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Endeavor Investor Network’s Latin American Venture Forum Gathers 160+ Entrepreneurs and Investors in Bogotá

Last week, Endeavor Global and Endeavor Colombia hosted the inaugural Latin American Venture Forum in partnership with Bancoldex. This event gathered over 30 of the most active regional funds in Colombia for a day of content, discussion […]

September 16th, 2014 — by admin

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New Endeavor Insight Report Analyzes the Source of Silicon Valley’s Development

Endeavor Insight, supported by Omidyar Network, has released a new report that analyzes the development of the world’s most well-known entrepreneurship hub. The report, entitled “How Did Silicon Valley Become Silicon Valley,” includes new data that […]

July 29th, 2014 — by admin

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31 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 15 Countries Join the Endeavor Network at the 54th Selection Panel in New York City

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New York, NY – August 14th – Endeavor selected 31 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 21 companies in 15 countries at its 54th International Selection Panel.

Endeavor now supports 948 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 606 companies across 20 countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen from among 29 candidate companies at a panel held from August 11-13th for the first time in New York City.

A number of pioneering entrepreneurs and groundbreaking companies are part of this new class, including Saudi Arabia’s Lateefa Alwaalan, the first female candidate from the country and founder of Arabic coffee producer Yatooq, and Argentina’s Emiliano Kargieman, founder of nano-satellite developer Satellogic.  Endeavor Spain also welcomed its first entrepreneur, Ignasi Vilajosana of Worldsensing, into the network.

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 candidate companies about their businesses and high-impact potential, and then vote on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

“This was our largest panel ever and resulted in one of the most diverse classes of high-impact entrepreneurs selected by Endeavor,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Not only are they innovating economies from Chile to Greece and Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, they are showing the world that excellent talent and big ideas can thrive anywhere with the right mix of support and mentorship.”

After their selection into the network, Endeavor provides the entrepreneurs with customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had an impressive track record of creating jobs, building sustainable growth models, and inspiring future generations of leaders in their home countries.

This ISP was supported by Barclays and EY, both global sponsors of Endeavor. Barclays welcomed the entire panel to their New York offices for orientations and for interview day on August 12th.

Endeavor will be hosting two more ISPs in 2014. Locations will be Istanbul, Turkey and Miami, FL. Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and companies follow.

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ISP Attendees at Barclays’ offices

ARGENTINA

Entrepreneur: Emiliano Kargieman

Company: Satellogic (www.satellogic.com)

With a product that is out of this world, Satellogic is bringing space down to earth. Before Satellogic, the earth observation market relied on multi-million dollar, monolothic hardware incapable of real-time data streaming. Satellogic is building a constellation of inexpensive, mass-produced nano-satellites that disrupts this paradigm. With a fully deployed constellation, Satellogic will be able to provide commercial-grade resolution images in real-time data streams, at the fraction of the current cost, thus reducing barriers to obtain real-time satellite data and democratizing access to space-based services. The result is an endless universe of possible applications, from estimating revenue by tracking cars in a supermarket parking-lot, to detecting developing forest fires. Satellogic will transform Big Data from Space into a fundamental part of daily decision making for all branches of government, organizations, industries, and individuals.

CHILE

Entrepreneurs: Matias Sjogren, Rafael Concha

Company: BioFiltro (www.biofiltro.cl)

BioFiltro has harnessed the power of mother nature to create an energy-efficient, chemical-free, low-cost, and odorless wastewater treatment technology. Known as BIDA (BioFiltro Dynamic Aerobic), BioFiltro’s patented bioreactors use earthworms and bacteria to treat industrial wastewater without the use of chemicals and at 80% less energy than conventional systems. BIDA transforms wastewater into clean water for agricultural use in one-eighth the time, 30% the CapEx, and 70% the OpEx of traditional technologies. BioFiltro’s expansion into some of the most regulated markets has impacted the way wastewater is filtered and influenced public perception to thinking of wastewater as a resource.

