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

Mobile gift card provider Gyft, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, recently announced its acquisition by First Data, a payment technology solutions provider. Based in San Francisco, Gyft has been boosted by recent funding and new merchant onboarding, […]

August 1st, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Summit Day Two: Thoughts on building a company and recruiting talent from Ben Horowitz (Andreessen Horowitz), Roy Gilbert (Grockit), and other founders

The Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit featured a number of dynamic fireside chats between Endeavor mentors and Silicon Valley business leaders. “Thinking Bigger: How to Build an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” was a discussion between Ben Horowitz and Chris Schroeder. Horowitz co-founded Opsware (originally Loudcloud), an enterprise software company that was acquired by HP for $1.6 billion. In 2009 he co-founded Andreessen Horowitz, a Venture Capital firm that advises tech startups and companies. Schroeder is an Endeavor mentor, the CEO of washingpost.newsweek interactive and LegiSlate and founder of healthcentral.com. Said Horowitz, memorably, “I hope you have an irrational desire to build a company – you will need it!”

Another session, “Founder’s Assortment: From Talent to Term Sheets,” featured speakers Gina Bianchini and Roy Gilbert. Bianchini – an Endeavor Senior Advisor, co-founded Ning, a social platform for groups of interest and is the founder and CEO of Mightybell, a site that encourages people to chase their passions. A former Navy officer, Gilbert has led multiple projects for Google. He now serves as the CEO of Grockit, an online learning site helping students from kindergarten up prepare for tests.

Bianchini and Gilbert discussed a myriad of topics such as recruiting, growth, and inspiring your team. Bianchini cautioned that “entrepreneurship is not a zero-sum game” and that “lessons of failures must be shared to create value” within a business. She said, “It is really hard to reverse engineer success and disruption,” advising that sometimes experimental learning within a company is the best course to success (if done with patience).

Bianchini also gave advice on how to pick your team: “The people that are excited about the challenges are the ones that will move your idea forward.” And how do you retain your team once you pick them? “Growth produces the most opportunities but can also the most casualties,” Gilbert cautioned. But while you have a team together, make the most of it, he said. “Learning from each other is much more effective than a classroom; reflection and laughter are critical success factors.”

Endeavor Summit Day Two: Dave Goldberg (CEO, SurveyMonkey), Andres Moreno (CEO, OpenEnglish), and other founders share entrepreneurial advice

In a fireside chat at the Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit, Endeavor Entrepreneur (and Global Board member) Wences Casares and SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg  discussed their roles as “Founders, CEOs, and Founding CEOs.”

Born in Argentina, Casares began his career by launching his country’s first Internet Service Provider. He went on to launch Latin America’s first online stock trader, Patagon.com, which he sold to Banco Santander in 2000.

Goldberg had his first success at age 26, when he sold his startup Launch Media to Yahoo!. When Goldberg became CEO of SurveyMonkey, the company had 14 employees. Today it is a worldwide enterprise worth $1 billion and, as Goldberg described it, “the ultimate lean startup.”

Following one of the themes of the Summit, Goldberg gave advice on how to pick your team: “Work with people you like to work with, work with people smarter than you, and work to people’s strengths.”

He also talked about how to grow a business the right way. “Find businesses where you can grow profitably makes raising to capital to scale much easier,” he said, cautioning against the common goal of scaling before trying to become profitable.

What to do when you’re having a hard time just getting that initial investment? “When investors told us no, we were challenged to prove them wrong,” said Goldberg. But Casares cautioned that entrepreneurs should make sure they’re going into the venture capital meeting with the right mindset. How? “Don’t prepare for your venture capital meeting like you would the SATs; prepare as you would for a first date,” said Casares, referring to the need for interpersonal (not just academic) preparation.

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In “An Open Conversation with Open English,” John McIntire, an active Endeavor mentor and Chairman of Open English (among other Latin American companies), interviewed Andres Moreno, the founder and CEO of Open English, a popular online English language school. He discussed how his company started out small and grew into a global brand. What drove this success? “Helping people to be more competitive is something that drives our passion and efforts,” he said.

