Singapore – February 6, 2015 – Endeavor hosted its 57th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Singapore from February 4-6th, convening top international business leaders, industry experts and entrepreneurs in the Southeast Asian city. Twenty-one entrepreneurs from fifteen companies and nine countries were selected into the network at the panel. Endeavor now supports 1,051 entrepreneurs from 666 companies across the 22 markets where it operates.
With support from Barclays and EY, the ISP is the conclusion of a rigorous multi-step selection process that is at the core of the Endeavor model. In Singapore, panelists from 10 countries interviewed entrepreneur candidates about their businesses and potential for high-impact growth, and then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Some top names in venture capital, investment and entrepreneurship participated, including Edgar Bronfman Jr. (Endeavor Global Chairman and Accretive General Partner); Eugenio Lopez III (Endeavor Philippines Chairman and Chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation); Afzal Abdul Rahim (Endeavor Malaysia Chairman and CEO of TIME dotcom Berhad); and Husodo Angkosubroto (Endeavor Indonesia Chairman and Chairman of PT Gunung Sewu Kencana).
This ISP is the first panel in the region since the launch of Endeavor in the Philippines earlier this year, which marked the organization’s third affiliate in Southeast Asia. Endeavor has maintained an office in Singapore since 2011 as a hub for its work in the region. With support from the J.P. Morgan Foundation, Endeavor is currently considering expanding its presence in the city to better select and support the region’s high-growth entrepreneurs.
“As we continue to grow our presence in Asia, bringing the Endeavor network to Singapore signifies the importance of the city as a global center of entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “We hope to continue finding the region’s most high-impact, high-growth businesses and empowering them to build ecosystems of entrepreneurship that have the power to move economies and create jobs.”
After their selection into the Endeavor network, the entrepreneurs are given access to customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. The entrepreneurs are also connected to world-class talent, education and investment opportunities as part of a business roadmap designed by Endeavor and its mentors. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created nearly 400,000 jobs, generated and built sustainable growth models in their home countries, transformed local economies and have become role models for future generations of leaders.
Endeavor will host five more International Selection Panels in 2015. Locations will be in Santiago, Chile; Amman, Jordan; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Marrakech, Morocco; and Mexico City, Mexico.
Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and companies follow.
Opening day orientations in Singapore
Entrepreneur: Alessandro Gardemann
Company: Geo Energetica
Description: Geo Energetica offers an alternative to hydropower as Brazil’s booming population growth compels the country to expand its electric energy consumption by 29 gigawatts (GW) through 2021. The company transforms organic waste from Brazil’s sugarcane industry to produce electricity, providing a clean, reliable source of energy year-round.
Entrepreneurs: Hossam Fahmy, Sherif Gad & Tamer El Leithy
Company: Mori Co
Description: With its fusion sushi, gourmet burger, and authentic Lebanese dining concepts, Mori Co is setting the table for a new wave of global cuisine in Cairo. Despite Egypt’s positioning at the crossroads of civilizations, its culture lacks a cosmopolitan dining scene. Mori Co owns and operates four trend-setting restaurant concepts in Egypt that deliver food inspired by the world’s best cuisines. In a MENA F&B market estimated at US$40 billion, Mori Co operates 20 restaurants.
Entrepreneur: Periklis Venieris
Company: Green Cola
Description: Green Cola, an Athens-based beverage company, is offering consumers a healthy alternative, made using 100% natural sources for sweeteners and caffeine. Aimed at a new generation of consumers, Green Cola is exploiting an underserved market for healthier cola – estimated at approximately US$442M (10% of the overall sparkling beverage industry). Green Cola is poised to scale on the back of its founder and CEO, Periklis Venieris’, deep industry know-how from 20 years at Coca Cola, and the company’s underlying manufacturing assets, acquired during the financial crisis.
Entrepreneur: Philipp Brinkmann
Description: By consolidating flight, ferry, and train options in an easy to search, minimalist interface, Tripsta helps travelers quickly find what they are looking for. The company provides a user-friendly, comprehensive online and mobile platform for travelers to book flights, ferries, and trains on 40 country websites. Tripsta’s minimalist interface lacks the distracting clutter customers are accustomed to seeing on online travel booking websites, making it easier to find what they are looking for.
Entrepreneur: Steven Kim
Description: With a booming restaurant industry in Indonesia that added over 400 quality restaurants in 2013 alone, diners have more options than ever to enjoy fine cuisine, if they know where to find it. Meanwhile, restaurants want to tap into Indonesia’s burgeoning middle-class, which spends up to 30% of its disposable income on food and beverage. Through Qraved’s website and mobile app potential patrons can browse and make reservations at over 3,000 restaurants in Jakarta and Bali. In turn, restaurants fill their empty tables and gain exposure to the thousands of Qraved users.
