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Miami’s Kairos Acquires Emotion Analysis Firm IMRSV, Expands Product Offerings

The Miami-based facial recognition software company Kairos, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Brian Brackeen, announced that it has acquired the emotion analysis company IMRSV for $2.7 million. A New York-based startup, IMRSV will be folded into Kairos’ business structure […]

April 14th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week Around the World; Focuses on the Impact of Scale-Ups

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2014 took place from November 17th – 23rd with a number of activities in celebration of the innovators and leaders that are transforming economies and promoting ecosystems of entrepreneurship worldwide. This […]

November 30th, 2014 — by admin

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November 2013 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s November 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.


2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit Video: Ben Horowitz and Chris Schroeder

From Endeavor’s invitation only 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco (June 20, 2013).

Internet entrepreneur, investor and author Chris Schroeder has spent years researching the rise of a new generation of start-ups and entrepreneurs across the Middle East. Ben Horowitz has seen many generations of entrepreneurs, investors and companies from the front line: from his internship in the 1980s at Silicon Graphics (the Google of its day) to co-founding Opsware (sold to HP to $1.6 billion) to building US$2.7 billion venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Schroeder and Horowitz compare notes: what does it take to build a generation of entrepreneurs, investors and advisors that will bring innovation and impact to a region?


0:09 All the Creative, Smart People in the World Can Play

6:49 Snapshot of Innovation and Investing Around the World

18:10 On the Network Effect and Building Ecosystems beyond Silicon Valley

29:51 Final Words of Advice


Amr Shady, Endeavor Egypt Entrepreneur and Board Member, featured by VentureBeat and Deutsche Welle

Amr ShadyEndeavor Entrepreneur Amr Shady, the co-founder and CEO of T.A. Telecom, recently authored a guest post on leading tech news site Venture Beat. In his editorial, Shady argues that despite political instability in areas of the continent, the booming growth of a number of African economies represents  huge potential for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Click here to read the editorial in full.

Amr was also featured in Deutsche Wells’ program “Emerging Stars.” Click here to learn about Amr’s decision to launch T.A. Telecom instead of joining the family business, the intersection between work and faith, and his hopes for the future of the company.

Selected by Endeavor in 2011, Amr Shady is the co-founder and CEO of T.A. Telecom, a mobile services provider that delivers time- and location-specific content to subscribers. T.A. Telecom was listed on the Arabia Growth 500 and currently operates in Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.


Endeavor’s Investor Network Travels to Mexico

Mexico City logoThe Endeavor Investor Network officially launched in Mexico on Oct 30th with the program’s first-ever gathering in the country. Endeavor convened 25+ high-growth companies from Mexico and 25+ investment firms from the US, Europe, Mexico and the rest of Latin America for a one-day event focused on key growth sectors and investment opportunities in Mexico. Held at The Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City, the morning’s program featured several of Mexico’s most successful Endeavor Entrepreneurs – HDS, Enova, Vicky Form & Naranya  – as well as a star-studded panel on “Doing Business in Mexico” featuring Endeavor mentors Jean Michel Enriquez (CREEL), César Pérez (Southern Cross Group),Miguel Ángel Dávila (Latin Idea), and John Farrell (YouTube).

The afternoon was devoted to the Endeavor Investor Network’s signature “Speed-networking” session – matching entrepreneurs and investors together by geography, sector and stage – for quick 10 minute connections. Overall, more than 300 customized investor-to-entrepreneur connections were made in just a few short hours. A cocktail reception sponsored by BCG rounded out the day’s activities.

Held in conjunction with the Mobile Summit Mexico on October 31st, the Endeavor Investor Network gathering was generously supported by CREEL, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, and Mexico Ventures. Launched in April 2011, the Endeavor Investor Network is an invitation-only, annual membership program designed specifically for venture capital and growth equity firms. During this week’s event, Endeavor welcomed nine new Mexico-based investment firms as the newest members of the Endeavor Investor Network: Alta Ventures; Angel Ventures Mexico; Capital InventMx; Founders into Funders; GBM Global; Latin Idea Ventures; Naranya Ventures; PC Capital; and Venture Partners.  


