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Endeavor Jordan Hosts Second Annual “Catalyzing Conversations” Event with Top Members of the Global Network

Endeavor Jordan hosted the second annual ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ event in collaboration with the 59th Endeavor International Selection Panel in Amman. ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ is a multi-tiered event featuring a series of interactive and motivational discussions with business leaders, entrepreneurs […]

June 30th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor Colombia Brings High-Impact Entrepreneurship to Barranquilla and Medellín with Regional Expansion

Endeavor Colombia is announcing the launch of its first two regional operations in Colombia. The offices will be located in Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city and the host of a 2016 Endeavor International Selection Panel, and in Barranquilla, the country’s main […]

June 29th, 2015 — by admin

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South Africa’s DJ Kumbula, Co-founder of InnoVent, Profiled By National Newspaper Business Day

innoventDJ Kumbula, founder of InnoVent, was profiled in  national South African newspaper Business Day Live for his work in promoting sustainability and recycling in the tech industry. Kumbula co-founded InnoVent in 2003 with fellow Endeavor Entrepreneur Zakhe Khuzwayo with the aim of creating a technology rental agency that promotes efficiency and sustainability.

InnoVent, with over two billion Rand in assets under its management, uses the model of a traditional rental system but focuses on technology, with assets such as laptops, desktops and servers. The renting period for these products averages about three years, after which they are returned to InnoVent. Kumbula’s second venture, Qrent, was born from these returns. Qrent refurbishes the returned computers and rents them for short amounts of time to large regional clients like the Independent Electoral Commission and Statistics SA.

The profile discusses Qrent’s recent partnership with Discovery, a company they had approached four years earlier with a set of three-year-old Dell computers. According to Qrent’s analysis, Discovery saved nearly 50% on technology over four years, serving as just one example of how the company’s model can help similar clients achieve both sustainability and cost savings. Kumbula has begun expanding into the African continent, focusing on Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania, with over 100 InnoVent and Qrent employees currently located across the four countries. With a recent seed investment from a regional bank, Kumbula and his team plan to diversify their rental portfolio and eye international expansion opportunities as they take the company to scale.

Selected into  Endeavor in 2009, the entrepreneurs have received mentorship from a local advisory board of business leaders as well as support from Endeavor’s international mentors. Endeavor has also connected the team to potential entrepreneurs and consultants from global Fortune 500 companies.

Read all of the BDLive coverage by clicking here.

Argentina’s Susana Balbo, Founder of Dominio del Plata, Recognized as “Woman of the Year” by The Drinks Business

Endeavor Entrepreneur Susana Balbo, founder of Argentina winery Dominio Del Plata, was recently name “Woman of the Year” by The Drinks Business, a leading drinks-focused trade publication. In its 12th annual Awards ceremony, Balbo – Argentina’s first female winemaker – was recognized as a top performer in the international drinks industry by a panel of business professionals from across the sector.

The Awards are given across four categories that honor everything from marketing to supply chains. Balbo was recognized for defying the societal norms of her time and becoming a high-impact entrepreneur who has gone on to influence the Argentine ecosystem. After earning her license in 1981, and graduating at the top of her class, Susana became the first woman to achieve this feat in Argentina. Her dream, which she soon achieved, was to open her own bodega and manage her own wine label. Over three decades, Susana has become a valuable consultant for national and international bodegas. She was elected as President of Wines of Argentina (WOFA) on three occasions. Dominio del Plata, which is located in the Mendoza wine region, is an innovator in its industry. Through a unique environmentally-friendly model, the winery uses water recycling and reduced packaging weight to decrease its environmental impact.

“This recognition has been for me the culmination of hard work and creativity used to fulfill my passion… making wines,” said Susana in reference to the honor.

Since her selection by Endeavor in 2003, Susana and her team have been active members of the network. She has attended a number of industry tours and Entrepreneur Summits both on a global and local level. Dominio has also benefited from consultants provided through Endeavor’s talent and education programs.

Read more about the news by clicking here.

