, LifeLock naturally gravitated towards LemonWallet to round out its security products, acquiring the company and subsequently launching an integrated app that offers customers a primary touch point for managing and protecting their digital identities.
For over a decade, Wences has worked closely with Endeavor, initially to access capital and mentorship through the Endeavor Investor Network and VentureCorps, and then to serve as an investor, mentor and Board member himself.
Read the full press release about the acquisition by clicking here.
Endeavor Chile Entrepreneur Company ComparaOnline.com recently announced the addition of Simon Nixon, founder of the financial services price comparison site MoneySupermarket, to its Board of Directors, along with a $3 million investment. Now serving as Deputy Chairman of the $1.6 billion MoneySupermarket business, Nixon became a leader in the price engine industry after founding the company back in 1993 and growing it as CEO until 2008. The announcement of Nixon’s investment certifies ComparaOnline’s growing presence as one of the top insurance and financial product distributors in Latin America.
Selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2012, ComparaOnline founder and CEO Sebastian Valin sought to provide a digital platform for Latin American consumers to find and compare financial products simply and efficiently, while helping insurance companies and banks expand their distribution networks. Since his selection, Sebastian has been an active participant in Endeavor services like the Endeavor Investor Network and Endeavor Catalyst.
Read the full press release from ComparaOnline by clicking here.
Endeavor Entrepreneur Mauricio Hoyos was recently named to MIT Technology Review’s “Innovators Under 35 – Colombia” ranking, which recognizes ten local leaders who are finding innovative solutions to regional challenges.
As founders of the Colombia-based technology company Conexred, Mauricio and his brother (and fellow Endeavor Entrepreneur) Andrés Alban sought to bring accessible financial and payment services to under-served communities around the country through their PuntoRed Network. Available at thousands of points-of-sale, the network allows users to make financial transfers, purchase mobile minutes and access a variety of other services right in their neighborhood stores and shops. Mauricio and Andrés were selected as entrepreneurs in 2012, and have been active participants in Endeavor events and programs including the Endeavor Investor Network.
Read the full profile on Mauricio in MIT Technology Review by clicking here.
28 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 12 Countries Join the Endeavor Network; First Entrepreneurs Selected from Miami (USA), Morocco and UAE
Dubai, UAE – December 16, 2013 – Endeavor selected 28 High-Impact Entrepreneurs leading 20 companies from Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Miami, Morocco, Turkey and the UAE at its 51st International Selection Panel. Endeavor now supports 872 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 558 companies in 19 countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from December 10 – 12 in Dubai, which also marked the official launch of a new Endeavor affiliate in the UAE. Panelists ranged from Silicon Valley venture capital executives to business leaders from 11 countries drawn from Endeavor’s extensive global network. Two Endeavor Entrepreneurs – from Colombia and Jordan – also joined the judging panels.
The Panel was notable in highlighting Endeavor’s rapid expansion around the world in 2013. Three new Endeavor affiliates – Miami, Morocco and the UAE – brought their first candidates to an Endeavor event and all were selected by the judges.
“I’m thrilled about all the new Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected but particularly want to congratulate our first-ever entrepreneurs chosen from Miami, Morocco and the UAE,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “This panel proved once again that great high-impact entrepreneurs can be found anywhere in the world. Endeavor can provide the right mentors, networks and access to smart capital to help these businesses reach their full potential.”
The International Selection Panel (ISP) is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process. At the ISP, top local and international business leaders interview candidates about their businesses and high-impact potential, and then vote on whether or not candidates become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Post-selection, Endeavor provides entrepreneurs with customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating thousands of jobs and building sustainable growth models in their home countries.
Endeavor will host five International Selection Panels in 2014. Locations will be Jakarta, Indonesia; Florianopolis, Brazil; New York, NY; Istanbul, Turkey and Miami, FL.
Brief descriptions of the selected entrepreneurs and companies follow.
Entrepreneurs: Fernando Moya
Company: Ozono Producciones (www.ozonoproducciones.com.ar)
Description: Ozono Producciones has produced and promoted stage productions and live events for over a decade, showcasing Argentine talent both at home and in top locations worldwide. It finds creative talent, produces shows, and coordinates regional and international tours for both proprietary and licensed content. As co-owner of the Fuerza Bruta theater company, Ozono plays an integral role in the international staging of the global blockbuster Fuerza Bruta. Ozono is also responsible for the live show adaptations of Disney’s top children’s TV series Violetta, Topa, and Art Attack. Ozono recruits and trains local performers for each production, cultivating the next generation of artists and showcasing Argentine talent worldwide.