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David Kidder, bestselling author and co-founder and CEO of Bionic, moderated “The Scale-up Playbook,” a panel discussion between Mitch Free, Hosain Rahman, and Aileen Lee.

Free is the founder and Executive Chairman of MFG.com, a virtual worldwide manufacturing marketplace. Rahman is the founder and CEO of Jawbone, an innovative tech company. Lee worked for a number of companies before joining the team at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. There, she focuses on consumer-oriented digital companies. She is also the founder of Cowboy Ventures, which invests in seed-stage digital companies.

On the topic of hiring employees, the best interview question (according to Lee) is, “In your performance reviews, what negative feedback have you received?”  When it comes to working with employees, Free reminded attendees that, “Every person is a genius in something.”

And when you start to think about your products, Lee says, “It’s one thing to build a product that people buy and don’t use. It’s another to build a product that delights.” And when you get around to designing those products, Rahman says, “Design is attention to details.”

Endeavor Summit Day Two: Reflections from John Donahoe, President & CEO of eBay

“The Commerce Revolution.” This was the topic of the Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit session led by John Donahoe, who became President and CEO of eBay in 2008. In 2012, eBay enabled 18% of all global e-commerce.

Donahoe talked about how the landscape for buying products is changing rapidly. “The online and offline distinction in commerce is getting blurred,” he said, so it is especially important for new businesses to learn how to incorporate both and make them work together to better the company.

Another much-tweeted tip for success: “The best leaders learn the fastest,” so you better get going!

During another moment, he gave kudos to several Endeavor Entrepreneur companies (including Buscalibre, Ideame, and Pozitron) for working with eBay on commerce-related projects.

 

Endeavor Summit Day One: Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, angel investor Ali Partovi and TechCrunch editor Eric Eldon

The first day of the 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit featured a much-discussed discussion between two Silicon Valley stars — Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone.

Dorsey is the creator and current chairman of Twitter and the founder of Square, a device that allows anyone to accept credit cards for their business via their smartphone or tablet. Stone is co-founder of Twitter and The Obvious Corporation. He most recently co-founded the startup Jelly.

The twist? Neither Dorsey or Stone started out with entrepreneurial mindsets. Dorsey spoke about how he and Twitter’s other early employees “never had to think about building a company; it was all about the idea.” For Dorsey, Twitter was all about conversation and its potential for changing the world. Similarly, when creating Square, he hoped to fix a problem first and foremost.

Stone’s reaction to Dorsey’s description of Square prompted one of the session’s most tweeted quotes: “Every transaction is a social event!”

Both entrepreneurs spoke about the importance of company leadership. Dorsey talked about how setting the right example at work is key, saying, “If I spend all my energy on being worried, the whole company will be worried” and “Founders’ happiness sets the tone [for company culture].” It can also reach the end product, he said: “Negative energy in the company morale will manifest itself in a company product.”

Stone discussed the necessity of passion, citing it as a requirement for starting a business. “When you are emotionally invested in something, it will carry you through the bad times,” he said. Both agreed that passion is often the difference between success and failure. Bottom line? Love what you do, and the business will come.

Another Summit session spotlighted advice from Ali Partovi, an investor with an eye for success. A serial entrepreneur, he co-founded iLike, LinkExchange (sold to Microsoft for $265 million), and Code.org, and invested in the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Zappos, Airbnb, and Viagogo at their early stages. In “The Instinct for Impact,” a fireside chat with Eric Eldon, editor of TechCrunch and co-founder of Inside Network, Partovi revealed that his current work revolves around sustainable agriculture.

More generally, Partovi, emphasized the importance of the people who make up companies. “Every success can be related to great hiring [and] people and every failure can be related to poor hiring,” he said.

Partovi also stressed the importance of focus in starting a business. Playing on the “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” cliche, he countered, “How many eggs do you have to have before you need a second basket?” According to Partovi, failure to heed this mantra was his biggest mistake in his early entrepreneurial career.

On perseverance and setbacks, he advised, “Don’t let your fear of failing stop you from taking risks” and, if you do fail, “fail quickly.”

 

Entrepreneurs and investors unite at pre-Summit Investor Network event

The 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit kicked off with a half-day Investor Network event, where Endeavor Entrepreneurs had the opportunity to learn from and network with investors from Silicon Valley and around the world.

