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Endeavor Hosts Retail, Food & Beverage Tour for Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Features Presentations from Top Industry Brands

Endeavor hosted a Retail, Food & Beverage Industry Tour for select entrepreneurs in its network, providing them with a rare look into the operations of  some top global brands in each industry. The two-day tour included a mix […]

November 19th, 2014 — by admin

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In Memory of Endeavor Mexico Board Member Bernardo Minkow

Bernardo Minkow, Endeavor Mexico Board Member and active contributor to the network, passed away earlier this month. Below, Endeavor Mexico’s Managing Director Pilar Aguilar shares her thoughts and memories of Bernardo’s support of Endeavor through the […]

September 19th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Officially Launches Miami Affiliate: Local Board and New Managing Director Named

Miami, FL September 4, 2013  – Endeavor Global today announced the official opening of its Miami affiliate, the first to launch in the United States. To spearhead the effort, Endeavor has identified nine business leaders for its local board of directors, and chose a new Managing Director, Laura Maydon. Endeavor’s first entry into the U.S. market is strongly supported by the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation along with key entrepreneurs from the community.

All Endeavor affiliates are guided by a local board of business leaders, each of whom believes that high-impact entrepreneurship can transform economies.   The Endeavor Miami founding board will be co-chaired by Adriana Cisneros, Vice Chairman of the Board and CEO, Cisneros Group of Companies, and Daniel Echavarria, Director, Organizacion Corona.  They will be joined by Alberto Beeck; Alberto Chang Rajii, President, Grupo Arcano; Matt Haggman, Program Director – Miami, Knight Foundation; Peter Kellner, Founder and Managing Partner, Richmond Global LLC and co-founder of Endeavor Global; Manny Medina, Managing Partner, Medina Capital Partners; Andres Moreno, Founder and CEO, Open English; and Sean Wolfington, Founder, the Wolfington Companies.

“I couldn’t be happier to be working with such a diverse, engaged group of people who all care about the future of Miami’s budding entrepreneur community,” said Cisneros.

The board has recruited Laura Maydon to become Managing Director of the Endeavor Miami affiliate office. Maydon joins Endeavor with more than 15 years of experience developing new products, identifying new business opportunities, driving growth in various industries, including payments and financial services and with a strong M&A and private equity background. Her passion for entrepreneurship started early in her career when she worked first in investment banking and then at a private equity firm screening different businesses and evaluating investment opportunities in the Latin American region. Most recently, Laura worked on developing B2B payment solutions, partnerships and alliances in the region for Visa.

Maydon will immediately begin scoping Endeavor entrepreneur candidates who will be vetted by the local board and ultimately present at one of Endeavor’s upcoming International Selection Panels. Endeavor Entrepreneurs receive access to mentors and an international network of business professionals and resources including professional service firms and educational programs.

“We’re very excited about the prospect of helping talented entrepreneurs in Miami to scale up their businesses,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.  “There is a lot of talk about start-ups in Miami but Endeavor plays a unique role in identifying those businesses that are at a key inflection point and helping them to dramatically increase revenue and job creation.”

“The opening of Endeavor Miami’s doors is an important milestone in the city’s rise as an emerging hub for innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation and Endeavor Miami board member. “It signals a strong commitment from local leaders who are willing to invest in Miami’s future and who recognize its potential as a place where ideas are built.”

In the past 15 years Endeavor has selected over 800 high-impact entrepreneurs from 15 countries around the world in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, and Southeast Asia. In 2012, these entrepreneurs generated US $6.0BN in revenue and had created 225,000 jobs.

“We look forward to providing entrepreneurs in Miami with same kind of invaluable mentorship that has become Endeavor’s trademark,” said Endeavor co-founder and Miami board member Peter Kellner.

For an informational video about the new Miami affiliate and its board, view above or click here.  For more information on Endeavor Miami, click here to access the affiliate website.