Entrepreneur: Gonzalo Muñoz

Company: TriCiclos (www.triciclos.cl)

Reduce, recycle AND recurring revenue is TriCiclos’ mantra. With developed countries increasingly implementing extended producer regulations (EPR), the responsibility for waste management has shifted from municipalities to the very corporations that generate the waste – not that most Latin American governments offer recycling collection services to begin with. By providing Clean Points (CPs) – recycling stations where individuals can deposit recyclable consumer materials – and managing waste management logistics efficiently, TriCiclos is not only the most reputable post-consumer recycling company in Chile, but also the only one capable of tracking and monetizing EPR compliance. The CPs – 40-foot metal containers capable of receiving, processing and compacting up to 25 different types of materials – are placed in companies’ parking lots or municipal areas. They are forty times cheaper and 20% more efficient than other recycling platforms in Chile because of the sophisticated pre-processor unit. Notably, TriCiclos is the only company in Latin America that is a “B Corp” and can certify that over 90% of materials put into its social clean points will actually be recycled.

EGYPT

Entrepreneur: Chris Khalifa

Company: Zooba (www.zoobaeats.com)

If you think food trucks are the hottest new craze, it’s time for a history lesson: Egyptians have been rolling their wooden food carts around the dusty streets of Cairo for decades. Unlike their Lebanese and Turkish counterparts, Egyptians have struggled to make traditional foods relevant and trendy, resulting in a national cuisine that is underserved locally and nonexistent globally. Zooba is the first restaurant chain to give classic Egyptian street foods a gourmet twist, a concept delivered through a social dining atmosphere designed to appeal to Egyptians’ shared sense of community. With three thriving locations throughout Cairo, founder Chris Khalifa is ready to expose the world to his local cuisine.

Entrepreneurs: Rawiah Abdallah, Mostafa Saeed

Company: Qabila (www.qabila.tv)

Qabila is an Egyptian alternative media studio founded to provide value-based and entertaining content that explores society’s most pressing issues in a fun and accessible way. The company began in the throes of the Egypt’s 2010 Revolution, when 15 friends banded together to create videos that explained democratic principles in entertaining Youtube videos. These videos quickly amassed a following, and earned the attention of some of the region’s most prestigious institutions, such as multiple UN agencies, the Arab League, and the Ford Foundation, who hired Qabila to produce public service announcement videos (PSAs) about issues like youth empowerment, environmental health, and sexual health. With its PSAs, short documentaries and feature-length documentaries, Qabila’s productions is on its way to consolidating its position as the leader for value-based content in the region.

GREECE

Entrepreneur: Thomas Douzis

Company: Ergon (www.ergonfoods.com)

Leveraging a network of over 150 independent, local, artisanal producers that create 600 products under the unified Ergon brand, Thomas Douzis, is reintroducing Greeks and foreigners alike to delicious Greek gastronomy. Since Greek cuisine is as much about people coming together over food as the food itself, Ergon created a line of affordable-luxury restaurants that are combined with functional grocery stores. The menu, created by executive chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos, previously a judge on the show Greek Master Chef, has been meticulously crafted with Ergon products to offer diners authentic recipes with a modern twist.

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CEO Linda Rottenberg moderating deliberations

INDONESIA

Entrepreneur: Antonius Taufan

Company: GiftCard Indonesia (www.giftcard.co.id)

In the game of cards, Gift Card Indonesia (GCI) is holding a royal flush. In Indonesia, corporate gift-giving is customary but unimaginative; companies seeking to reward their stakeholders struggle to do so in a way that is personalized and professional. GCI is redefining the gift-giving experience by creating end-to-end solutions for the burgeoning gift card ecosystem in Indonesia. In two short years, founder Antonius Taufanhas acquired some of Indonesia’s most prominent corporate clients who are seeking to distribute gift cards to reward their employees and stakeholders. While Taufan is leading a new way to incentivize corporate stakeholders in Indonesia, he has always set his sights on building an ecosystem for gift cards and alternative payments, primarily targeting the unbanked population.

JORDAN

Entrepreneur: Khalil Shadid

Company: ReserveOut (www.reserveout.com)

Before Khalil Shahid’s ReserveOut system revolutionized the way restaurants in the Middle East took reservations, customers had to call and request a time or risk showing up and  waiting for a table.ReserveOut’s electronic reservation booking and customer management system offers restaurants software to help them efficiently manage and record customer reservations, touchpoints, and preferences. The ReserveOut web and mobile applications enable online and mobile users to easily search and immediately reserve with venues that are part of the ReserveOut network.