Entrepreneurs: Carline Darjanto & Ria Sarwono
Description: Cotton Ink is a company that aims to become the leading Indonesian women’s retailer through its range of trendy clothing that evokes confidence through comfort with its simple yet stylish designs. The company’s clothing drapes the body using a range of pastel, earth-toned, and traditional cotton fabrics. The clothing’s relaxed cut provides comfort while still flattering slender frames. Cotton Ink provides a range of basic and accent pieces to encourage personal style and versatility. To offer customers the latest fashion trends, Cotton Ink launches new collections (15-20 pieces) every week unlike competitors that do so every one to two months.
Entrepreneur: Muhammad Yukka Harlanda
Description: Brodo has made it its mission to improve the men’s shoe shopping experience, product quality, and selection in the region. Although ecommerce in Indonesia was nascent when the company began, Brodo envisioned how an encroaching digital world would change the way people shopped and interacted with brands. Brodo will launch Galleries, pop-up stores without inventory within the next few years, where customers can view, test, and purchase products that are delivered the same day.
Interview day taking place at The Working Capitol
Entrepreneur: Edwin Tay
Description: For Southeast Asian students, finding a Western university is no easier since there are few free resources for Southeast Asians that consolidate impartial information on the plethora of higher education options. EasyUni’s multisided platform provides a solution for universities and Southeast Asian students alike. Its free online education portal aggregates information on over 2,000 universities across 33 countries, making it easy for prospective students to compare and choose courses, while also facilitating an end-to-end application process. At the same time, EasyUni drives applications and grows the brand reputation of universities in the region.
Entrepreneurs: Carlos Agami & Jacobo Agami
Description: Founded in 2006, Agasys uses CCTV systems (video surveillance systems) to measure and increase the productivity of employees and derive insights into customer behavior. Agasys’ proprietary software generates a random sampling of video clips that provide representative information of individuals’ behavior, unbiased by outliers.
Entrepreneur: Enrique Bojorquez
Description: Sucroliq produces a refined liquid sugar for food and beverage manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies available at an affordable standardized cost and to a client’s specifications. Sucroliq’s patented technology enables it to refine raw sugar in liquid form for only US$50 per ton – a quarter of normal costs. Sucroliq is the sole provider of refined liquid sugar in Mexico and aims to be the world leader in liquid sugar refinement and production technology.
Entrepreneur: Alejandro Carrillo
Description: InterLatin is bringing Mexico to the forefront of the technological boom. Globally, high-tech businesses (e.g. electrical, aerospace, automotive) are outsourcing manufacturing processes, such as circuit board assembly, testing and inspection, final assembly, and distribution. Operating in a global Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) and Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) market estimated to be worth US$363.8 billion (2013), InterLatin provides sells specialized technology equipment and services to companies in high-tech industries (B2B).
Entrepreneurs: Craig Raw & JP Kloppers
Description: While computers can compile and sort the conversations, they struggle to interpret relevancy and sentiment. BrandsEye’s proprietary platform enables consumer-facing brands to listen to what their customers say about them across online blogs and social media in order to better inform their business strategy. The platform incorporates a crowd-sourcing layer to add nuance and emotion to the raw information, which in turn makes BrandsEye’s data more accurate.
Entrepreneur: Zafer Sen
Description: OBSS helps enterprises strengthen their IT infrastructure by providing them with software development and consulting services. With some of Turkey’s most prominent financial institutions as clients, OBSS is an established player in the burgeoning Turkish IT and software market, which is projected to grow at a rate of 7.4% to reach US$25 billion in 2018.
Entrepreneurs: Ayman Fakoussa & Dipesh Depala
Company: The Qode
Description: Luxury brands in Dubai struggle to authentically connect with the diverse population which includes over 150 different nationalities. Meanwhile, most local PR companies are not attune to the marketing needs of this niche retail segment, leading to discord between the client’s products and target audience. The Qode personalizes PR marketing for luxury brands with its end-to-end services, including tailored event planning, diverse publishing channels, and exclusive VIP guest-lists.
Entrepreneur: Idriss Al Rifai
Description: MENA360 provides businesses a turnkey solution for entering the ecommerce space in the region and for reaching customers. The company equips its delivery personnel with GPS-enabled tablets and task-assigning software to locate customers via their mobile devices. MENA360 plans to capture additional market share in the Gulf’s US$1.7 billion ecommerce-triggered logistics market (2015e) by growing its delivery capabilities across the region, becoming the turnkey solution for ecommerce in the Middle East.
Panelists deliberate on the selected entrepreneurs on the final day