 

In New Book, Endeavor Network Member Chris Schroeder Highlights Emerging Tech Entrepreneurship in Middle East

Endeavor network member Chris Schroeder has published a new book highlighting the quiet revolution in technology entrepreneurship happening across the MENA region.   The book, Start-Up Rising, is the product of dozens of interviews that Schroeder, an internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, completed across the region.  As part of his work, Schroeder — who spoke at Endeavor’s June 2013 Entrepreneur Summit and has served as an ISP panelist — includes interviews with key Endeavor MENA network members such as Fadi Ghandour and Arif Naqvi and two recently selected Endeavor Entrepreneur companies,  Egypt’s Bey2ollak and Jordan’s Jamalon.

Schroeder traveled to Cairo, Amman, Beirut, Istanbul and Damascus and was impressed by the  thousands of  “talented, successful, and intrepid young entrepreneurs willing to take on political, cultural, legal and societal challenges.”  Equally important, Schroeder saw major regional and international private equity firms, venture capitalists and global tech players like Google, Intel, Cisco, Yahoo, LinkedIn and PayPal making significant investments, despite the uncertainty in the region. He marries his own observations with the predictions of these giants to offer a surprising and timely look at the second stealth revolution in the Middle East — one that promises to reinvent it as a center of innovation and economic opportunity.

The book can be ordered online at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

 

 

2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit Video: Chris Zook

Bain & Company Partner and acclaimed business writer Chris Zook specializes in helping companies find new sources of profitable growth. He is the author of five books with Harvard Business Review Press and has been named one of the top 50 Business Thinkers by The Times of London. In his keynote, he presents insights and new research—drawing from Endeavor Entrepreneurs—on the unique mentality of founders.

 

Part 1

0:05 Intro to Chris Zook by Fernando Fabre
1:57 Overview of The Founders Mentality introduction
4:40 A World Led by Founder-Led Companies
13:23 Five Elements of The Founder’s Mentality
17:40 Endeavor Entrepreneurs and the Founder’s Mentality

 

Part 2

0:04 Be Aware of the Western Winds
2:33 How to Get the Founder’s Mentality Back
3:16 What to Avoid: Complexity, the Silent Killer of Growth

 

Part 3

0:04 What to Pursue: Repeatability as Path to Maintain a Founder’s Mentality
1:27 Three Examples of Repeatable Models
9:50 5 Dimensions of Founder’s Mentality and 3 Elements of Repeatable Models
12:18 Final Thoughts on The Founder’s Mentality

 

eMBA 2013 Field Report: Becoming One with Acesso Digital — An Adventure That Was Anything But Ordinary

Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming 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 Amanda Wu, a member of Cornell’s Johnson School of  Business Class of 2014, who is spending the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Brazil’s Acesso Digital:

Arriving in São Paulo at the beginning of winter, which meant 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius), I was encountered with a sense of comfort. The Brazilian landscape is one I am familiar with.

During my initial visit with Cornell, six months before my internship, I was fascinated with the people, business environment and culture. I knew I wanted to experience more of what Brazil had to offer. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity with Endeavor and even luckier with one of the most dynamic companies I have ever encountered, Acesso Digital.

Acesso Digital is a B2B technology solutions leader in document digitalization. The company offers a solution to scan, organize and store digital documents. Acesso understands the importance of digitalization and partners with their clients to help streamline internal processes and to revolutionize corporate culture away from paper.  With some of Brazil’s largest retail, banking and telecommunications clients, Acesso is well positioned to capture the segment. But, Acesso has a bigger dream and that is to become the “most admired company in Brazil”.  Since I was one of Acesso’s first eMBAs, I was eager to help them achieve that dream.

The Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Diego Martins and Paulo Allencastro are everything but ordinary. They have fostered a work environment that is fun, spontaneous and anything but monotonous. Two months prior to my arrival, Acesso moved to a new office and it is spectacular! There are sprawling city views and a  ping-pong table.  Every employee receives a stipend to customize their own desk. Customary sites include: employees getting around the office on a bicycle or scooter, walk into your office and being surprised with balloons and chocolates on every desk, and a golden retriever puppy raffled off as a present to a lucky employee. It is no surprise to me that the company recently ranked number 1 as the “Best IT workplace” in all of Brazil.