Endeavor Mexico Maps the Multiplier Effect of Mexico City’s Tech Sector

endeavormexicoEndeavor Mexico released a report on the “Multiplier Effect” of tech entrepreneurs in Mexico City, mapping the connections between entrepreneurs and influencers who are shaping and influencing the local ecosystem. A key component of  Endeavor’s model, this multiplier effect demonstrates the power of entrepreneurs to mentor, invest and inspire future generations.

The map of Mexico City focuses on a few key connections –  the ability of successful entrepreneurs to multiply their impact through the pillars of inspiration, investment and mentorship. The study consists of six parts: an introduction, analysis of results, findings, case studies, in-depth interviews and conclusions.

The map found that in the early 1990s, there were isolated entrepreneurial efforts in the field of IT, some of which would scale up and become big players in the sector. Many of these early entrepreneurs, partners and founders would go on to launch second and third ventures. Beginning in 2003, Mexico City begins to form a robust ecosystem through the impact of entrepreneurs who were beginning to mentor and invest in other startups in their network. By 2014, the ecosystem reaches a peak. However, only 14% of these connections were investment-based, demonstrating a key challenge that still needs to be addressed in the ecosystem.

Learn more about the findings and read the full study in Spanish by clicking hereor download a PDF version here.


Turkey’s Iyzico Raises Series B Round of Funding with Participation from Endeavor Catalyst


The Istanbul-based Iyzico, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Barbaros Özbugutu and Tahsin Isınraised a  $6.2 million Series B round of funding led by IFC, 212 and Speedinvest, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst.  The payments company provides a platform to let e-commerce sites and other apps easily and efficiently accept online payments.

Iyzico offers its clients over 22 different payment options and features like recurring payments, bin control, one click payments, installment payments, bank transfers and marketplace solutions. Since it was founded in 2012, the company has raised $9.4 million in funding. Iyzico will use the new capital to expand its research and development team and scale its payment technology around the world. Specifically, the company is planning to expand beyond Turkey and target the Middle East, aiming to become the leading payments platform of its kind in the region. Without major competitors in Turkey, Iyzico is poised to dominate the local sector.

“Our goal is to become the Stripe of the region,” said CEO Barbaros Ozbugutu in a statement. “It is particularly exciting to work with the IFC – a body with tremendous knowledge and experience in financial tech sector worldwide. Having become the leading payment solution for online businesses and enterprises in Turkey, Iyzico is enthusiastic to take its technology global.”

Since their selection in 2014, Iyzico’s team has already proven their high-impact potential, acquiring analytics firm MyPat.co and receiving tailored mentorship from local and global business leaders as well as other Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

Read more about the news in TechCrunch and Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.

About Endeavor Catalyst

Endeavor-Catalyst-LogoEndeavor Catalyst is a passive co-investment vehicle that allows Endeavor Global to invest in Endeavor Entrepreneurs in a neutral, unbiased way. The main goal of this program is to use the returns of the investment to support Endeavor’s operations. The fund also contributes to Endeavor’s mission as it promotes professional third-party angel and venture capital investors to take a stronger interest in emerging market investment opportunities.

Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst by clicking here.


Barbaros Özbugutu and Tahsin Isın with Endeavor Turkey staff

EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Event Gathers Network Members in Monaco

ey_logo_detail copyEY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year event in Monaco brought together over 50 members of the Endeavor network including entrepreneurs, board members, staff and mentors. Saudi Arabia’s Lateefa Alwaalan, Chile’s Rolando Carmona and Colombia’s Nicolas Loaiza Galeano and Gigliola Aycardi Batista were also named 2015 EY Entrepreneurs of the Year in in their respective countries.

EY, an Endeavor global partner, has been hosting the EOY Program for over two decades, expanding it to more than 50 countries with awards presented annually to over 900 of the world’s most successful and innovative entrepreneurs. The three day WEOY event brought together Endeavor’s network in an organization specific gathering to celebrate the success of entrepreneurship in so many diverse and varied markets.

