Istanbul, Turkey – October 24, 2014 – At the 55th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP), 42 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 23 companies from 12 countries were welcomed into the Endeavor network.
Endeavor now supports 990 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 629 companies across 21 countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from October 22nd – 24th in Istanbul.
The ISP is the culmination of an extensive multi-step selection process that is at the core of the Endeavor model. At the Istanbul ISP, top business and industry leaders from around the world interviewed candidates to discern their potential for high-impact growth, and then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
“The diversity of the businesses represented at this ISP is amazing,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “From mining services in Chile to transistor testing equipment in Malaysia, our network of high-impact entrepreneurs are truly innovating industries and transforming economies worldwide.”
After their selection into the Endeavor network, the entrepreneurs are given access to customized world-class services, including introductions to local and international mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created thousands of jobs and built sustainable and transformative growth models in their home countries. In turn, they become crucial role models for future generations of entrepreneurs.
Endeavor will be hosting one more International Selection Panel in 2014 located in Miami, FL.
Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and their companies follow.
Endeavor board members meet from around the world
Entrepreneur(s): Mario Flores
Company: Innovators Conveyer Belt
Conveyer belts are to mines what arteries are to the human body. As the main means of transport for minerals, losses of up to US$5 million per hour can be incurred when belts are deactivated for routine maintenance or replacement. Innovators reduces maintenance time for conveyer belts by 60% by minimizing the amount of equipment and personnel required in the process – saving mines millions of dollars per hour. The company developed a proprietary machine and repair method that turns the conventional repair process upside down (literally) by cutting and replacing the belt from below, as is the standard.
Entrepreneur(s): Gustavo Montero, Elvira Montero
Many small businesses in Latin America do not have the budget or technical know how to purchase advanced enterprise software solutions, and rely instead on inefficient processes and basic spreadsheets to manage operations. Imaginex’s cloud-based, user-friendly operational management helps SMEs improve procurement and sales processes. Its main product, Bsale, has a special feature to expedite a lengthy online tax certification process and help companies submit electronic tax receipts in compliance with new regulation.
Entrepreneur(s): Sebastian Obregan, Danel Pelaez, Sebastian Molina
In a tech-enabled world, static displays no longer engages a population accustomed to dynamic media. Enmedio is a digital signage company responding to the digital revolution with dynamic displays that deliver the right message to the right people at the right time and place. Digital signage is one of the fastest growing communication mediums in the world. Still nascent technology in Colombia, digital signage can change the way businesses communicate. With the largest digital signage coverage in the country, Enmedio will help accelerate the process of digitizing the physical world.
Entrepreneur(s): Hans Christian Boehlke, Carl Petter Boehlke, Alfredo Angel
Hans Christian Boehlke, Carl Petter Boehlke, and Alfredo Angel are creating aldeas móviles (“mobile villages”) all over the world. Aldeamo is helping customers communicate using any type of mobile phone (e.g. feature and smart) without having to use data or an Internet connection. Through established partnerships with 25 Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Aldeamo connects audiences with shared interests and delivers targeted content to its users through a B2C subscription model that charges the end-user directly through its carrier billing. Aldeamo also provides mobile solutions to public and private entities through a B2B model, currently available in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru, This model consists of the following services: (i) Intelligent SMS, a two way communication system between entities and their clients or employees; and (ii) Imenus, a way to connect directly to information systems from any mobile phone, without using data.
Entrepreneur(s): Ahmed Badr, Amir Barsoum
Few experiences transcend cultural boundaries the way a doctor’s visit does: neglected file cabinets overflowing with outdated patient records, cramped waiting rooms groaning with overcapacity, and overworked, baggy-eyed doctors burdened with frivolous administrative tasks. The health care system has reached an unparalleled level of inefficiency in Egypt, which spends 1% more of its GDP on health care than the average Middle East country, but has a life expectancy five years lower. DrBridge believes in the power of technology to overcome these inefficiencies. By delivering an end-to-end operations platform for doctors, patients, and pharmaceutical companies, DrBridge is ushering the technophobic medical profession into the digital era.