For my project at Acesso, I got the opportunity to collaborate with a fellow Endeavor eMBA who recently graduated from Harvard Business School. Our assignment was to bring a new perspective to the entrepreneurs and to develop new business opportunities. Through hosting interviews with Acesso’s top clients, innovation sessions with the leaders and employees, and even meeting with mentors in the Endeavor São Paulo network, it became evident that the new business opportunity would be to restructure Acesso’s product offering. The final result presented to Diego and Paulo consisted of five innovative product ideas, which included business opportunities in new industries, repackaging the current product offering and a completely new perspective of how Acesso can use their product.

As I reflect upon my experience, I only hope that I had a great impact that will propel Acesso to the next level. But the most important thing I realized is the bond I developed with Acesso Digital, Seres Acesso (employees) and Brazil was deeper than imagined. They are all a part of who I am. I am a Ser Acesso and Brazil will always be in my heart. Grandes beijos!

 

EBANX announces partnership with China’s AliExpress

 EBANX, an Endeavor Brazil supported company, recently announced a strategic alliance with AliExpress, an online retailer and an affiliate of the Chinese e-commerce giant AliBaba Group. Through this partnership, Brazilians will now be able to purchase any of the 54 million products offered by AliExpress (everything from car accessories to clothing to electronics) using their preferred local payment method, Boleto Bancario.

Founded in 2011, EBANX is the market leader in e-commerce payment solutions for International Merchants in Brazil. Previously, Brazilians could only make international purchases using international credit cards, which just 36% of the population has access to. Using EBANX, however, Brazilian consumers can buy foreign products using their preferred local payment method- Boleto Bancario, Domestic Bank Transfers (TEF), or Credit Cards, connecting them to the global e-commerce market. EBANX collects payments locally and transfers funds to merchants internationally with the fastest remittance method in the market today.

Ebanx founders Alphonse Voigt, João Guilherme Del Valle, and Wagner Ruiz were selected by Endeavor in December 2012.

 

The Wall Street Journal features Endeavor Argentina Company Restorando

In an article titled, “Can Restorando Beat OpenTable in Latin America,” The Wall Street Journal covered the Series B funding of Restorando, an Endeavor Argentina company. As the current leading online restaurant reservation service in Latin America, Restorando has operations in 10 cities across four countries in South America, relationships with more than 2,000 restaurants, and partnerships with major local players.

The company’s $13.3 million funding round was led by Boston-based Flybridge Capital. Five other backers, including Endeavor Catalyst and KaszeK Ventures, the VC firm of Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur Hernan Kazah and Endeavor Global Board Member Nicolas Szekasy, also participated. According to CEO Frank Martin, Restorando will use the capital to propel expansion throughout Latin America.
Frank Martin and his co-founder, Franco Silvetti, were selected by Endeavor in 2012.

To read the Wall Street Journal article, click here.

 

Endeavor Catalyst makes investment in Endeavor Entrepreneur Restorando

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, August 16, 2013 — Restorando, a provider of online restaurant reservations in Latin America, today announced it closed $13.3 million in Series B funding led by new investor Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from existing investors, Emergence Capital Partners, Kaszek Ventures, Atomico and Storm Ventures. The Endeavor Catalyst Fund also participated in the round. The company had previously raised $3.7 million in seed and Series A rounds, bringing total funds raised to $17 million.

Restorando, which currently serves restaurants and diners in major cities throughout Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, will utilize the funds to expand its team and accelerate growth in current cities and other countries throughout Latin America. As part of the funding, Flybridge Capital Partners General Partner Jon Karlen will join the company’s Board of Directors.

“Since launching in 2011, Restorando has done a fantastic job at testing and validating the online restaurant reservations model with both restaurants and diners in Latin America,” said Karlen. “With thousands of restaurants and more than 2 million diners now using the platform, it has quickly established itself as the dominant player in the market. We are thrilled to back the Restorando team and look forward to working with them as they continue to grow and expand.”