The entrepreneurs will join winners from over 50 countries at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year event in Monte Carlo in June 2015. The judging process was based on numerous criteria that included entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, social impact and influence. The program celebrates the success of entrepreneurs who build and lead successful, growing and dynamic businesses. EOY has been running for 28 years by EY in 145 cities across 60 countries. The Awards recognize outstanding entrepreneurs for their vision, innovation, courage, and leadership in building and growing successful businesses.

Selected into the network in 2014, Lateefa founded Yatooq in 2011 with the vision of bringing curated Arabic coffee to the world. Since her selection, she has participated in key network events including the 2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat. She has also made a number of connections with industry experts and potential investors since joining the network. She was chosen from a group of 11 finalists from 10 companies by an independent panel of judges at the EOY event, which was held under the patronage of HE Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry. 

Based in Bogotá, Nicolas and Gigliola envisioned BodyTech as more than just a gym – the health club has grown to offer multiple solutions in the medical arena as well. Now with locations spanning major metropolitan areas including Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena, Bodytech also maintains locations in Chile and Peru with plans to expand across the region. With access to the right resources, Nicolas and Gigliola are a testament to the high-impact potential of emerging market entrepreneurs and have been active members of the Endeavor network since their selection in 2007.  The pair was also honored as EOY winners in Colombia in 2014.

Founded in 1990, Drillco is the leading Chilean designer and manufacturer of many high-quality mining products and tools, including drilling hammers and accessories that service the mining, natural resource excavation, quarry, civil works and water industries. Since joining the Endeavor network in 2003,  Rolando has served as both a panelist and mentor for the Endeavor network, giving back to the local ecosystem by supporting the next generation of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Drillco has also benefited from a number of network connections with business leaders and other entrepreneur companies, as well as Endeavor talent initiatives including the eMBA, G-Lab and EY Vantage programs.

Learn more about the 2015 EoY winners by clicking here.

Endeavor UAE Networking Event Brings Together 100+ Network Members and Business Leaders

UAE-colorEndeavor UAE hosted a networking event this month in Dubai that convened network members, mentors and entrepreneurs from around the world for a night of connections, knowledge-sharing and discussion. Over a hundred people – including regional business leaders and potential mentors – participated.

Entrepreneurs from four countries as well as the UAE were in attendance, demonstrating the global impact of the event. This included Egypt’s Ahmed Ragab (Baraka Optics); Greece’s George Frangakis (Think Digital Group); Jordan’s Charif Mzayek (Alissar), Jalil Allabadi (Altibbi.com) and Mohammad Asfour (Kharabeesh); Spain’s Francesc Domingo (World Sensing); UAE’s Derv Rao and Ravi Bhusari (DuPlays), Sassan Dieter Khatib-Shahidi (GIT), Idriss Rifai (Fetchr), Mona Ataya (Mumzworld.com), Shahriar Khodjasteh (DDE) and Wadih Haddad (The Box). From Endeavor UAE’s local network, 12 mentors also attended. The night was sponsored by MAF Trust, whose CEO is Endeavor UAE Board Member Souheil Hajjar.


The crowd during the event


Endeavor UAE Managing Director Noor Shawwa


Mentors networking with guests

May 2015 Newsletter

may newsletterTo view Endeavor’s May newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

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Endeavor Insight Releases Southeast Michigan Scaleup Assessment