Hosted at Greenberg Traurig in San Francisco, the day kicked off with a panel called “Financing Growth–From Startup to IPO,” where three experts shared best practices around successfully raising capital throughout a company’s life cycle. The panelists were Steve Alper, Managing Director and Head of Investment Services for Barclays; Santiago Subotovsky, an Endeavor Entrepreneur and principal at Emergence Capital; and Dave McClure, Founding Partner at 500 Startups.

While the entrepreneurs heard tips and insights (some of which are highlighted below), a separate “investor session” convened investors from global growth markets. Investors from Argentina and Mexico to Brazil and Turkey shared best practices and discussed investment trends and opportunities.

Later, at a customized speed networking session, Endeavor organized one-on-one meetings between investors and entrepreneurs. Networking continued over lunch at the former Williams Sonoma Facility, where founders and funders participated in a friendly cook-off!

Highlighted below are some of the top entrepreneur “tips” (paraphrased) from the investor network panel…

1. We don’t want to hear about companies that do a little bit of everything. That’s difficult to scale. Running one business is hard enough, running multiple ones is harder, and getting a liquidity event for a do-everything business is hardest of all. (Santiago)
2. When pitching an investor, make sure not to talk only about your own background and the background of the team. Make sure to talk about your business! Sounds simple, but ignored too often. (Steve)

3. When pitching, make sure to do background research on the investors. Don’t pitch from a script. Customize your pitch to their personality, needs, and unique investment interests. Also, pay close attention to their body language and gestures, and even use standard sales techniques such as using leading questions to get them to reveal their interests. (Dave)

4. When choosing an investor, too often entrepreneurs focus on the brand name of the funds and not the individuals at those funds that they’ll actually be working with. Remember, you’re not building a relationship with a place so much as with a person. (Santiago)

5. If you need funding, don’t just think about VCs but other sources — for instance, family offices. However, with family offices, keep in mind that they’re often laser-focused on a particular “niche” or industry, so make sure your business fits into their wheelhouse. (Steve)

6. Thinking about going public? One of the biggest challenges is corporate governance and oversight; if you’re seriously thinking of going public, prepare yourself by operating like a public company in the lead-up. (Santiago)

7. Most investors in Silicon Valley don’t pay too much attention beyond the Valley and places like New York. If you’re a company abroad, seek out investors with matching regional interests (though admittedly, that’s easier said than done). (Dave)

8. No surprise: recently there’s been a pull-back in investor interest for consumer e-commerce companies, because so many have been seen as overvalued. A lot of this apprehension is unfounded. But like it or not, the bar is higher on an expectations basis; there is less toleration of risk with e-commerce companies. (Dave)

9. When you pitch to investors, don’t forget to connect your vision and passion to the commercial application. Too many entrepreneurs forget this. (Steve)

10. Think big. Especially as an Endeavor Entrepreneur, if you think big enough and take advantage of the Endeavor network and resources, you’ll be in good shape. Also, take advantage of local frictions and advantages of your local emerging market as a way of beating out multinational competitors at their own game. (Santiago)

11. Most U.S. entrepreneurs aren’t very good at going global. As an international entrepreneur, use this to your advantage by seizing opportunities for “copycat” business models. And in the end, they’re rarely copycats anyway since you’re tailoring these concepts in a unique way to your local context. (Dave)

12. When I listen to an entrepreneur pitch, I want to hear past tense, not future tense. Tell me what you’ve already done. The way you executed in the last six to 12 months is more important often than your five- to 10-year future projections. (Dave)

13. Endeavor Entrepreneurs, make sure to support Endeavor’s efforts. The folks at Endeavor provide amazing support. They open doors to the world. They’re a tremendous organization all over the world and you’re lucky to have an organization like this guide you on your way. Make sure to pay it forward by giving back. (Dave)

Miami Herald Highlights Endeavor Colombia and EE Campoalto’s Expansion to Miami

In a far reaching article meant to coincide with the upcoming launch of Endeavor’s Miami affiliate, the Miami Herald sent reporters to Colombia to study Endeavor’s success in helping to scale entrepreneurial businesses in that country.  Central to the article was a look at Endeavor Entrepreneur Campoalto, a leading provider of vocational programs for health care professionals, and its plans to expand into South Florida.