Notably, three of the nine new members are investment funds led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs themselves. Heberto Taracena Ble (InventMx); Juan Manuel Alvarado (Founders into Funders); and Arturo Galvan (Naranya Ventures). According to Endeavor’s Global Network Vice President Allen Taylor, “to see Endeavor Entrepreneurs like Heberto, Juan Manuel and Arturo launching their own investment funds represents a very exciting step for Endeavor – and for the ecosystem in Mexico. Who better to help fund the next generation of great start-ups in Mexico than these types of High-Impact Entrepreneurs.”

With investors joining places like San Francisco, New York, and London, as well as Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Montevideo, several entrepreneurs noted that the event truly was the “first-of-its-kind” in Mexico. Endeavor Mexico MD Pilar Aguilar was encouraged by the day, added that “we hope this is the first of more to come!”In addition to joining the Mobile Summit Mexico event on Oct 31st, several investors also continued on to Bogota, Colombia for an event hosted by Endeavor Colombia.

The next gatherings of the Endeavor Investor Network will take place in Istanbul, Turkey in early December and Sao Paulo, Brazil in late January 2014. For more information, contact investornetwork@endeavor.org.


Conferencia Endeavor 2013 Bogota Highlights: Endeavor Insight Releases Tech Sector Map

logo-foot_2013Endeavor Insight, in collaboration with Endeavor Colombia, released a new study mapping the tech ecosystem in Bogotá and demonstrating the importance of the multiplier effect. As part of Conferencia Endeavor 2013, the map identifies a rich network of connections among more than 230 Bogotá tech companies. These connections have underpinned the growth of the Bogotá ecosystem over the last two decades, with successful entrepreneurs inspiring, mentoring, and investing in the current generation of tech founders. The rapid growth in the number of Bogotá tech companies, particularly over the past five years, reveals a number of key findings:

1) Over 90 Bogotá tech entrepreneurs have founded more than one company. The enthusiasm for serial entrepreneurship has not been met by a commensurate growth in the number of scaleup companies–companies greater than three years old and growing by 20% or more per year.

2) Both mentorship and investment are very limited, with a relatively small number of entrepreneurs giving back to other entrepreneurs in the network. As Bogotá’s tech ecosystem matures, it will need both high quality mentors and smart capital to accelerate the growth of its most promising companies.

3) Bogotá tech lacks a “big win”–a company that has seen significant financial success or a liquidity event. Wins like these provide the capital, both financial and human, necessary to initiate the multiplier effect.

Conferencia Endeavor

Building on this study and Endeavor Colombia’s leadership of the high-impact entrepreneurship movement there, the conference, held October 31st in Bogotá, featured panel discussions, presentations, and workshops highlighting the importance of high-impact entrepreneurship in Colombia. Endeavor entrepreneurs from throughout Latin America, including Hernán Kazah (in photo above, on far left) from Mercado Libre and René Lankenau from Advenio attended, along with regional and global business leaders from General Electric and Peixe Urbano.

Click here for some local press coverage of the event.

Colombia MultiplierTo view the whole map presentation, click here.

Endeavor launches a second Southeast Asian country affiliate in Malaysia

Malaysia Logo (small)Endeavor announced this month that it will add to its presence in Asia with the launch of its 2nd Asian affiliate in Malaysia.  The launch is supported by some of Malaysia’s most influential entrepreneurs and corporate heads and was announced during the 4th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted this year by the Malaysian government in Kuala Lumpur October 11 – 12.

With a population of 27 million, one of the smallest in the region, Malaysian entrepreneurs with significant growth potential must look outside their home country for growth opportunities. Operating in 18 countries around the world, Endeavor is poised to assist Malaysian entrepreneurs get the world class support they need to scale their businesses globally.

Recent trends show signs of optimism from entrepreneurs. Malaysia’s rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity, while still one of the lowest among efficiency-driven economies, has grown from 4 to 7% (2009-2012).  According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the fear of failure rate has fallen from 65% to 36% in the same time period.  Under the ‘New Economic Model’ (NEM) for Malaysia, the Prime Minister has made entrepreneurship the key driver of the economy for the next 10 years with special emphasis on innovation and the entrepreneurial drive of its citizens.

“We are excited to build on the existing positive momentum from the private & public sectors by focusing on what we do best,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Endeavor helps unleash the tremendous social and economic value of High-Impact Entrepreneurs.”

Founded in 1997, Endeavor selects and supports high-impact entrepreneurs who have the potential to scale from promising SMEs into companies that create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and generate significant revenues.  Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given world-class strategic mentoring advice, access to key networks and other tools and talent programs that will catapult them to success.

