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Endeavor Investor Network’s Latin American Venture Forum Gathers 160+ Entrepreneurs and Investors in Bogotá

Last week, Endeavor Global and Endeavor Colombia hosted the inaugural Latin American Venture Forum in partnership with Bancoldex. This event gathered over 30 of the most active regional funds in Colombia for a day of content, discussion […]

September 16th, 2014 — by admin

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Colombia’s Ecoflora Featured in WIPO Case Study Highlighting Advancements in R&D

Colombia-based Ecoflora, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Nicolás Cock Duque, was recently profiled in a case study by the World Intellectual Property Organization, a global forum for IP services, policy and cooperation, created as part of the United Nations and including more than […]

April 4th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Brazil Releases Documentary Series Trailer

Endeavor Brazil put together a preview video for their new documentary series, “Go For It”. The series will focus on six Brazilian start-up businesses, as well as the entrepreneurial environment in the country.

The trailer below, which has English subtitles, introduces these high-impact entrepreneurs and their stories.

 

 

 

Going big for impact: more entrepreneur-support organizations should help large businesses maximize growth

Endeavor Insight releases a new report, “Creating Capacity: Comparison of Organizations Supporting Entrepreneurship Across the World”.

Organizations that support high-impact entrepreneurs help to create new jobs and economic growth. However, not all companies are created equally. A new micro-enterprise may employ one to three people but a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) that becomes large will go from 20 to 35 employees to over 250. With the support of mentors, investors, and advisors, these growing SMEs can reach this threshold even faster. Despite the potential for impact, Endeavor Insight’s survey of 42 member organizations of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) shows that too few organizations focus on these high-impact entrepreneurs, leaving valuable opportunities to incubate economy-changing companies untapped in the process.

A 2012 survey by Endeavor Insight shows that only 26 percent of development entrepreneurship organizations are focusing on businesses that can become large and make a meaningful impact. Fifty percent may work with high-growth companies with revenue or job growth above 20 percent annually, but nearly half of these work predominately with micro-enterprises. Even a five-employee firm, on the upper end of the micro-enterprise scale, would take almost two years to make a sixth hire at these growth rates. A 250-person firm growing at the same rate would add over 100 jobs in the same period.

Supporting small entrepreneurs will always be an important element of the entrepreneurship and development toolkit, but as economies grow, entrepreneur-support organizations should be ready to build large companies with 250+ employees and strong revenue growth. Doing so will lead to greater GDP growth and will create inspirational examples for future high-impact entrepreneurs. For the 74 percent of organizations focused exclusively on micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs, thinking bigger can entrench and multiply their impact.

For more information, please read the full report here.

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Endeavor February 2013 newsletter

To view Endeavor’s February 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.

Endeavor Turkey holds second Good Investment Summit

Endeavor Turkey held its second Good Investment Summit on January 10th to target potential angel investors in the country.  220 people attended this summit in Istanbul, at which consultants from Angel Resource Institute (ARI) worked with investors and entrepreneurs. Angel Investors John May and Robert Okabe spoke on fundamental topics such as pitching to investors, angel portfolio strategy, due diligence and valuation.

A second summit was held the following day for 50 people in Ankara, Turkey’s capital and second largest city.

“In addition to delivering technical training, this program is a live and interactive showcase of top angel investors and angel-funded entrepreneurs to inspire and guide potential angels, early stage entrepreneurs and other community partners,” said Didem Altop, Endeavor Turkey’s Managing Director. “This know-how and experience exchange platform is crucial in building effective angel investor networks for Turkey’s emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

These events were made possible with the partnership of TUSIAD and ARI and the sponsorship of Akbank and Turkcell.

 For more information, see here .

Want to intern with Endeavor this summer? Internship applications now open.

Endeavor seeks strategic global thinkers to join its team for 6-10 weeks this summer in our New York office.  Interns will have the opportunity to learn about every component of Endeavor’s model, spend time with Endeavor’s President and CEO, and present their final research projects to the entire Endeavor organization.

Examples of past projects conducted by interns include:

·         Mapping connections among 200+ Argentinean VCs and entrepreneurs to understand network effects in entrepreneurial ecosystem, culminating in a YouTube video with 8,000+ views: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g95QGhqAus&hd=1.

·         Conducting interviews with Endeavor Entrepreneurs who have a direct social impact (e.g., extending financial services to “bottom of the pyramid” clients) to understand the key drivers of growth and expansion for firms in the social enterprise sector.