LEBANON

Entrepreneur: Omar Christidis

Company: ArabNet (www.arabnet.me)

Want to catch the latest digital trends in the Middle East? Try ArabNet. In a region that boasts the highest growth rate of Internet usage in the world (16.7% according to the European Travel Commission), the digital economy presents a tremendous opportunity. To realize this potential, entrepreneurs, investors and digital professionals need to connect with and learn from each other. ArabNet serves as the platform to connect these stakeholders through its annual conferences, regional competitions, and online portal. With over 7,000 unique attendees of its events, ArabNet has established itself as the premier platform for everything digital in the Middle East.

Entrepreneur: Hind Hobeika

Company: Instabeat (www.instabeat.me)

Instabeat is the first and only display monitor that mounts on the straps of any swimming goggles, allowing swimmers to monitor their heart rate in real time through a color coded display on the interior of the goggles. The device is small, creates minimal friction with water, and provides key information without having the swimmer lose focus. Hind sees the technology as applicable to athletes beyond swimmers and plans to launch a Triathlon version (which would attach to sunglasses) in 2015. Having filled a gap in the global wearable technology industry, estimated to reach US$50B by 2018, Instabeat is in a position to scale rapidly.

MALAYSIA

Entrepreneurs:  Wai Hun See, John Lim, Naaman Lee

Company: Juris Technologies (juristech.net)

There are few businesses more recession-proof than the business of debt. Born from the debt recovery challenges facing banks during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Juris Technologies developed an end-to-end software solution for the credit management process. In a market in which credit has been rising sharply for five consecutive years, Juris eases the burden on financial institutions by offering a complete suite of solutions that allows them to evaluate customers, approve loans, and recover debt. Because credit management requires active, ongoing collaboration between multiple players, Juris has created software platforms that encourage and facilitate external collaboration among all parties while layering onto existing systems and infrastructure.

MEXICO

Entrepreneurs: Tanya Moss, Eduardo Stolkin

Company: Tanya Moss (www.tanyamoss.com)

Tanya Moss puts the joy is joyas. Symbolized by its iconic butterfly motif, Tanya Moss jewelry lines are sophisticated accessory options for the modern woman, combining timeless taste with a modern edge. Tanya Moss products are made with premium quality materials, including precious metals and semi-precious stones. The brand is widely recognized by its iconic butterfly motif, which symbolizes the fun yet elegant designs that ensure the modern-day woman exudes confidence and style.

Entrepreneur: Carlos Frigolet

Company: Purafiltracion (www.purafiltracion.com)

Poor air in a New York subway station on a summer’s day is disgusting. Poor air in a control room of an offshore drilling rig is a multimillion dollar disaster waiting to happen. Many plants, particularly those in the Oil & Gas and Power Generation industries, release corrosive chemicals. If these chemicals enter the control room, they can damage and rust electronics leading to short circuits, the potential shutdown of the entire plant and possibly even deadly explosions. Purafiltracion sells systems that eliminates 99.5% of gas pollutants, ensuring clean air and extending the lifetime of the control rooms from six months in a harsh environment to 10 years. It also sells systems that maintain ideal temperature and humidity conditions in control rooms preventing equipment failures. With these systems, plant workers can finally breathe easy (and cleanly) at night.

Entrepreneur: Adolfo Babatz

Company: Clip (payclip.com)

With Clip, you’ll never have to tell a customer you don’t take their credit card again! Clip allows Mexican businesses to replace outdated POS systems with a sleek and easy-to-use piece of hardware that accepts any credit and debit card. The device seamlessly connects with an operator’s smart phone or tablet by fitting into the headphone jack of an iOS or Android device. The operator opens the free Clip app, enters the amount to be charged, and Clip charges a 3.6% transaction fee or 4.6% on installation payments. The reader is the first version in Mexico that includes a patented fraud protection program and chip reader, which is critical to the Mexican market, and Clip is only one of two companies in the world to have its own proprietary design for the reader (the other is Square).

MIAMI

Entrepreneurs: Michael McCord, Michael Laas

Company: LearnerNation (www.learnernation.com)

Michael Laas and Michael McCord are disrupting the corporate training market by making learning awesome in six languages with LearnerNation, a cutting-edge, cloud-based, adaptive learning platform with patent-pending technology. The e-learning platform is intuitive and offers progressive teaching tools, which increases information retention and performance. Counting MasterCard, LG, and Cartier as clients, LearnerNation is poised to be a breakout success story for the burgeoning tech ecosystem in Miami. With the global market spending an estimated US$62B on corporate training, LearnerNation has the opportunity to quickly gain market share and be a globally accessible platform.