Company: Sieve (www.sieve.com.br)
Description: Sieve’s price intelligence tool pulls critical pricing and product information from online retailers’ websites. The proprietary technology uses a “web crawler” to search thousands of websites daily for prices so that retailers, manufacturers, and distributors can track competitors’ products on Sieve’s easy-to-use website and change their own prices accordingly. The company boasts over 300 clients in Brazil, including Walmart and Samsung, and has raised two rounds of funding from Arpex Capital. Looking forward, Sieve aims to add more customizable features and expand to Mexico, Southeast Asia, and the US.
Entrepreneur: Ahmed Ragab
Company: Baraka Optics Group (www.barakaoptics.com)
Description: Baraka Optics Group (2008) provides unique and quality eyewear products with premium service to meet the design and pricing needs of Egyptian middle to upper-class consumers. Growing out of an importer and distributor of foreign goods by the same name (Baraka, 1979), Baraka Group is a trusted and well-established brand with over 30 retail locations in metropolitan and resort locations throughout Egypt. Through its C & Co. product line, Baraka Group became the first company to offer Egyptian-branded eyewear and target the underserved youth population with trendy, affordable products. The company also offers its services through an innovative pop-up retail application, C & Co. Express.
Company: Crave Restaurants (www.ticoeg.com)
Description: Crave’s casual dining restaurants fill the gap between Egypt’s high-end hotel restaurants and international chains. Brothers Hazem and Fahed Dalati take month-long trips to international food exhibitions and foreign restaurants to follow dining trends. They then change the Crave menu quarterly with new fusion dishes that adapt global cuisine to Egyptian tastes through creative local ingredients. The Tico parent company includes a catering arm for corporate and private celebrations, and a hospitality management service that organizes large-scale events at two Cairo business parks. Crave plans to add five restaurants in Egypt and five throughout the MENA region within three years, as well as grow its catering business.
Entrepreneur: Panos Paleologos
Company: HotelBrain (www.hotelbrain.com)
Description: HotelBrain, a leading hotel management firm, provides bespoke management and pre-opening consulting services to luxury boutique hotels, allowing owners to retain full control over their assets while improving guest experience and increasing revenue by an average of 20%. To improve the status quo within the hospitality industry, HotelBrain has established an education center to train management staff for placement within top hotels in the hospitality industry. HotelBrain isn’t just providing consulting services; the company is building an ecosystem, from managing hotels and consulting on new developments, to creating a community of hospitality insiders, and training the next generation of hotel management talent.
Entrepreneur: Omar Tabbaa
Company: EAT Restaurant Group (www.eat-jo.com)
Description: EAT offers four distinct themed restaurant brands in eleven locations across Jordan and Bahrain. The family-focused, alcohol-free EAT restaurants offer Italian, Asian, or modern Arab cuisine in thoughtfully decorated environments – and they stand out from typical traditional Jordanian casual dining experiences. Unlike foreign restaurant chain competitors, EAT focuses on sourcing ingredients locally with its own butchery and bakery to maintain quality and consistency and recently launched a customer loyalty card program, Group-wide food delivery service, and new shisha café brand. EAT plans to add 26 restaurants in eight countries over the next three years using its franchise model.
Entrepreneur: Hendy Setiono
Company: Kebab Turki Baba Rafi (www.babarafi.com)
Description: Kebab Turki Baba Rafi is the pioneer and leading consumer brand for Middle Eastern-inspired fast food in Indonesia. Baba Rafi manages 1,145 carts, stands and small store-fronts throughout Indonesia. Hendy Setiono, the entrepreneur behind Baba Rafi recently introduced the “Baba Rafi Academy,’’ an educational platform to develop the next generation of socially and environmentally responsible micro-entrepreneurs, many of whom gain professional experience as managers for his stores.
Entrepreneur: Elang Gumilang
Company: Elang Group (www.elanggroup.co.id)
Description: Elang Property makes the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of lower-income Indonesians. A property developer based in Bogor, Elang Property focuses on developing subsidized houses. These houses are built with high-quality steel and concrete and are 36 square meters large and complete with two rooms, a bathroom and a kitchen. For every project, Elang Property also builds kiosks, which residents can purchase to establish small stores, and provides property management services, such as security and waste management. Beginning next year, Elang Property will transition to building affordable but non-subsidized houses and focus on expanding beyond Bogor.