“Our focus over the past two years has been to take a business model that as been highly successful in other geographies, improve on it through cloud and mobile technology and superior customer service and then roll it out in a limited number of markets to prove it’s success. We have shown the model works, and now we are ready to expand,” said Frank Martin, CEO of Restorando. “Having the support of this group of investors, all of whom have experience investing and building other successful companies in Latin America, is truly amazing. This round not only gives us access to exceptional advisors, but will be provide us with the resources to scale Restorando throughout the region.”

Unlike many restaurant reservations systems, the Restorando platform is 100% cloud-based, making it fast, simple and free for restaurants to get signed up and using the system.

Key features and benefits of the platform include:

· Mobile enabled
· Free to diners
· “Hot” Tables with discounts

 

Click here to read more about this investment and Restorando in The Wall  Street Journal article, “Can Restorando Beat OpenTable in Latin America?”.

 

About Restorando

Restorando is a provider of a free, online restaurant reservation system in Latin American. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the company currently serves restaurants and diners in ten major cities in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. For more information, please visit www.restorando.com or on Twitter: @restorandoarg, @restorandobra, @ restorandochile, @ restorandoco

 

About Flybridge Capital Partners

Flybridge Capital Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm whose mission is to assist entrepreneurs in growing innovative, global companies. With $560 million under management, the firm is focused on seed and early-stage investing in technology markets and is led by a team with domain expertise and more than half a century of combined experience in venture capital. The firm has invested in over 60 companies including 10gen (the MongoDB Company), Brontes Technologies (acquired by 3M), Cartera Commerce, Crashlytics (acquired by Twitter) DataXu, Digital Lumens, Open English, Reveal Imaging (acquired by SAIC) and ZING (acquired by Dell). For more information, visit www.flybridge.com or follow us on Twitter @flybridgecap.

 

About Emergence Capital

Emergence Capital Partners, based in San Mateo, Calif., is a leading venture capital firm focused on early and growth-stage SaaS and technology-enabled services companies. Its mission is to empower business users and organizations around the globe by unleashing the power of technology-enabled services. The firm’s investments include Salesforce.com (CRM), SuccessFactors (acquired by SAP), Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), Lithium, Box, and Veeva Systems. Founded in 2003, Emergence Capital has $575 million under management. More information on Emergence Capital can be found at http://www.emcap.com/.

 

About Kaszek Ventures

Kaszek Ventures is the leading Latin American venture capital firm investing in high-impact tech entrepreneurs. Led by Nicolas Szekasy, MercadoLibre’s former CFO, and Hernan Kazah, MercadoLibre’s co-founder, the firm actively supports its 22 portfolio companies through value-added strategic guidance and hands-on operational help.

 

About Atomico

Atomico is an international technology investment firm, focused on helping the world’s most disruptive technology companies reach their full potential on a global scale. Founded by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype, they have become the investor of choice for ambitious entrepreneurs due to our unique international network, and ability to help companies operationally, with offices in London, Beijing, São Paulo, Istanbul and Tokyo. Their investments include category leaders such as Rovio, Jawbone, Fab, Klarna and Skype.

 

About Endeavor Catalyst

Endeavor Catalyst is a passive co-investment vehicle that allows Endeavor Global to co-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. To date, Endeavor Catalyst has invested in seven funding rounds of Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

Endeavor Global is a US-based nonprofit organization. Endeavor catalyzes economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. High-impact entrepreneurs have the biggest ideas and potential to create jobs and wealth, but they face many barriers to scaling up their businesses: lack of mentors, capital and talent, and limited business expertise. Endeavor helps them overcome these challenges by providing connections to mentors and investors as well as top talent and strategic services. Today, Endeavor’s 818 entrepreneurs lead 510 companies that generated over $6 billion in revenues in 2012 and have created over 225,000 jobs.

 

17 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey Join the Endeavor Network

Johannesburg, South Africa – August 16  – Endeavor selected 17 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 10 companies from Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey at its 49th International Selection Panel.  Endeavor now supports 818 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 510 companies in 15 emerging and growth market countries.  The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from August  13-15 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“It has been an amazing experience to host so many dynamic high-impact entrepreneurs who came here from four continents, “ said  Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “I’d like to extend a very special thanks to the board of Endeavor South Africa for hosting this event.”