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Candidates’ Day at GLG Group

SAUDI ARABIA

Entrepreneur: Lateefa Alwalaan  

Company: Yatooq (yatooq.com)

Yatooq, a Saudi Arabian company founded by Lateefa Alwalaan in 2011, makes it easier and faster to brew Arabic coffee, a spicy coffee central to all social gatherings in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE. When made traditionally, Arabic coffee takes 20-30 minutes to prepare and requires over ten steps, and numerous ingredients to complete. Yatooq’s coffee brewer and Arabic coffee blend reduce brew time (75%) and effort required while consistently producing delicious Arabic coffee. With Lateefa’s selection, Endeavor Saudi Arabia would welcome its first female entrepreneur to its portfolio, an exciting addition who could serve as an inspiring role model for the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Entrepreneurs: Kaswara Al Khatib, Soraka Al Khatib

Company: UTURN (uturn.me)

From satire to soaps, Uturn provides the entertainment Saudis really want. Uturn is a multi-channel network that produces and features local Saudi content, creating an online viewership community spread across several social media channels. Its original and aggregated content fills a void in the many a country where the traditional, government-controlled state broadcasters have failed to engage a young audience. Its award-winning content includes two of the longest running online shows in Saudi, engendering a devoted viewership of 2 million subscribers and followers – the largest in the region.

SOUTH AFRICA

Entrepreneurs: Dave Evans, Grant Rushmere

Company: BOS Brands (www.bosicetea.com)

All too often consumers are forced to choose between a healthy beverage and a delicious exciting brand. BOS Brands, a beverage business based in South Africa, offers consumers stylish, premium beverages that taste great without compromising on health. Harnessing locally produced rooibos as the main ingredient in its two beverage lines, BOS Ice Tea and BOS Sport, all products are high in health benefits, low in sugar, and contain no caffeine, colorants, or preservatives.

SPAIN

Entrepreneur: Ignasi Vilajosana

Company:  Worldsensing (www.worldsensing.com)

Worldsensing is pioneering the Internet of Things. With smart sensors that improve traffic management and infrastructure maintenance, Worldsensing has brought to the industrial and public sectors an efficient, easy method of data capture and analysis. Its traffic solutions help city administrators manage traffic and pedestrian movement, while industrial solutions support both safe infrastructure maintenance and seismic pipeline monitoring. It has integrated sensors in iconic cities and infrastructures around the world, including the streets of Moscow, Barcelona’s olympic stadium, and Stockholm’s main commuter train.  Named by the BBC and the Wall Street Journal as one of the companies to watch in the Internet of Things space, and highlighted in the European Commission’s Business Innovation Observatory report on Smart Living, Worldsensing’s groundbreaking technology will transform cities around the world.

TURKEY

Entrepreneurs: Başak Taşpınar Değim, Erol Değim

Company: Armut.com

Armut.com is Turkey’s first online market place connecting users and service providers. It features trustworthy, reviewed professionals who offer reliable price quotes. Armut is a pioneer for Turkey, and has innovated the global model by developing a proprietary algorithm that automates the service provider vetting system and user-provider matching process.

UAE

Entrepreneurs: Shahriar Khodjasteh, Shahin Khodjasteh

Company: Dubai Desert Extreme (DDE) (www.dde-me.com)

Dubai Desert Extreme (DDE) is a distributor and retailer of sporting goods in MENA. The company has exclusive distribution rights with major sports brands, including Giant, Topeak, New Era, and Volcom. DDE also sells this merchandise in its own retail stores in the UAE. In 13 years, the company has not only brought the biggest names in athletic apparel and equipment to MENA but also generated interest and involvement in sports in the region.

August 2014 Newsletter

August News InstagramTo view Endeavor’s August newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

Reminder: To receive our monthly newsletters by email, please enter your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of our homepage.

Endeavor Indonesia Hosts Entrepreneur Networking Event With 500 Startups’ “Geeks On A Plane” Tour

Indonesia logoEndeavor Indonesia hosted a local networking gathering for Endeavor entrepreneurs, mentors and network members featuring Geeks On A Plane (GOAP), an invite-only startup and investor tour organized by 500 Startups. The event brought together over 80 attendees to discuss the entrepreneurship landscape in Southeast Asia and connect with local stakeholders, positioning Endeavor as a leader in the space.