Company: Beesline (www.beesline.com)
Description: Founded in 1993, Beesline is a brand of natural personal care products developed and produced in Lebanon. Based on the science of apitherapy (the medicinal use of bee by-products), Beesline products are rich in natural active ingredients that are free of additives like artificial coloring, fragrances and harsh preservatives. With over 150 SKUs, the products offer specialized treatments for a wide range of skin care problems, such as acne and eczema, as well as cosmetic needs like make-up and skin-whitening items. These products are sold in thousands of pharmacies and supermarkets throughout the region in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE, as well as through Beesline’s retail store in Beirut.
Entrepreneur: José Luis Correa Artasánchez
Company: Leonali (www.leonali.com)
Description: Leonali offers ready-to-eat, pre-cut and washed vegetables that preserve their freshness and nutritional integrity 10-25% longer than the industry standard. Leonali sells kid-friendly healthy snacks such as carrots and dipping sauce, ready-made salads, loose-leaf lettuce, prepared vegetables for soup, and side dishes like ready-to-cook broccoli. Consumers can purchase these products nationwide at supermarkets, wholesalers, and in entrees at restaurants. Leonali is one of the first movers within Mexico’s emerging pre-cut vegetable market, which is only expected to grow as Mexican consumers’ awareness of healthy foods increases and more steps are taken to confront the country’s obesity epidemic.
Entrepreneur: Hugo Moreno
Company: Ver de Verdad (www.verdeverdad.mx)
Description: Ver de Verdad’s 13 retail stores sell quality, stylish eyeglasses and accessories to low-income Mexican consumers at affordable prices. The company aims to bridge the gap between high-priced designer eyewear and the inadequate eyeglass options supplied to the nation’s poor by public health groups. Ver de Verdad provides a full vision diagnostic service, first offering customers a free eye exam and then helping them choose attractive frames. The customer’s unique specifications are then sent to one of three Ver de Verdad beveling and distribution centers to cut, assemble, and deliver the final eyeglasses within one hour. Ver de Verdad stores are strategically located in working class urban neighborhoods and the company plans to expand to cities across central and northwestern Mexico over the next few years.
Entrepreneur: José Antonio Chaurand
Company: Periscopio Media (www.pmedia.mx)
Description: Periscopio Media is writing a new chapter for the Mexican publishing world with its four distinct magazine titles, available in both online and print formats. With magazines that specialize in contemporary art, Mexican millennial culture, professional design, and urban challenges, PMedia digs into vogue issues that attract a niche audience of “influencers” in Mexican culture and politics. A veteran in the publishing world, Periscopio Media also licenses out its services through Documenta, a consulting branch that executes for corporate clients on any publishing need, from writing to final distribution.
Entrepreneur: Jesus Rodriguez
Company: KidoZen (www.kidozen.com)
Description: KidoZen is an enterprise mobile platform that provides a simple, secure and scalable middleware to integrate back-end and line of business capabilities into a companies’ mobile apps. Despite a crowded competitive landscape, KidoZen has been successful in quickly securing customers from a range of industries and geographies. Customers include: the United States Army, Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto and Huawei.
Company: My Ceviche (www.myceviche.com)
Description: Entrepreneurs Roger Duarte and Sam Gorenstein are securing customers throughout the Miami area with a fresh take on fast-casual dining: seafood in the form of ceviche. Ceviche, a dish popular in the coastal regions of Central and South America, is made from raw fish or shellfish marinated in citrus juices, spiced with chili peppers and accompanied by sweet potatoes, corn or avocados. Founded in 2012, My Ceviche currently delivers a tasty, fresh and affordable range of ceviches, salads, tacos, burritos and stone crabs in a fast casual environment. The company currently operates in two locations with three more set to open in 2014 – including one at the Miami International Airport.
Entrepreneur: Mourad Mekouar
Company: M2T (www.m2t.ma)
Description: In the absence of a centralized bill payment system in Morocco, Mourad Mekouar founded M2T, a multi-channel platform that enables un-banked customers at the base of the pyramid to pay bills, transfer money, and purchase mobile minutes and transportation tickets all in the same location – saving them time, money and energy. M2T processes over 40 million transactions each year, serving on average two million users per month through its 1,700 payment points across Morocco, Senegal and France. Having already captured 80% of the Moroccan bill payment market, M2T is poised to extend its service across MENA and Western Africa.