·         Investigating common characteristics and needs among specific types of Endeavor Entrepreneurs (e.g. social entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs).

·         Writing and editing sections of the 6-8 page profiles (case studies) that are the culminating representation of Endeavor’s search process.

Qualifications

·         Passionate about entrepreneurship and economic development in growth markets.

·         Current top students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, with a strong academic record in any field.

·         Exceptionally strong English language writing skills

·         A creative thinker who can execute complex quantitative and qualitative research projects.

·         Strong cultural and interpersonal skills for working with international team members.

·         Self-starter who is independent and able to meet or beat tight deadlines.

Timeframe

Interns will be interviewed beginning in February/March and notified of final decisions by mid-April.

Compensation

Although Endeavor cannot offer compensation for this internship, we will support qualified candidates to seek out external funding. In past years, the majority of our interns have been able to secure funding either through their university or through external sources that support social enterprise.

How to apply

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the deadline of April 1, 2013.  All applicants should prepare a cover letter explaining why they want to work at Endeavor and why they are the best candidate for this position. Applicants should submit this cover letter and a resume through our online application at www.endeavor.org/talent. Due to the overwhelming amount of applications, we can only respond directly to select applicants. No calls please, and best of luck!

Endeavor Middle East affiliates featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

A feature article on Endeavor’s impact in Egypt and Jordan was published in the current issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR). SSIR is a Stanford University magazine and website written to inform and inspire social change. The award-winning Review spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in tackling a diverse range of global challenges.

In this article by Jamil Wyne entitled “Investing in Arab Entrepreneurs”, the success of Endeavor’s model is demonstrated through the stories of several inspiring entrepreneurs in the emerging market of the Arab world.

Investing in Arab Entrepreneurs

Endeavor’s expansion to Egypt and Jordan is helping to create thousands of jobs.

By Jamil Wyne | Winter 2013

” In 2011, Amin Amin was stuck: His primary investor threatened to take over his company, Change Agent for Arab   Development and Education Reform (CADER). The CADER model was unique, providing professional training to teachers to improve educational capacity in the Arab world. It had also turned a profit, nearly doubling its revenues annually between 2005 and 2011. CADER provided a financially sustainable solution for the region’s educational challenges, but this could not prevent Amin from losing the institution he had built from the ground up. He had two options: relinquish control for a fraction of the company’s valuation or purchase it for a price beyond its value.

In need of sound legal counsel and strategic guidance as well as moral support, Amin turned to the Jordanian arm of Endeavor, a nonprofit that identifies and supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. In 2009, Amin had become one of the first Jordanians to be selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur. Throughout the dilemma with his investor, Endeavor provided him with pro bono consulting and legal advice, guiding him to a resolution. Although Amin left CADER, he assumed a new position as CEO of ASK for Human Capacity Building, a company that designs tailor-made training programs to improve the region’s education system and labor market—and where Amin continues to receive Endeavor support.

Endeavor operates similarly to a venture capital firm, but takes no equity in its entrepreneurs’ companies. Instead, it pairs its entrepreneurs with top-notch business development services, a practice that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman termed the “mentor capitalist” model. The nonprofit—which was founded in 1997 by Americans Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner and has offices in 14 developing countries, with headquarters in New York City—selects, mentors, and accelerates those rare individuals who can grow an innovative idea into a globally competitive enterprise.”

Reprinted from the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Read the full article here.

Endeavor Catalyst makes first investment in Mexico

Joins IGNIA led investment in Endeavor Entrepreneur Procesa Chiapas

México City January 29th, 2013. IGNIA Fund I, the largest impact investing Fund in Latin America, announced today the joint investment with Endeavor Catalyst of $ 104.4 million pesos in Procesamiento Especializado de Alimentos (“Procesa Chiapas”).

Procesa Chiapas has developed products with high nutritional value for different markets, including low-income children who are served through government food assistance programs.

Among its brands is “Marina Azul ®”, Mexico’s first tuna offered in a pouch, which allows for a higher quality product with the convenience of a single-serving, easy-to-open and consume product. Marina Azul ®” has been distributed in supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide since 2006. The Company also markets products fortified with essential vitamins and minerals for specific population segments suffering from nutritional deficiencies.

IGNIA Fund I and Endeavor Catalyst invested in Procesa Chiapas to enhance its business expansion, new product development, management team and reinforce its productive capacity.