Organized by 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley-based  seed fund and startup accelerator, the GOAP tour convenes entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders to learn about high-growth technology markets worldwide and explore cross-border opportunities. Taking the form of large networking events, the tour has reached across Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and North America.

Five Endeavor Indonesia Entrepreneurs and 15 entrepreneur candidates were in attendance, along with 16 mentors, 4 partners and over 40 representatives from GOAP. The Geeks on a Plane guest list consisted of top tech entrepreneurs and venture capital investors from around the world.  The entrepreneurs expressed the importance of Endeavor’s resources in allowing them exposure to a global network, while the VC attendees had the opportunity to meet with companies at a mature stage of scaleup growth.

During the course of the dinner, attendees had the chance to meet and network casually for four hours. Sati Rasuanto, managing director of Endeavor Indonesia, addressed the crowd with a short speech and welcomed all of the network members. 500 Startups founder and Endeavor mentor Dave McClure was also in attendance, and introduced GOAP as a medium for connecting ecosystems of entrepreneurship around the world.

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Attendees of the event networking over dinner

South Africa’s Vinny Lingham Announces Acquisition of Gyft, His Third Venture, By First Data

gyft_0Mobile 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, with the expectation that First Data’s network will help it scale far beyond the 200 merchants it currently serves. As Vinny’s third company, this announcement demonstrates the success of Endeavor Entrepreneurs who launch multiple ventures and inspire future generations.

Founded in 2012, Gyft offers consumers a platform to purchase, gift, and redeem gift cards via their mobile devices. Traditional plastic prepaid cards lacked efficiency and face the risk of getting lost. Gyft makes redeeming these cards easier with reminder alerts and a mobile gift card “wallet,” making it cost-efficient for small and medium-sized enterprises to break into the prepaid card market. Widespread adoption of digital wallets has made Gyft an attractive option for many e-commerce giants, including Amazon.

This acquisition reportedly grew out of a partnership between Gyft and Clover, the mobile payments and point-of-sale startup that First Data acquired in 2012 for an estimated $54 million. Considered one the world’s largest card processors, First Data handles over $1 trillion annually across more than 6 million merchants. After a leveraged buyout in 2007 and reported losses following the recent recession, First Data has actively sought to modernize its payment services by acquiring technology companies. The recent Gyft news is part of a broader strategic plan for First Data, which has included acquiring Clover and cardless customer loyalty startup Perka.

Coming off a $6 million round of Series A funding, Gyft’s decision to join the First Data family stems from the company’s mission to become a leader in the digital payments industry. First Data’s backing will allow Gyft the necessary network to onboard more strategic merchants while providing First Data with access to key technologies and brand recognition.

“We started the company with a mission to digitize and transform the plastic gift card space,” said Vinny in a statement. “We don’t see this as an exit. We see this as a continuation of what we’re already doing but with a lot more resources.”

Vinny has been an Endeavor Entrepreneur since 2006 and Gyft is the third venture he has founded. Endeavor has connected him with expert mentors and introduced him to investors through the Endeavor Investor Network, allowing him to become an active role model for entrepreneurs in South Africa, Silicon Valley, and beyond.

Read more about the acquisition in Vinny’s exclusive interview with PandoDaily.

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Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham

Egypt’s TA Telecom Makes Connection With Endeavor South Africa, Plans Regional Expansion

TATelecomSATo support his expansion in Africa, Endeavor Entrepreneur Amr Shady, co-founder of Egypt’s TA Telecom, recently made an Endeavor connection with the team at Endeavor South Africa. Demonstrating the impact of the organization’s global network, Amr was able to leverage Endeavor’s resources to help him connect with local business leaders and industry experts. In addition, Amr has shown his support for the South Africa office through give-back, fulfilling Endeavor’s  mission to foster an ecosystem of high-impact entrepreneurs.

Selected by Endeavor in 2011, Amr is the co-founder and CEO of TA Telecom, a value-added services (VAS) mobile solutions provider that delivers time- and location-specific content to subscribers. With operations across the Middle East and Africa, TA’s services range from demographically-targeted SMS advertising to custom content delivery platforms. Servicing over 10 million subscribers, TA is working towards international growth with its expansion into South Africa, where the mobile phone market has an estimated 59 million users. 