endeavor_insightWith the launch of its affiliate in Detroit, Endeavor has doubled down on scaleup entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. As part of this commitment, Endeavor Insight is launching the second in a two-part series of reports focused on the region’s scaleup entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The first report, released in February, identified a region-wide scaleup gap. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of Southeast Michigan scaleups, those firms growing at 20% or more per year, has decline by more than 50%. The correlation between this growing gap and the region’s elevated unemployment rate is more than a coincidence. Instead, these companies are important engines of Southeast Michigan’s economic growth, creating 94 jobs on average between 2009 and 2012. In comparison, startups created just two jobs per company, on average, in that time period.
As part of the second report, Endeavor Insight has explored some of the drivers and barriers to the success of Southeast Michigan’s scaleup firms. To better understand the opportunities for a scaleup-led renaissance, we spoke with over 50 Southeast Michigan scaleup entrepreneurs. What they told us about the strengths and weaknesses of the region was quite surprising.
Four out of five of the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurs we spoke with noted that the region has excellent quality of life and a wealth of potential customers. Over two-thirds have been able to grow their businesses because of great access to talent, both technical (from the region’s world-class universities) and managerial (from its Fortune 500 companies).
On the flip side, several challenges constrain these regional scaleup firms. Over half of Southeast Michigan entrepreneurs lack adequate access to finance. A majority of these entrepreneurs are also missing great mentors who can help take their businesses to the next level. Most of these companies, despite being successful, haven’t generated many employee spinouts–companies started by former employees of a scaleup entrepreneur.
As part of its launch, Endeavor Detroit is working to fill many of these gaps, and is encouraging local leaders to focus on the potential that scaleup companies have for generating lasting growth throughout Southeast Michigan. Read and download the report by clicking here.



Endeavor Investor Network Convenes Over 120 Entrepreneurs and Investors in NYC

Investor network LogoOn May 5th, the Endeavor Investor Network convened growth market leaders in New York City for a day of networking and learning. The invitation-only event gathered over 120 participants including Endeavor Entrepreneurs and leading investors from 22 markets.

The theme of this gathering was “Growth Market Unicorns, Narwhals and other rare Entrepreneurial Creatures: A guide to building million (and billion) dollar companies in markets you might not expect.” The aim of the event was to demonstrate that amazing companies can come from anywhere by showcasing entrepreneurial success stories from emerging markets.

The day started off with an entrepreneur-only session led by seasoned venture investor Scott Booth (Eastern Advisors), who discussed the “10 Things all Entrepreneurs Should Know About the Fundraising Process.”


Endeavor Entrepreneur Martin Migoya leading a session

This was followed by a series of TED-style talks by all-star founders Mark Chang (Jobstreet, Founder & CEO), Martin Migoya (Globant, Co-founder), and Arda Kutsal (Webrazzi, Founder & CEO). All three speakers shared their inspiring stories of building million (and billion) dollar companies in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Turkey, respectively.

“This is our largest Endeavor Investor Network gathering ever,” noted Beth Robertson, the manager of the Investor Network program based in Endeavor’s San Francisco office. “The demand from top-tier venture capital and growth equity firms shows a real interest in these markets from some of the world’s best investors.”

Following lunch at the Bryant Park Grill, over 500 formal speed-networking connections were made during two hours of one-on-one conversations between Endeavor companies and investors. Participating investors included General Atlantic, GE Ventures, Riverwood Capital, The Abraaj Group, Warburg Pincus, Stripes Group, IFC and Bessemer Venture Partners, among others.

During the closing cocktail, attendees heard from three entrepreneurs who are poised to become industry leaders and role models, including Sina Afra (Markafoni, Co-founder), Niki Luhur (Kartuku, Founder & CEO), and Paulo Antunes Veras (99 Taxis, Founder & CEO).

The event was a great success and left participants feeling inspired and optimistic about the tremendous opportunity present in emerging markets.

View the event booklet here for a full agenda and list of participants. To learn more about upcoming Investor Network events, click here.


Investor Network participants

2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat Brings Together Nearly 300 Members of the Network


The invitation-only 2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat took place from Wednesday, May 6th – Friday, May 8th in Westchester County, New York. The Retreat offered an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning as well as a mixture of keynote speakers, site visits to Fortune 500 companies, industry breakouts, and intensive workshops focused on business development topics geared towards Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Nearly 300 members of the network convened for the event to celebrate the power of high-impact entrepreneurship.

Pre-Retreat Visits

On May 5th and 6th, a series of pre-Retreat visits allowed select groups of entrepreneurs to visit and learn from executives at major corporations, including IBM’s World of Watson, Barclays, Google, PepsiCo and EY. The topics of focus ranged from talent management to product design to transaction readiness, giving participating entrepreneurs an in-depth look at strategies for corporate innovation and growth.