In the past 16 years Endeavor has selected 844 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 250,000 jobs.

All Endeavor affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of leading business people; each of whom believes that high-impact entrepreneurship can transform economies.  The Endeavor Malaysia founding board will be chaired by Afzal Abdul Rahim, CEO of TIME.  He will be joined by Mark Chang,  Founder & CEO of Jobstreet.com; Tony Fernandes, Founder of Tune Group; Nazir Razak, Managing Director & CEO of CIMB Group; Shahril Shamsuddin, President & CEO of SapuraKencana Petroleum; Brahmal Vasudevan, Founder & CEO of Creador; Wong Thean Soon, Co-founder & Managing Director of My EG Services.

“As an entrepreneur, I know how important mentorship can be,” said Board Chairman Rahim. “Endeavor can provide valuable support to Malaysia’s next generation of high impact entrepreneurs.”

The board has nominated Zaman Ahmad as Managing Director, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Malaysia. Mr. Ahmad previously served as an executive at Air Asia Bhd. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the Endeavor office in Kuala Lumpur and will be involved in screening the first entrepreneur candidates for consideration.


Endeavor Entrepreneur Companies Cited for Innovation: Jorge Soto’s Data4 Named Technology Pioneer by WEF China; Facebook Gives an Innovation Award to SocialWire

Endeavor Entrepreneur Jorge Soto‘s company Data4 (previously known as CitiVox) joined the 2014 Class of Technology Pioneers, an award organized by the World Economic Forum in China.  This is the first time a Mexican company has won this prize, which is granted to entrepreneurs building unique business solutions rather than adaptations.  Soto, whose business focuses on empowering citizens to communicate with municipal authorities through social media tools, was recently asked to join the administration of Mexican president Enrique Prieto Nieto to build a national digital strategy for Mexico.  “I’m going to learn to try to effect change from within,” says Soto.  “For now I hope to elevate the level of discussion.”

Meanwhile, Endeavor Turkey Entrepreneur Company Socialwire announced that it’s latest product, Dynamic Product Ads, received a Product Marketing Design Innovation Award from Facebook.  “We are thrilled about this recognition,” said Endeavor Entrepreneur and Socialwire founder Selcuk Atli.  “Our true validation has come from seeing some of the world’s largest e-commerce companies signing up to run evergreen campaigns with SocialWire, but the recognition from Facebook tells us that we share a vision for making social advertising more automated and predictable.”


Endeavor Insight joins the Kauffman Foundation and the World Bank in founding the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network

In the last few years, many policymakers and business leaders have recognized that high-impact entrepreneurship is critical for job creation, economic growth and innovation. While the increased focus on entrepreneurship is great news, it is clear that more research is needed to understand how leaders can best support growing companies in their cities and countries.

Last Friday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the creation of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN), which was co-founded by the Kauffman Foundation, the World Bank and Endeavor Insight to standardize data and work to gain a better understanding of policy barriers and what the right policies are for fostering entrepreneurship. In addition to the key founding partners, a number of other organizations have joined in this initiative. They include the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the Argidius Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, MaRS Data Catalyst, Nesta, Omidyar Network and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The research network will engage in the following activities:

• Support research that advances the network’s goals;
• Translate research into policy actions; and
• Generate lessons and insights for entrepreneurs and programs.

Next steps include:

• Sharing a research agenda that will guide the activities and decisions of the network;
• Identifying researchers and programs for collaboration;
• Organizing events that allow participants and others to come together and advance the network’s goals.

At Endeavor, we believe that these activities will be critical in creating more support for high-impact companies across the world and we look forward to joining our fellow founding organizations in advancing this important work.


At7Addak Relaunches Site and Traffic Explodes: New Partnership Program Helps MENA Game Creators And Reviewers Monetize Their Content


Endeavor Lebanon entrepreneur Brahms Chouity recently relaunched his gaming oriented website, at7Addak, to enormous positive response in the MENA region.  The site is a leading aggregator of Arab-language video games plus gaming reviews and articles for over 500,000 Arab gamers, with 80% of traffic coming from GCC countries (Jordan and the Gulf States). Since relaunch the site has received upwards of 40,000 daily visitors.