In June, Amr traveled to Johannesburg to attend the VAS Africa conference, an event dedicated to the development needs of African operators. While there, he was connected to South Africa’s Everlytic, founded by entrepreneurs Sam Hutchinson and Josh Adler, as well as a candidate entrepreneur that provided support for his market entry analysis. In addition, the  Endeavor team connected Amr to a local public relations firm to discuss communications strategies while also helping him arrange opportunities with digital agencies and media. In addition to offering financial support, Amr’s give-back efforts include advising potential candidate entrepreneurs in the telecommunications space in South Africa. With plans to become more engaged in the region, he will also look towards Endeavor to help him source potential members for TA Telecom’s South Africa Advisory Board.

Since joining the Endeavor network, Amr has been an active promoter of the organization’s work, serving as a mentor and board member for Endeavor Egypt. As a panelist at International Selection Panels, he has played a key role in selecting new generations of entrepreneurs in the pipeline. Endeavor continues to help Amr connect with top entrepreneurs and investors around the world, and recently featured him as a keynote at the 2014 GigaOm Structure Data event in New York.

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Amr Shady speaking at the VAS Africa event

New Endeavor Insight Report Analyzes the Source of Silicon Valley’s Development

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Endeavor Insight, supported by Omidyar Network, has released a new report that analyzes the development of the world’s most well-known entrepreneurship hub. The report, entitled “How Did Silicon Valley Become Silicon Valley,” includes new data that is being shared publicly for the first time. Endeavor has conducted similar research on entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world, including in Argentina, Colombia, Turkey, and Chile.

The story of the Valley’s early years can provide lessons to leaders in cities and regions across the world. It illustrates the impact that successful entrepreneurs can generate in their communities if they foster spinout firms, mentor other founders, and act as early-stage investors. More information on the lessons that other cities can use, and on the region’s growth and impact, can be found in the full report.

To download a PDF version of the report click here and read coverage of its release in TechCrunch here. The report can also be viewed online using ISSUU below.

eMBA 2014 Field Report: Engineering for Growth in Chile – an Adventure with CORBAC Foods

Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming and second-year MBA students, recruited from top schools, to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs on projects ranging from strategic planning to market expansion. The program is supported by a generous grant from Barclays. Following is a post from Billy Mata, a member of Babson College’s MBA Class of 2015, who spent the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Chile’s CORBAC Foods.

eMBA_webHow often do you get the chance to go to the beach one day and the next day be snowboarding at the top of the Andes?  Unless you are in Santiago, your possibility of doing so is very slim, if any. I had always wanted to go to Santiago, Chile but never seemed to have the chance, the time or the money to do so.

When I started my MBA at Babson I knew that this was the moment for me to travel while taking advantage of opportunities to expand my learning experience and have an impact in the places I went, by engaging with purpose-driven organizations.  Endeavor was a perfect fit. Through their eMBA program, I was able to connect with Christian Cortes, the Endeavor Entrepreneur behind CORBAC Foods, in order to engage for 10 weeks in an intensive consulting project focused on strategic planning and execution to support the company’s growth.

CORBAC Foods is a food production and ingredients company that develops solutions for industrial, retail and end customers using – mainly – protein from animal sources.  Some of its most important clients include Nestle and Wal-Mart. CORBAC is strongly positioned in the industrial segment where it supplies dehydrated meats as an ingredient for ready-to-eat soups, rice and pasta.  For its retail customers, CORBAC operates as a food service company and provides sauces, dressings and cooking powders.  For end customers, CORBAC developed VORO, a dog treat that is made of natural and human grade protein, which allows pet owners to treat their pets as an additional family member.

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A view of Valle Nevado in Chile, courtesy of Billy

When I first met with Christian on a Sunday afternoon to have lunch paired with a glass of (Chilean) wine I got inspired about the project and was eager to help him achieve his dream.  Christian told me how he started his company with $1,000 US dollars, how he managed to take it to where it was today, and how he wants to double the company’s revenue in three years and have it grow five-fold in the next few years. I needed to figure out how we would do that and I had no doubt that it was possible.  After all, I came to Chile to be challenged, and this was a big and exciting one.

After the first week of working with Christian and understanding the company, the industry and the team better, there were two main insights that would dictate how we would engineer the company to prepare it for its growth plans:

Many of the capabilities and skills that brought CORBAC to the point it was at today could hinder the company’s growth going forward

There is a tradeoff between customization and standardization; it’s hard to grow and scale with a customized and single client product portfolio

After we agreed on those two key points, we laid out a work plan which would create the base for growth.  Essentially, there were five aspects of the business that we needed to be crystal clear about and that we would work on:

Aspiration: Develop a clear sense of where the company is going.