Entrepreneur: Youssef Chaqor
Company: Kilimanjaro Environment (www.ekogeste.com)
Description: Kilimanjaro Environment is at the forefront of the green energy movement in Morocco. The company collects used cooking oil from restaurants and hotels, which it filters, treats, and resells to biodiesel manufacturers. It also resells fatty acid products to both biodiesel and feedstock production plants. Having recently launched a pilot biodiesel production plant, Kilimanjaro now also produces biodiesel in house. The company’s process not only eliminates and treats waste, but also helps reduce CO2 emissions and find new ways to create clean energy.
Entrepreneur: Emek Kırbıyık
Company: Düğün.com (www.dugun.com)
Description: Düğün.com (Turkish for “wedding”) is the biggest wedding planning platform in Turkey, connecting over 1,500 wedding vendors in 21 cities to engaged couples. Wedding vendors can create a profile on the website, showcasing their products and services to the thousands of engaged couples that use the website. These users, in turn, can explore vendor options in 30 wedding-related categories, from venues to photographers to gowns, in a convenient and easy-to-use portal. They can also contact the selected vendor directly for further information.
Company: İninal (www.ininal.com)
Description: As the fastest-growing reloadable prepaid debit card provider in Turkey, İninal provides Turkey’s unbanked population with access to plastic. Ininal aims to become the bank for the unbanked, by offering İninal cards with online/offline transaction capabilities. The company plans to introduce new products with additional services like bill pay and money transfer. Founded in 2012, İninal has quickly created an extensive distribution network including top retailers and government offices, making its products accessible to 90% of Turkey’s population. The company has also shored up a strong loyalty program with a network of leading retailers, such as Samsung and Joygame, who provide İninal users discounts and special offers.
Company: Duplays (www.duplays.com)
Description: Based in Dubai, Duplays uses sport to engage communities, satisfying social and physical activity needs by removing the logistics and organizational hurdles that might otherwise deter participation. As a sports-network enabler, the company coordinates tournaments and leagues for individuals in over 20 sports, and has developed employee wellness programs for 65 corporations. Additionally, Duplays has hosted over 20 sports events sponsored by big-name brands looking to carry out initiatives to reach customers. Duplays recently launched two new initiatives: PlayPass, a technology platform to help sports/activities organizers plan and coordinate events, as well as franchising (already in Qatar, Jordan and India) to scale growth internationally.
Entrepreneur: Michael Lahyani
Company: Propertyfinder (www.propertyfinder.ae)
Description: Propertyfinder is an online real estate catalog that allows visitors to browse for free over 80,000 residential and commercial properties, posted by over 500 real estate agents in UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt. Users can filter their searches for price, location and size. Propertyfinder also publishes its own real estate tips and quarterly industry reports, as well as ‘Prestige,’ its luxury real estate magazine. Real estate agencies benefit from Propertyfinder’s one million monthly views, which generate over 120,000 monthly leads. In the coming years, Propertyfinder intends to expand throughout the Middle East.
Reuters reporter Jennifer Rogers sits down with Endeavor Board Chairman and former Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. for its “Wealth Effect” video series to discuss his passion for philanthropy and Endeavor’s mission. The series regularly features “in-depth conversations with CEOs, high-profile investors and celebrities about how they give back to the world around them.”
In the interview, Bronfman cites his family as inspiration for his charitable efforts, and describes his investment in Endeavor as “not just about creating jobs, but about changing perceptions.” He also highlights the example of Leila Velez, whose success after her selection as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2005 demonstrates the potential of high-impact entrepreneurs to transform their communities and local economies.
Watch the entire interview to learn more about Bronfman’s take on the selection process, what has surprised him most about the organization, and how he plans to pass on the spirit of philanthropy to his kids.
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In the news
- October 21st, 2014
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- (video) Endeavor Uruguay Gala Brings Together 750+ Network Members and Regional Influencers
- (video) Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg Featured On Fox Business’ After The Bell
- (video) Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg Discusses Her Entrepreneurial Journey in Business Insider
- (video) Endeavor Greece Reports on Youth Job Creation, Focuses on the Need for High-Impact Entrepreneurship
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