Entrepreneur(s): Mohamed Abbas, Dina Aly, Majd El Sherif
Matter is a branding firm based in Cairo, Egypt. The agency came on the scene during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, proving that their consistent and tried methodology was competitive with international firms. In 2013, the company was the first local brand agency in the Middle East to win a Dieline Packaging Award, a worldwide competition devoted to the art of consumer package design. As one of the first local agencies devoted entirely to branding, Matter has recruited top talent and secured local and international clients. In the last 10 months, the company grew its client base by 120%.
Entrepreneur(s): Laila Sedky, Adel Sedky
Company: NOLA Bakery
NOLA offers customers trendy affordable luxuries through its wide variety of freshly-baked delicious desserts that are new to the Egyptian market. NOLA focuses on the customer experience, providing a sophisticated yet cheerful setting with top customer service. For a customer, stepping into a NOLA store should be like strolling into a French bakery in Paris, with tantalizing aromas and smiling faces greeting the customer as they walk through the door. Currently, NOLA’s main product lines revolve around cupcakes in a range of flavors although it recently expanded its offering into other dessert categories like the cronut, cheesecakes, and NOLA cakes.
Entrepreneur(s): Dimitris Koutsolioutsos
Company: Farmers Republic
New York has the Union Square Market, London has Borough Market and now Greece has Farmers Republic! In a time when Greece’s Central Market is widely criticized for its relationship with farmers and quality of produce, Farmers Republic has created a disruptive physical and virtual market place—giving farmers agency over their sales with better margins and consumers higher quality certified produce. Farmers Republic is a fair-farming enterprise offering its consumers the ability to enjoy fresh produce directly from small-scale, certified producers, through its open air markets, online store, grocery store and monthly delivery service. Farmers Republic has built a superior reputation compared to other grocery stores and markets through authentically connecting with both its supplier and consumers: the farmers know that Farmers Republic will always be reliable and reasonably priced while consumers can trust that the produce will be of a certain standard through its rigorous certification process.
Entrepreneur(s): Odysseas Ntotsikas
Company: Think Digital Group
Many publishers fill their sites with underpriced advertisements and are pushed aside as advertisers opt for international competitors with huge reach and technological prowess (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Meanwhile, advertisers struggle to efficiently find the publishers that will maximize value for their ad-spend with a relevant audience and gripping content. Think Digital Group (TDG) connects publishers with advertisers through its publisher network and ad-exchange. As a publisher network, TDG acts as an outsourced salesforce for publishers, semi-manually finding the right advertisers at the right price. Its recently launched ad-exchange, Project Agora,allows advertisers to bid on bundles of ad-space segmented by different audience groups. TDG now counts some of Greece and Romania’s largest publishers among its clients, and as it expands into new markets. Seeking to change how advertising is done across Southeast and Centrel Europe, as well as MENA, Think Digital is thinking big.
Entrepreneur(s): George Voulgaroudis, Dimitris Dimitriadis
Through its automated bike-sharing system, Brainbox offers an efficient and cost effective alternative to vehicular transportation. Bike-sharing combines the convenience and flexibility of a private vehicle with the accessibility and reliability of public mass transit without the obligation of owning a bicycle. With installations across Greece, Cyprus, and Poland, last year alone, individuals cycled nearly a million miles, saving more than 150 tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of consuming 17,000 gallons of gasoline.
Entrepreneur(s): Hanifa Ambadar
Company: Female Daily Network
Female Daily Network (FDN) helps Indonesian women look and feel beautiful. Its primary portal, FemaleDaily.com, provides beauty related content to help women navigate an industry with more available products than any other retail vertical. Its customer product reviews, tip-filled articles, and video tutorials help women become beauty aficionados able to navigate countless options for makeup, skincare, treatments, and trends. The parallel portal for mothers, MommiesDaily.com, attracts FemaleDaily.com visitors as they move through new stages of life. Together, the sites create a cohesive online community that facilitates peer-to-peer connections over shared passions and concerns.
Entrepreneur(s): Bede Moore, Susie Sugden
Company: Vela Asia
Vela Asia offers a suite of end-to-end ecommerce solutions to brick-and-mortar retailers in Indonesia and international brands trying to navigate the nuances of the Indonesian market. Vela delivers the expertise and infrastructure to bring its clients online throughout the ecommerce value chain from digital marketing to warehousing and fulfillment. As a boot-strapped startup, Vela generates additional revenue through modules aimed at a particular pain point along the value chain. The company also operates multi-brand portals under websites Kukuruyuk.com and Paraplou.com (Q4 2014e), which sell electronics and fashion products respectively. Vela aims to become Southeast Asia’s leading multi-platform ecommerce retailer. In the last six months, Vela Asia has grown by 160%, attracting well-known Indonesian and international brands as clients, including Indonesia’s leading shoe manufacturer Yongki Komaladi, global clothier Lee Cooper, and international footwear brand Havaianas.