Where to play: The industries, regions, customer segments and distribution channels that will be the focus going forward.

How to win: Identify the sources of competitive advantage and capabilities that will enable CORBAC to achieve its growth ambition.

Strategic priorities: The initiatives, capabilities and tasks that need to take place to achieve success.

Plan to generate results: Execute the strategy and align the organization.

Upon reflecting upon my time in Chile with Christian and the CORBAC team so far, I hope I have had a great impact in the company to propel it to the next level.  It is always refreshing to work with passionate entrepreneurs that never settle and are always looking to grow their companies and themselves as people.

Brazil’s Bebê Store Announces Acquisition of Competitor Baby.com.br; Receives Investment From Endeavor Catalyst

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Bebê Store, a leading online baby goods retailer in Brazil co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Leonardo Simão, recently announced the acquisition of Baby.com.br, one of its main competitors in the region. In addition, the company successfully raised a $12.3 million round of financing earlier this year led by venture capital firms Atomico and W7, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst.

Founded in 2009, Bebê Store was a first-mover in its sector, offering parents a unique online shopping experience by guaranteeing a wide selection of high quality products and personalized customer service. The company has expanded to separate sites for lines of baby products, toys and goods for mothers, projecting  close to $42.5 million in revenue for 2014. Baby.com.br is a major player in Brazil’s e-commerce industry, having attracted over $50 million in investment capital. The acquisition will help Bebê Store strengthen its presence as the leading online retailer of child care products in Latin America, bolstered by Baby.com.br’s existing customer base and product lines.

This merger represents an important milestone in Brazil’s fast-growing e-commerce sector. The rapid rise of  the tech and online retail industries in Brazil has been one of the biggest factors in driving the country’s economic resurgence over the past decade. Research shows that nearly 50 million people in the country are active Internet consumers, demonstrating major potential for growth as the nation’s e-commerce market is expected to become the world’s fourth largest by 2016.

With this new round of financing, Bebê Store has raised nearly $30.5 million led primarily by the London-based Atomico. About two-thirds of the $12.3 million is venture capital and one-third is a bridge loan, with Brazil-based W7 Venture Capital also adding on to its earlier investment. Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor’s passive co-investment vehicle, also supported this recent round.

Since his selection by Endeavor in 2013, Leonardo has been an active member of the network, receiving custom mentoring on expansion strategies and investor introductions through the Endeavor Investor Network.

Read coverage of the news in The New York Times’ Dealbook and learn more about the company’s financing round by clicking here

eMBA 2014 Field Report: An Entrepreneurial Approach with Turkey’s Artesis

Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming and second-year MBA students, recruited from top schools, to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs on projects ranging from strategic planning to market expansion. The program is supported by a generous grant from Barclays. Following is a post from Abdul Basith, an MBA student at the Thunderbird School of Management, who spent the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Turkey’s Artesis.

eMBA_webLeather jacket, jeans and boots – not the typical attire an MBA student wears to an interview. But that’s what I was wearing when I interviewed for my summer internship with Endeavor Entrepreneur company Artesis. On a holiday in Istanbul, I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to interview after learning about it from Endeavor. I met with Dr. Ahmet Duyar, the entrepreneur behind Artesis whose research has been funded by NASA. I was inspired by the vision he had for his company, the future of energy efficiency and how he hoped his start-up can contribute to improving energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities the world over.

It was a good fit for both sides. Artesis develops technology and software for maintenance and energy efficiency in Oil & Gas, Water and Automotive industries, and my prior sales experience in industrial control applications complements it well. As I seek exposure to emerging markets, experience in Turkey lends valuable credibility to my career. I am halfway through my MBA at Thunderbird – ranked no. 1 consistently for its international business program, and it is common for students to intern outside of the U.S.

I am tasked with marketing the company’s latest software that replaces expensive condition monitoring techniques. Although some responsibilities were outlined for me, the role was as entrepreneurial as one would expect in a start-up, I have added to areas outside my direct scope. Recognizing the need for a more user-friendly interface and a smooth purchase process, I worked with the development team to improve the user experience design of the software and the website. Having developed a pricing model, I am now building a digital marketing platform to integrate with traditional marketing methods. The experience has been rewarding – I have been able to learn and apply new tools on a regular basis.