The International Selection Panel (ISP) is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process.  At the ISP, top local and international business leaders interview candidates about their businesses and high-impact potential, and then vote on whether or not candidates become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Post-selection, Endeavor provides entrepreneurs with customized services,  including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating thousands of jobs and building sustainable growth models in their home countries.

Endeavor will host two additional International Selection Panels this year: Palo Alto, CA, October 2013 and Dubai, UAE, December 2013.

Brief descriptions of the selected entrepreneurs and companies follow:

 

BRAZIL

Magnamed

Entrepreneurs: Wataru Ueda, Tatsuo Suzuki & Toru Kinjo

Company: Magnamed

Description: Using the latest global technologies, Magnamed provides hospitals and other treatment providers with critical care equipment that is more affordable and effective than competing products. The company has four products, all related to lung ventilation, and all of which are compact, light, durable, and easy to use for those working with critical care patients.

 

EGYPT

Tabibi 24/7

Entrepreneurs: Karim Ragab, Dr. Khalil Abdel Khalek, Walid Abdel Hadi

Company: Tabibi 24/7 (www.tabibi247.com)

Description: Tabibi 24/7 is a healthcare company that provides 24-hour access to pediatric and family care in Cairo through two daytime clinics and around-the-clock home visits. With a focus on preventative care as well as treatment, Tabibi offers basic medical training courses and a daily health tip SMS service in addition to primary patient care.

 

GREECE

Fereikos-Helix

Entrepreneur: Maria and Penny Vlachou

Company: Fereikos-Helix

Description: Fereikos-Helix offers organic live snails and snail consumer products to wholesalers and retailers in Greece and throughout Europe. Its innovative supply chain model involves a network of 175 independent snail farmers. These farmers receive know-how and resources from Fereikos-Helix to produce high-quality, organic products year-round in an industry that largely relies on foraging, resulting in inconsistent product quality and availability.

 

INDONESIA

The Goods Group

Entrepreneur: Anton Wirjono

Company: The Goods Group

Description: The Goods Group, a chain of multi-label stores based in Jakarta, Indonesia, is fast becoming a major hub for fashion and lifestyle products from a selection of local and international brands. The Goods Group consists of a retail business (The Goods Department) and a restaurant line (The Goods Cafes and The Goods Diner).

 

JORDAN

Jamalon

Entrepreneur: Ala’ Al Sallal

Company: Jamalon (www.jamalon.com)

Description: Launched in 2010, Jamalon’s dual-language ecommerce platform provides unparalleled access to a comprehensive catalogue of books in English and Arabic. Since its inception, Jamalon has grown to include over nine million titles, developed metadata for 150,000 Arabic books, and expanded regionally to reach customers in eight MENA countries.

 

MEXICO

Grupo Filoa

Entrepreneur: Juan Jose Villarreal Portilla

Company: Grupo Filoa (www.grupofiloa.com)

Description: Grupo Filoa offers corporations and universities on-site food court and cafeteria catering solutions. The food court option includes ten diverse, proprietary brands, and all meals are designed by experienced restaurant chefs. Filoa has earned high satisfaction ratings from clients and their diners alike, providing highly personalized customer service and offering gourmet cafeteria food that people actually want to eat.

 

SAUDI ARABIA

OTS (Optimal Technology Solutions)

Entrepreneurs: Ahmed & Hassan Hamdan

Company: OTS (www.otsdc.com)

Description: OTS offers digital communication solutions to help businesses communicate and form meaningful relationships with their customers through web and mobile channels. Its most popular service is a bulk SMS platform to send millions of messages in an instant, and it also offers digital and mobile advertising, social media management, web and mobile app development. OTS has expertise in effectively reaching consumer audiences throughout MENA, with offices in Saudi Arabia and six other countries in the region, and clients in 20 countries.

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Cognician

Entrepreneurs: Barry Kayton, Patrick Kayton

Company: Cognician (www.cognician.com)

Description: Specializing in people development software, Cognician offers an interactive solution to large companies that seek an effective, scalable method for disseminating training and educational materials to employees. Cognician’s proprietary cloud-based software helps users at these firms explore a particular topic through a question-and-answer process.