The ISP breakfast before interviews
Entrepreneur(s): Nasser Saleh
Before Madfoo3atCom, the inconvenience of paying bills in Jordan was enough to make Jordanians wish they could buy back lost time. Jordanians went to the bank to withdraw money and traveled to each biller’s payment locations to physically deliver the money owed; rearranging their schedules to arrive during business hours and make time for lengthy queues. Meanwhile, billers incurred over 50% late payments and struggled to keep track of these cash payments. Madfoo3atCom, launched in June 2014, introduced a real-time bill presentment and payment system that enables the billers’ clients to inquire about and pay their bills via convenient and secure electronic channels 24/7. In 2013, the company secured an eight-year exclusive contract with the Central Bank of Jordan mandating that all 26 banks in the country process electronic payments through the company’s platform. Since launch, Madfoo3atCom averages 50 transactions per day, without any marketing. With plans for expansion in the region, the company is looking to average 125K transactions per day, grossing US$18.0M in revenues by 2017.
Entrepreneur(s): Sang Beng Ng
Semiconductors are the electrical circuits that make any computerized device function — from cell phones, to jumbo jets, to rain sensors in cars. Before a semiconductor is placed in any cell phone or device, it must be rigorously tested through an expensive, time-consuming process in order to assure its compatibility with the device. Aemulus designs and produces semiconductor testers that reduce the overall cost of testing the semiconductors by upwards of 50% and perform 15-80% faster than competitors’ offerings. As a relatively recent market entrant with a unique relationship with its clients, Aemulus has excellent insight into the demands of the market and is agile enough to respond before its larger, more established competitors—taking away market share from multinationals such as National Instruments in Malaysia. Aemulus has had impressive growth and could be a shining example of a homegrown company that dares to compete with global giants on the basis of technological excellence.
Entrepreneur: Marco Polo Bautista
Company: Game Planet
Game Planet strives to make the process of buying games just as fun as playing them. It offers the easiest and most seamless buying experience for customers in Mexico. In addition to selecting from thousands of new titles and consoles, customers can trade in used-games and attend exclusive video game launch parties. For example, in 2011 Game Planet organized a launch party for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, a best-selling first-person shooter game. Partnering with Cinepolis, Mexico’s largest theater group, Game Planet allowed over 1,000 people to play the game before anybody else in the world at a movie theater prior to the game’s midnight launch and meet the game’s developers, who flew in from the US. Originally a vendor in a local bazaar, Game Planet now operates 91 stores and is the largest video game retailer in Mexico.
Entrepreneur(s): Ginny Simon, Steve Simon, Mike Simon
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating poorly. Just ask Ginny Simon, her husband, Steve, and their son, Mike. They founded ginnybakes, a Miami-based company producing feel-good cookies, bake mixes, and health bars that have the added benefit of being organic and gluten-free. ginnybakes offers consumers outrageously delicious and healthy snacks baked with the highest quality ingredients. The ginnybakes team has leveraged close relationships with distributors in a fragmented and competitive market to sell its products in many large retailers like Whole Foods and Publix within the U.S. Its blend of premium-quality ingredients and complete ownership of the production cycle differentiates the company from its competition, as it can maintain fresh cookies while achieving economies of scale with integrated production facilities.
Entrepreneur(s): Scott Harris
DeliverLean has the recipe to maximize your health, your time, and your life. Many of us want to eat healthy but lack the time or energy to do so. Scott Harris (43) founded DeliverLean to empower customers to eat well and live healthy lives. DeliverLean prepares and distributes nutrient-dense, gourmet meals and sells cold pressed juices and raw vegan snacks at select retail locations nationwide. Named the eighth fastest growing Food & Beverage company in the U.S. in 2013 by Inc. Magazine, DeliverLean has ambitious plans to change the way the world think about and consume food.