“This investment represents a major milestone in the life of our company, as it validates a business model with high social impact for Mexico and allows us to strengthen our financial, operational and business structure.  With this investment, we will achieve the ambitious goals jointly set with IGNIA and Endeavor, where nutrition is the factor of utmost importance” stated Mauricio Pariente, the company’s CEO. Procesa Chiapas is preparing an additional funding round.

IGNIA’s team has worked side by side with Procesa Chiapas for the last 5 months, developing the company’s future business plan and investment strategy. “IGNIA’s vision is to help build a more equitable Mexico. Achieving high quality nutrition and a balanced diet that is affordable and accessible for all levels of society is part of our solution. That is why we are investing in Procesa Chiapas, a company with innovative and agile entrepreneurs with a social conscience, “said Leon Kraig, Partner and Managing Director of IGNIA.

“Procesa Chiapas is the first investment of Endeavor Catalyst in Mexico,” said Linda Rottenberg, co-founder of Endeavor.  “This is an example of high-impact entrepreneurs whose vision and innovation are helping Mexico”, she added. Pilar Aguilar of Endeavor Mexico added: “At Endeavor we have seen Procesa Chiapas transform itself from a micro business with a local model, to a large company with a national footprint. Endeavor is proud to support entrepreneurs whose vision, work and commitment towards Mexico can transform an industry and improve the quality of life of millions of Mexicans”. Endeavor Catalyst has invested in Procesa Chiapas as part of its mandate to co-invest in the professional funding rounds of all Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Procesa Chiapas was chosen as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2007.

For more information, please contact:

Tanya Beja

tb@ignia.com.mx

————————————————————————————————————————–

Procesa Chiapas is a company focused on nutrition through the production and commercialization of high quality products that benefit all sectors of the population, especially those most vulnerable by their socio-economic, geographical and cultural conditions. For more information please visit: http://www.marina-azul.com/

IGNIA Fund I, LP is an impact investing venture capital firm based in Monterrey, Mexico that supports the founding and expansion of high growth social enterprises that serve the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Mexico. By providing effective responses to the enormously underserved needs of low income populations in high-impact activities, IGNIA empowers entrepreneurship and generates social impact while creating attractive financial returns for its investors.

Endeavor has been hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as “the best anti-poverty program of all.” Endeavor is a leading global movement that catalyzes long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 30,000 entrepreneurs and selected 766 individuals leading 476 high-impact companies. For additional information, please visit www.endeavor.org

Endeavor Catalyst is an innovative, passive investment pool that uses donated capital to co-invest in Endeavor Entrepreneur funding rounds in a neutral, rules-based process.  The main goal of this program is to harness the value creation of entrepreneurs to produce investment returns that support Endeavor Global’s operations with proceeds that are reinvested in future Endeavor Entrepreneurs’ venture rounds.

 

Calling All eMBA Alumni: Reunion Cocktail Party on Feb. 13 in NYC!

eMBA Alumni: join us for a free cocktail party from 6 PM – 8:30 PM on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 in New York City!

Why should you attend?

• It will be a fabulous night to reconnect with Endeavor and hear (briefly) about what’s taken us to 14 countries (soon more) where we support over 475 companies.

• Mix’n’mingle with former MBAs who had great experiences with awesome innovators from all corners of the world.

• Help us understand what opportunities (partnerships, etc.) are out there in the world that can help take Endeavor to the next level.

• Share with us your eMBA experience and help Endeavor continuously improve the eMBA program  for both Endeavor Entrepreneurs and MBA students in the future.

Spouses are welcome to attend; however, space is limited. For more details and to RSVP, please email us.

Not in New York City? We hope to hold a similar event near you soon! Please provide us with your updated contact information, and we’ll keep you informed about future Endeavor events and opportunities in your region.

You can also stay in touch with Endeavor and with fellow eMBA alumni via the eMBA Program Group on LinkedIn – join today!

 

Greek Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Hellas Direct give insight on the wonderful world of fundraising

Hellas Direct

Reprinted from the Hellas Direct blog. Original article here.

Raising capital is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do as an entrepreneur. Whether you are seeking your first few thousand euros or looking for tens of millions, pitching to an investor is a test of both character and tenacity.

In setting up Hellas Direct we raised EUR 8.5m in angel financing. We approached more than 2,500 investors and we met up with 300 of them. This was a long rollercoaster ride, which spread over 14 different countries and lasted approximately 18 months. It was a humbling experience, but one that we would not change for the world. It was a journey, which taught us a number of lessons and gifted us tons of entertaining stories to share with friends in gin-and-tonic sessions to come. How else could one have met a Russian oligarch, drink afternoon tea at the House of Lords and find himself bodysearched in a Tel Aviv restaurant, all within two weeks?!