RubyBox

Entrepreneur: Sylvia Gruber

Company: RubyBox (www.rubybox.co.za)

Description: RubyBox is a try-before-you-buy beauty subscription start-up that has developed into one of South Africa’s leading online beauty destinations. RubyBox members pay a monthly subscription fee to receive a customized box of premium beauty samples from top international and local brands. After customers identify the perfect product, they can purchase the full-size version from Rubybox’s online store featuring more than 60 brands.

 

TURKEY

Nisfud

Entrepreneur: Eren Merzeci

Company: Nisfud (www.nisfud.com)

Description: First established as the exclusive distributor for many popular American and European food products such as Pepperidge Farm cookies, Nisfud has since pivoted to develop a new market for frozen savory borek pie products. These are sold at retail chains under the brand name Nefista, a play on the Turkish word for delicious. In addition, Nisfud offers hotels, restaurants, and cafes a variety of frozen sweet and savory products.

 

Endeavor Wins Bronze Stevie® Award

Endeavor was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Company of the Year – Non-Profit or Government Organizations category in The 10th Annual International Business Awards. 

The International Business Awards are one of five awards programs organized by the Stevies.   All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small – are eligible to submit nominations. The 2013 IBAs received entries from more than 50 nations and territories.

More than 3,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Most Innovative Company of the Year, Management Team of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others.

Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process this year.   Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word for “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at a gala awards banquet at the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain on 14 October.

“The 2013 International Business Awards are noteworthy for featuring the best collection of entries we have ever received,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.  “The judges have been unanimous in their comments about the quality of achievements, and the expertise with which they were portrayed, in the nominations we received this year.  We extend our most heartfelt congratulations to all of this year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners.”

Details about The International Business Awards and the lists of Stevie Award winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

 

To vote for Endeavor for the People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Non-Profit, click the button below.

 

eMBA 2013 Field Report: Mobile Strategy at Brazil’s Minha Vida

Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming 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 Allison Averill, who is spending the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Brazil’s Minha Vida:

Five weeks into my project at Minha Vida in São Paulo, I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve been making. I’m working on mobile strategy for Dieta e Saúde, the largest online dieting program in Brazil. The Dieta e Saúde team is in the process of revamping their online platform and adding some exciting new products to their subscription-based dieting program. They’re taking a fresh look at their mobile products as part of this process. As I learned quickly, the project isn’t just about building an app with great features, it’s also about integrating mobile with the company’s overall business plan and coming up with a strategy that’s both cued in to the needs of the current user base and successful at acquiring new mobile-savvy customers.

I spent the first week getting up to speed with everything that’s going on in the company and in the mobile market in Brazil, which hasn’t quite reached U.S. levels ofsmartphone saturation, but isgetting there fast. From there, I began benchmarking Dieta e Saúde’s products against popular online and mobile dieting products in both the U.S. and Brazil. The proliferation of “freemium” weight loss apps, which offer the basics- a calorie counter, food database, and exercise tracking- for free and more advanced features for a monthly or annual subscription cost has changed the market in recent years. Still, established diets like Weight Watchers, Dukan, and South Beach, which offer their tools to paying subscribers only, are becoming more comfortable in the online space. Because Dieta e Saúde is a points-based dieting methodology, not just a calorie counter, it is important for us to find the right balance between these free tools and the more traditional diets that are expanding their products online.

I am currently working on designing surveys to collect some data from both our online subscribers and users of our free app. The idea is to figure out how we can improve user engagement by making the app a better tool for current subscribers, and how we can start converting more free app users into paying subscribers. If all goes well, I will have some data by the end of the week, present my findings to the team, and spend the last few weeks of the project working closely with my colleagues to map out a more detailed product plan.

I can’t thank the Minha Vida team enough for welcoming me into their office and making me feel right at home here in São Paulo. Although I am only here for a short time, I really look forward to following the company’s progress, especially in mobile. I am confident it will be great!

 

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