Dr. Ahmet Duyar is a guiding force who always makes time for discussion and is open to ideas and suggestions from his employees. As a retired professor, he has a way of bringing out the best in the team. I see this as he critiques my proposals and challenges my assumptions, only to make me work harder and improve my work. Then he gives me the authority to make decisions, saying ‘You are the entrepreneur. This is your product’. It’s this “entrepreneurial” drive that makes my work really interesting.

Personally, too, the experience has been a rewarding one. For someone who loves food, culture and photography, I was not disappointed with Istanbul. There is so much to see and do that one summer just did not seem enough. With Turkey growing as an emerging market and the billions of dollars of foreign investment giving rise to quality jobs, I will happily grab another opportunity for a stint here.

Abdul with the team at Artesis

Argentina’s Globant Raises $59 Million on NYSE; Second-Ever U.S. IPO for an Endeavor Company

Globant

Argentina’s Globant, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Martin Migoya, Guibert Englebienne, Néstor Nocetti and Martin Umaran, had its U.S. IPO on July 18th, raising nearly $59 million. The Buenos Aires-based software development giant has become one of Endeavor’s top success stories by demonstrating the high-impact potential of entrepreneurs in emerging markets. In addition, as Endeavor Catalyst’s first investment, this IPO marks a major milestone for Endeavor’s innovative co-investment initiative.

Founded in 2003, Globant was envisioned from the start as a business that could generate world-class career opportunities for IT professionals while showcasing Latin American talent. Globant has become one of the fastest growing software solutions companies in Latin America, providing clients worldwide with solutions that are design-minded, scalable and efficient. The entrepreneurs have put Argentina on the radar of the global marketplace for offshore IT services, with a portfolio of clients that include Google, LinkedIn, Sabre and Electronic Arts.

The entrepreneurs were selected into the Endeavor network in 2005 with just 120 employees, and have now grown to employ over 3,000 people across 15 countries with the help of Endeavor’s mentorship, strategic guidance and investor connections. In 2008, Globant acquired Openware, an Argentine tech venture founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Federico Seineldin, marking the first-ever merger between two Endeavor companies. In the same year, Endeavor helped Globant close its first round of venture capital financing led primarily by U.S.-based investors.

When Endeavor Catalyst was formed in 2012, the donor fund co-invested nearly $2 million in Globant as its inaugural investment. Endeavor Board Member and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman subsequently joined Globant’s Board of Advisors, cementing the company’s reputation as a world-class technology firm. In addition, Globant’s most recent financing round in 2013 saw a 20% acquisition by multinational advertising company WPP. The returns from the Endeavor Catalyst investment will ultimately go towards supporting Endeavor’s operations as well as the fund’s work with future entrepreneurs.

Globant

Globant’s Nestor Nocetti, Guibert Englebienne, Martin Migoya, and Martin Umaran

With annual revenue growth of over 30% in the past two years, including total revenues of $158 million last year, the IPO highlights Globant’s upward trajectory as the global demand for solutions in mobile, social, big data and cloud computing skyrockets. Globant’s success has demonstrated the importance of supporting entrepreneurs by creating an ecosystem of inspiration, mentorship and investment.

Since joining the network, the Globant team has been highly engaged with Endeavor’s work in Latin America and globally, serving as mentors, ISP panelists and donors. The founders have also attended and spoken at a number of Endeavor-hosted events, including both regional and global galas, retreats and summits. Martín and Guibert also serve as board members in Argentina, with Guibert recently named chairman of the local board. The story of the Globant founders is a testament to Endeavor’s model and the multiplier effect of entrepreneurship as the team becomes role models and investors for future generations of ventures.

“The trust that Endeavor puts in Globant was first shown in 2005 when they selected us as Endeavor Entrepreneurs. That was a key milestone in our history, since they enabled us to learn from some of the most talented and experienced professionals in the world,” said CEO Martín Migoya in a statement. “Endeavor reinforces a great partnership that will help us to take our company to the next level, creating more jobs for talent across the world, more opportunities for our ‘Globers’, and delivering the best software products for our customers.”

Globant is the second Endeavor Entrepreneur company to have an IPO in the U.S.  MercadoLibre, founded by Marcos GalperinNicolas Szekasy and Hernan Kazah, was also an Argentine venture that successfully went public in 2007 on the NASDAQ market.

Learn more about the IPO news in the company’s press release by clicking here.

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