The mainstage during Daniel Lubetzky’s fireside chat


The Retreat featured a number of world-renowned executives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who took the main stage in keynotes, panel discussions and fireside chats.

On day one, American Express CEO Kenneth I. Chenault was interviewed by Endeavor co-founder Linda Rottenberg about leadership and the future of the payments industry, discussing how his career path took him from the consulting world to the top of the Fortune 500. In the chat, Chenault addressed how he proved himself to be a “skunk”, or intrapreneur, at American Express by turning the century-old institution into a modern, democratic and digitally-competitive brand. Best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin then took the stage to address rule-breaking in the marketing world and explore strategies for approaching advertising that could authentically engage consumers. Drawing from theories put forth in his 18 best-selling books, Godin prodded entrepreneurs in the audience to think outside of the box when approaching client and consumer engagement.

Day two brought Unilever VP of Global Media Innovation & Ventures Babs Rangaiah to discuss how he manages marketing and media activities for the company’s portfolio of CPG products sold across 190 countries. Addressing the concept of a #BrighterFuture for marketing, he discussed case studies of Unilever campaigns and how his team works to disrupt the advertising space. In a subsequent fireside chat, General Assembly co-founder Brad Hargreaves sat down with Open English’s John McIntire to discuss the future of the workforce, particularly in emerging markets where access to skills training and education are limited. The pair explored the possibilities for alternative education platforms to empower people all around the world with actionable skill sets.


Vinny, Martin and Leila during their entrepreneur panel

An afternoon panel brought together top Endeavor Entrepreneurs to share their high-impact stories and discuss the importance of multiplying their impact. South Africa’s Vinny Lingham (Gyft), Argentina’s Martin Migoya (Globant) and Brazil’s Leila Velez (Beleza Natural) were interviewed by Endeavor President Fernando Fabre about their experience as entrepreneurs, the impact of joining the Endeavor network, and what it means for them to give back to their communities. The next panel brought representatives from key corporate partners including AXA, SAP, Facebook and P&G in a discussion about global corporate development and growth, which was moderated by Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Suárez Battán (Mural.ly).

The final day started off with a fireside with Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan and Endeavor Global Board Member Nick Beim. The chat revolved around investments and how the pair discerns the potential in entrepreneurs that they place their bets on. They also addressed failure and what happens when investments go south. Following them was New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Duhigg, who drew on themes from his best-selling book The Power of Habit to explain how business leaders can shake up their routines and instill innovation in both work and life. He also delved into case studies of big brands and how they target and leverage consumer habits. The final keynote of the day brought Endeavor Global Board Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. and KIND Snacks founder Daniel Lubetzky to the stage to talk candidly about why social impact and community give-back is important. Lubetzky provided anecdotes from his personal family history and heritage to explain why he was inspired to build a socially-conscious brand to inspire future generations.

Breakout Sessions, Workshops and Roundtables

By attending smaller workshops and “hot topics” sessions, attendees benefited from personalized coaching and advice – in a sense, small “team meetings” – with some of the best entrepreneurial minds in the Endeavor network.

The Retreat kicked off with a number of industry breakouts that served as “ice breaker” networking sessions, which divided participating entrepreneurs by their company’s industries in a meet-and-greet format. The entrepreneur-led roundtables on the second day were helmed by a number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs from around the world, who moderated group discussions touching on topics that included social media, talent management, employee culture, leadership and more. The final day’s workshops were lead by Endeavor mentors who provided a high-level perspectives and furthered conversations about talent, branding, innovation and much more.


Endeavor Entrepreneur Sally Buberman leading a roundtable

Endeavor Awards

The Retreat closed with an awards ceremony – with awards sponsored by EY, Barclays and Omidyar Network – that honored the most high-impact entrepreneurs and companies in the network. Read more about the Awards by clicking here.

Social Media Highlights

The offline conversations also went online with the hashtags #EndeavorRetreat and #EE2EE, as entrepreneurs shared their thoughts and connections via social media. Over 700 tweets engaging users from nearly 10 countries used the hashtags over the three-day event. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

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