We were lucky enough to have a pretty unique proposition to share with the investment community. At the time that we began our fundraising there were few people looking to set up a new business in Greece, let alone in a sector as highly specialised (and blatantly boring) as car insurance. This helped us differentiate our message and it enabled us to suss out quickly whether a particular investor would be of relevance. Hellas Direct – or ‘Project Dias’ as it was then mystically called – was coined as  «the ultimate contrarian play», and we were often referred to as «those Goldman guys» or «the Greek chaps», alongside different adjectives that in one way or another questioned our sanity. This, in its own right, was helpful. In the goldfish-memory world of international investing we became relevant, we marked our own territory and we made a lasting impression.

If there is one piece of advice that we would like to pass on to all entrepreneurs venturing out to find investors is to make themselves memorable. Find a niche, own it and make sure that everyone appreciates that this is your domain. Become the go-to person in your industry, a knowledge hub. In order to do that, you will need to be 100% consistent in your messaging. One of the greatest mistakes we made at the beginning of our journey was to try and change our tune according to what we thought investors wanted to hear. This is a dangerous game to find yourself playing and it can do much more harm in the long-run than losing out on some immediate investor leads. The investment community is a surprisingly small place, with a lot of interconnected communication channels. In order to build long-term credibility, it is important to be yourself, to stick to your story and to share the same information across the board. Few investors would back a venture without calling some people first to check you out – any ambiguity or mixed feedback there could jeopardise your chances of getting funded.

“In the goldfish-memory world of international investing we became relevant, we marked our own territory and we made a lasting impression.”

So, how does one get started? Is there a magic formula, a plan, a recommended course of action? What we have discovered along the way is that different things work for different people. Most of our successes came from cold-calling. A number of our current shareholders we had never come across before pitching them our idea. Other entrepreneurs have done fantastically well by just relying on their own network and adopting a much more clinical approach. There is no right answer as such.

We thought we’d share with you five quick pointers to help get you motivated and set you off on your fundraising. The below definitely helped us keep sight of our end goal. We hope you find them useful!

 

A.    Get in the ring

• It is not a shame to be asking for money. Most investors have been there before and they respect you for doing so. Whatever your educational or corporate background may be, let your fears subside and start emailing!

• Plan well. It is easy to fall into the trap where you think you are making progress but you end up spinning wheels. Remember the 80-20 rule and seek results not perfection. We put together dozens of target investor lists which proved themselves useless, despite their impeccable formatting and colours.

• Break down the run into smaller, easier to complete, sprints. The aim of an email is to get you a face-to-face meeting. The target of that meeting is to get you a second meeting. The goal of that second meeting is … you get the drill! We had to meet some of our investors close to twenty times before they actually committed. Be patient and keep track of everything.

 

B.    Know your audience

• Reaching out to someone you do not know is never easy. Try to educate yourself about them as much as you can. Ask common friends, google them, flick through newspaper archives. You can never research someone too much.

• Stalk people! By following people’s tweets, checking them out on facebook and tracking them on linkedin can help you get a much better idea as to what these people are like, what drives them and how they express themselves. Think of this as the social media checks you’d do on someone before going on a date.

• Don’t assume that a social media contact is a credible introducer. From our experience, it is often better to approach someone ‘cold’ than getting a ‘lukewarm’ introduction.

 

“It is important to understand that investors do not need you – the only reason they would respond to you is because you managed to attract their attention somehow.”

 

C.    Personalise your approach

• The investors you are reaching out to have been approached by hundreds if not thousands of different entrepreneurs through time. They have probably seen your exact same plan a couple of times before too. It is important to understand that investors do not need you – the only reason they would respond to you is because you managed to attract their attention somehow. We were told by an internet billionaire’s family office that the only reason why they decided to see us out of 700 business plans submitted on that day was because of the title of our email!

• Find a hook. Each investor has a soft-spot. It could be their alma matter, a charity they are involved in, a cause that they believe in. Try to figure the best approach via their social media interactions and use such a ‘hook’ as a means to engage in a more meaningful communication. In all likelihood, the investor will know exactly what you are doing, but they will respect you for the effort and for sticking to the protocol.