Entrepreneur(s): Khalid al-Kudair
The glass ceiling in Saudi Arabia is quickly becoming a desert mirage. For women, the Saudi job market is one of the toughest in the world; only 30% of women are employed, but those who are unemployed are far from unqualified — 75% of them hold a college degree. Legislative restrictions on women’s ability to drive, coupled with social constraints around sharing personal information and CVs, engender a workforce employing only half of the country’s brainpower. Glowork is dedicated to creating equal opportunities for women by bridging the gap between employers and female jobseekers. Having placed 20,000 women in only jobs in three years, Glowork is leveraging its stellar brand reputation to launch into other business verticals where women are underserved, to shake up industries that have historically catered to men.
Entrepreneur(s): Salvador Carrillo, Alberto Benbunan
Company: Mobile Dreams Factory
Behind every swipe, tap and scroll on a mobile app lies an assembly line. This mobile assembly line first designs the user experience, then integrates the app with existing back-end software, then manages the mobile advertising, all before landing on a consumer’s screen. To manufacture this successful mobile strategy, clients go to the Mobile Dreams Factory (MDF), which provides end-to-end services to complete a client’s mobile transformation. With 27 mobile marketing awards, including the Gold Lion in Cannes, Eurobest, and the Gold IAB award, MDF has established itself as a leader in mobile solutions for a European m-commerce market that will exceed US$32B in 2014. Having secured premiere clients such as Burger King, eBay, and Vodafone and expanded into new geographies beyond Spain, the entrepreneurs behind MDF, Salvador Carrillo and Alberto Benbunan, are on their way to making their own mobile dreams come true.
Entrepreneur(s): Barbaros Serdar Özbugutu, Tahsin Isin
With Iyzico, accepting online payments has never been easier. From obtaining contracts with banks to systemic fraud, Turkish companies, both large and small, struggle with online payments. Fortunately, Iyzico is transforming the payment processing experience for businesses through its bank-integrated, fraud-protected payment platform tailored to the nuances of the Turkish market. Iyzico’s two API platforms connect 22 banks and payment companies with over 850 merchants, enabling merchants to accept online payments in the easiest and safest manner. Iyzico’s experienced team and local know how–from collective 33 years experience in the payment market to personally setting up all the contracts with the banks–enable it to offer a more sophisticated and adaptable platform than competitors in Turkey. While there are many global competitors in the online payment market—namely Stripe and World Pay—none have entered the Turkish market because of the high barriers to entry, providing Iyzico with a window of opportunity.
Entrepreneur(s): Hande Cilingir, Serhat Soyouerel, Arda Koterin, Sinan Toktay
E-commerce in Turkey and MENA is a gold-rush, and Insider is right there to sell the spade. As these geographies’ economies become increasingly digital, companies need the technical tools to mine ecommerce for its full potential. Insider sells cloud-based suites of ecommerce tools that enable clients to convert their visitors to customers. These tools include a behavioral targeting module that creates personalized campaigns for visitors, a module that incentivizes visitors to interact with a client on social media, and over a dozen other tools. Founded in 2012, the company has already attracted premiere clients in Turkey and abroad, such as Groupon, Avis, and Nine West.
Entrepreneur(s): Murat Sahin
Company: Secure Drive
Secure yourself some peace of mind and don’t drive yourself crazy finding airport transportation – leave that to Secure Drive. Too often in Turkey getting to the airport is as big a hassle as the trip itself. Taxis are expensive, public transportation is inconvenient, and illegal car services are unreliable. Established in 2005 by Murat Şahin (43), Secure Drive is the first company in Turkey to offer door-to-door shared shuttle rides to and from airports as well as ski and beach resorts. With a fleet of over 100 cars and operating in nine of Turkey’s largest cities, the company is already the third largest shuttle service in Europe. With Turkey emerging as a vital transportation hub — Istanbul’s new airport alone is expected to accommodate 150 million travelers in 2017 — Secure Drive is ready for lift off.
Entrepreneur(s): Ahmet M. Hançer, Burak Yücelyiğit
Through its flexible online platform and vast catalogue of off-the-shelf training content, Enocta provides clients with a convenient one-stop-shop for corporate training solutions. Over the last 13 years, Enocta has developed a breadth of top courses and informal learning methods to increase individual user engagement on the platform. Enocta’s SaaS platform is versatile which allows it to house a range of content be it Enocta’s proprietary courses, a client’s corporate training programs, or even a competitor’s solutions.
Global chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. during an interview