Reporter Jim Wyss noted that Endeavor Colombia now supports 20 companies with businesses varying from health clubs (Bodytech) to bio-pesticides (Ecoflora) which together at year-end 2012 generated $277 million of revenues and employed nearly 6,000 workers.  Campoalto, which was selected by Endeavor in 2010, focuses on providing training in healthcare professions to low income students, over 70 percent of whom are female.  Endeavor provided the entrepreneurs with a board of directors and access to finance.  The company now operates eight campuses across Bogota, including a full equipped clinic facility, and offers flexible schedules and a pay-as-you-go model.  It will open a campus in Miami, called Highfield, and target Latino immigrants who will be provided English-language training alongside traditional vocational courses.

Wyss points out that the fact that Campoalto and Endeavor are coming to Miami at the same time is a coincidence, but that Endeavor has already been opening doors for entrepreneur Andres Argulo in the South Florida business community.  “People [in Miami] are calling me because I’m an Endeavor company,” he said.  “Endeavor has become my calling card.”

 

 

 

Endeavor Uruguay hosts “Mega” Experiencia

Endeavor Uruguay shattered all records for its annual Experiencia entrepreneurship event, attracting over 1,500 people to attend a sold-out full day program on June 13 that included presentations by Endeavor Entrepreneurs from across the Southern cone, workshops lead by 50 business leaders and Endeavor mentors plus an exuberant final networking reception.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs who related their experiences to the audience made up largely of young entrepreneurs were local Endeavor stars Sebastian Lateulade of  TodoTV Media and the three entrepreneurs behind regional online ordering platform Pedidos Ya; Chile’s Pamela Chavez of  Aguamarina and Alberto Gana of Latitud90; and from Argentina Martin Frascaroli from  Aivo and Guibert Englebienne from software powerhouse Globant.  In addition to the entrepreneur presentations, delegates shared their ideas, projects and future strategies with 30+ business leaders who supported these entrepreneurs in business-critical areas and provided a comprehensive feedback.

The event was picked up  widely by local media with reports in newspapers and on TV and radio.  The event website received over 6,000 visits. Click on the Youtube clip to get a sense of the event or view video below.

 

 

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Star at Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Conference

Endeavor Partner Ernst & Young hosted their annual World Entrepreneur Conference and World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards program in Monte Carlo June 5 – 7 and a number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs were highlighted during the event.   Three Endeavor Entrepreneurs were winners at the country level for this year’s WEOY competition:  Mario Hernandez of Marroquinera (Colombia): Martin Migoya from Globant (Argentina); Jorge Pacheco from Oxxean (Chile).  In addition, two Endeavor Entrepreneurs — Labib Shalak of Mobinets (Lebanon) and Karina von Baer, an Endeavor Entrepreneur for her original company Oliotop (Chile) — were invited to be part of event panels.  A new part of this year’s program were the Mentoring Great Minds business plan review sessions, where Endeavor Entrepreneurs Gustavo Travasso of MXT (Brazil) and Felipe Valdes of Tiaxa (Chile) met with a group of panelists from EY, former EY Entrepreneur of the Year Winners and Endeavor Board Chair Edgar Bronfman for highly interactive discussions about their business challenges.  Huge thanks to Maria Pinelli and her team from  Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Markets  for their help in highlighting Endeavor at this year’s conference. “It is great to see both companies take advantage of the synergies in their missions – kudos for that, ” said entrepreneur Valdes. “Nothing helps entrepreneurs more than a network of talented and committed people coming together.”

 

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Cited as Leaders in New Wave of Latin E-commerce

Rapid growth in internet access across Latin America is leading to a host of new business opportunities in e-commerce and payments across the region.  That is the conclusion of a recent article in British newsletter Pathfinderbuzz.  Reporter Freddie Dawson cites a number of recently selected Endeavor companies providing online services as well as alternative payments providers including AstroPay, Buscalibre, ConexredPagosonline, PedidosYa and Restorando.  Read more here.

June 2013 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s June 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.

 

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