• Keep your emails long enough to cover the bare essentials but short enough to keep things interesting. Don’t try to overload people with information. Remember that the goal here is to get any sort of response – even negative – on which you can work on.

 

D.    Follow up

• It shocks us seeing entrepreneurs who don’t follow up on meetings they had requested in the first place. You would be surprised how many people get this wrong. Sending a polite thank-you note via email is the very least one should do – preferably straight after finishing the meeting.

• Following up on topics specifically discussed during a meeting is always a winner with investors. Books generally come across as a thoughtful approach. We were probably the largest Amazon buyers of Brett King’s «Bank 2.0» when it came out in 2009.

• Following up is particularly important in the case of a negative answer too. Remember that these people may serve as points of reference to future investors you may need. The last thing you would want is for them to express a negative opinion on your manners and etiquette!

 

«if you are going through hell, keep going»…

 

E.    Keep calm and carry on

• You will need to kiss a lot of frogs before you get to your prince.

• You will often think of quitting but don’t let that get you down.

• As Churchill said: «if you are going through hell, keep going»…

 

Endeavor to bring high-impact entrepreneurship model to the U.S.; Focuses on creating new Miami affiliate

To read the Miami Herald’s article about Endeavor’s launch in Miami, please click here.

Miami, Jan. 15, 2012 – Endeavor, a global leader in building communities of high-impact entrepreneurs and innovators, will open its first U.S. affiliate in Miami with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Beginning in late 2013, Miami’s best doers and innovators will be eligible to apply to become Endeavor Entrepreneurs, connecting them to a global network of volunteer mentors and advisors who can help scale their ventures.

Knight Foundation is providing Endeavor with $2 million as part of its efforts to connect and support the local startup community.

“There is great momentum in Miami’s startup community, but it is still harder than it should be for entrepreneurs to build their ideas here,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation. “Endeavor will address this challenge, bringing an unprecedented level of support, learning opportunities and connections for Miami’s diverse group of entrepreneurs. This is a cornerstone of our effort to make Miami more of a place where ideas are built.”

Endeavor, a non-profit, currently supports more than 750 entrepreneurs from over 400 companies in 14 countries, including six in Latin America. These “high impact” entrepreneurs are selected for their ability to drive innovation, produce role models and maximize wealth and job creation. The selection process is rigorous, as they must obtain a global panel’s unanimous vote.

Following selection, Endeavor Entrepreneurs receive access to mentors and a volunteer advisory board of local business leaders; access to international networks from Silicon Valley to affiliate offices on five continents; interns from top business schools and professional service firms including Ernst & Young; and invitations to exclusive educational programs including a specialized course at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  The success of the Endeavor model has been recognized by numerous global organizations and been documented in two Harvard Business School case studies.

“We initially started Endeavor with the goal of bringing the idea of American-style mentorship and networking to entrepreneurs in emerging market countries,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.  “Over the past few years it has become apparent that not all parts of the U.S. have the built-in advantages of Silicon Valley, Austin or New York’s Flatiron district.  There are plenty of areas of the U.S. with promising entrepreneurs that need help building an eco-system conducive to helping local entrepreneurs scale and prosper.”

While Endeavor has not set a date for a launch, the management team will begin by building a local board of directors who can champion the Endeavor model and build a base of volunteer mentors on the ground.  The organization already has a number of key relationships in the area thanks to Endeavor’s 14-year history working with Latin America as well as Knight Foundation’s support.

“From our work in the region, we know there are Miami entrepreneurs with business ideas that can scale beyond the start-up phase and contribute toward building a healthy economy in the region,” said Endeavor president Fernando Fabre.

For further information contact:

David Wachtel, SVP Marketing and Communications, Endeavor.  david.wachtel@endeavor.org  Tel: 646-783-6139

Andrew Sherry, VP for Communications, Knight Foundation, media@knightfoundation.org, Tel: 305-908-2677

About Endeavor:

Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as “the best anti-poverty program of all,” Endeavor is leading the global movement for high impact entrepreneurship. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 30,000 entrepreneurs and selected 766 individuals leading 476 high-impact companies.

With support from Endeavor’s worldwide mentor network, these high-impact entrepreneurs

-Have created over 200,000 jobs
-Generated over $5 billion in revenues in 2011
-Inspire future generations to innovate and take risks

Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in 16 countries throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia. As the high-impact movement expands globally, Endeavor will continue to prove that anyone with a big idea can succeed, from Silicon Valley to Latin America, the Middle East, and beyond.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:  

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

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