The new at7Addak features high-quality editorial and video content, created by a network of over 500+ collaborating Editors and Video Creators assuring comprehensive coverage of the world of gaming.  Most important, at7addak has developed a unique incentive-based Partnership Program which gives content creators a platform to create articles and videos, promote their material, and fully monetize their content. Depending on the level of traffic they generate, partners are paid every month directly to their bank accounts or credit cards.  This is a major step towards helping gaming innovators in the region make money for the very first time.

With the relaunch, at7addak has also positioned itself as a bridge for advertisers and corporate clients to work directly with gaming developers and content editors in the region, creating opportunities for promotion and product placement among a hard to reach but valuable demographic in the MENA region.   For an introduction to the world of MENA gaming,  click on the video link to see a presentation on the new site or view video below.


eMBA 2013 Field Report: Still questioning why the local David wins so often against the international Goliath? Here’s one reason why.

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 Jessica Chen, a member of the Harvard Business School Class of 2013, who spent the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Brazil’s Acesso Digital:

Acesso Digital is a São Paulo-based startup focused on moving Brazil’s paper culture into the cloud. They count some of Brazil’s premiere institutions, such as Itaú, among their clients. This summer, fresh after graduating from HBS, I jumped on a plane to Brazil, excited to work with the company and see their product.

Upon landing though – I have to be honest – I wasn’t particularly impressed. Acesso Digital’s product combines a basic document management/workflow tool with Kodak scanners that they send to clients’ branch offices across Brazil. In my experience working in the US, I had seen document management products that were leagues ahead in technological sophistication, but I also knew that those companies had tried to enter Brazil and failed. What on earth was going on?

To answer that question, I need to rewind to the company’s founding. In addition to their document management solution, Acesso Digital has an even more ambitious second mission – to become the best place to work in the world, bar none. With this dream in mind, the company leaders encouraged each of their employees to pursue their own dreams, whether it is to travel, to get in shape, or to develop professionally. Today, Acesso Digital is less a company and more a team, comprised of every employee at the company, from CEO to housekeeper, who continuously support, push, and celebrate each other, both inside and outside the workplace. That’s pretty impressive for a company that’s now well over a hundred employees, not to mention pretty impossible for other companies to replicate.

This concept of fulfilling dreams translates further into a deep understanding of customer pain points, which results in a product that is designed to make clients’ lives fundamentally better. That is one of the key reasons for the company’s success in the Brazilian market.

Let me explain.  My project involved recommending new product opportunities. In pursuit of this goal, I worked with another eMBA intern to think of solutions for unsolved customer pain points that optimized the company’s existing strengths. We met with clients across a slew of industries and were given the license to ask any question. They spoke with surprising candor and I began to understand Brazilians – how they live, work, play, and struggle on a daily basis. I began to speak Portuguese and understand the nuances of the language, how common Portuguese words that have no English translation define Brazilian culture. I began to understand the impact of the government in all industries and why Brazilians protest to make the government more accountable to the people.

I began to understand Acesso Digital’s clients as they do. Customers don’t need bells and whistles (and the associated price tag) to solve the fundamental pain of dealing with paper, of waiting forever for the postal system and losing critical information, of losing money to fraudulent identification documents. Unlike US multinationals exporting a product, Acesso Digital created a solution for their clients that simply made their lives better.

It was only after taking the time to observe and to listen that I could make an impact myself. I realized the areas where my US work experiences overlapped with the Brazilian business environment and started sharing best practices and making observations on how the company might improve. On their part, Acesso Digital was eager to learn and gave us incredible flexibility in doing our work; it was pretty amazing. For example, I came up with an idea in the shower one morning to host an ideation session utilizing the diverse talent across the company, and by the following morning, we had over a hundred new product ideas on yellow sticky notes.

Acesso Digital opened my eyes this summer and in so doing, enabled my dream as well. I originally thought it was by happenstance, but now I realize it’s the company’s secret – they are an insidious dream-fulfilling machine. My dream, both personally and professionally, has always been to experience amazing adventures. I’ve found no better way to accomplish this than to work around the world – adapting to new cultures, meeting new people, thinking innovatively about new challenges. And for me, the best measure of how worthwhile an adventure is how much is learned by the end of the experience. Never in my life had I experienced a learning curve so steep. I’m incredibly thankful to Acesso Digital in helping me grow as a professional and as a person, and so much saudade for the friends made and the lessons along the way.


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