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Endeavor Entrepreneurs Spotlight Youth Employment at EY Strategic Growth Forum in Rome

At EY‘s first pan-Mediterranean Strategic Growth Forum in Rome, nearly 600 business executives, government leaders and entrepreneurs from across the globe came together to discuss the region’s business and investment potential. The two-day event included panel discussions with Endeavor Entrepreneurs Mostafa […]

April 24th, 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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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!


Endeavor and MIT G-Lab Mark 80th Student Engagement

Endeavor has been placing MBAs from top schools with entrepreneurs for over a decade.  This summer has seen a fresh crop of rising second-year MBA students from schools as diverse as Harvard, Stanford and NYU leave for summer projects with companies in eight different country affiliates ranging from Argentina to Saudi Arabia.

What originally started ten years ago as a summer program for students to have an international experience as a break from class work has now also become a core part of the curriculum at a number of major business schools.

For the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Lab program (G-Lab), 2013 will mark the 80th engagement that student teams have had with Endeavor companies.  Typical projects for MIT’s G-Lab with Endeavor Entrepreneurs have ranged from new market entry and strategic growth to Venture Capital, marketing, benchmarking, financial modeling and HR.

“We think of MIT G-Lab as a very cost effective three-month consulting engagement for emerging and frontier market start ups, fast growing SMEs and local VCs,” says faculty member Shari Loessberg, a familiar judge at Endeavor’s International Selection Panels.

Many companies return to G-Lab year after year.  A typical ongoing G-LAB/Endeavor relationship has been with Argentina’s Conexia, a leader in electronic medical records.  The company has welcomed four G-Lab teams to its Buenos Aires’ headquarters in the past four years to work on projects ranging from strategic planning to international expansion (note: On August 1, 2013,  Conexia announced its largest-ever contract, covering 7 million members of Colombia’s Saludcoop health insurer) and an MIT Case Study.

“In every high growth company you have important problems and also urgent problems.  The urgent ones are the ones that normally get most of the attention with the end result that many of the important problems do not get tackled they become urgent,” says Conexia CEO Luis Navas.  “G-Lab is a way for us to tackle some of these important problems, delivering very good results, at low cost and with limited demand on our time.”

A more recent convert to G-Lab is Kartuku, a mobile payments platform that was one of the first companies chosen by Endeavor’s new Indonesia affiliate after its launch in 2012.

“G-Lab gave us access to a talented and motivated team who actively brought together research in the US and insights from their home market (Brazil) to help Kartuku develop a new product strategy,” says company president Niki Luhur.  “The team quickly integrated within our organization and helped engage a key client for information gathering, financial modeling and an initial proposal and pitch.  We were extremely happy with their efforts, and hope to welcome a new team for another key project in the upcoming year.”

The Global Entrepreneurship lab matches teams of four, second-year MBAs with an Endeavor entrepreneur, who work remotely, part-time from MIT during the October – December term. In January, the G-lab teams work on-site full time from the company’s office.  The Entrepreneur determines what challenges, deliverables, and experience they expect from the G-Lab team. Typically, G-lab team members have 5-8 years of work experience, and range anywhere from 27 to 30 years of age. The teams have diverse backgrounds, with roughly 40% from the US and 60% with international backgrounds. Teams have broad work experience prior to MIT, including in consulting, technology, finance, or startups.

MIT G-Lab doesn’t charge any fees to participate, but the host companies are expected to pay for coach airfare from Boston as well as provide a simple, safe place for the team to reside while doing their work.

A new innovation for 2013 is a G-Lab CEO Summit at the MIT campus this fall for entrepreneurs who are participating in the program.  In addition to working in person with their G-Lab teams earlier in the cycle, the entrepreneurs will connect with resources from across the university including the MIT Media Lab, the entrepreneurship center and the Sloan School of Management. [The G-Lab CEO Summit will be held November 5 -6 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, immediately before the Endeavor Gala and Branding Tour in New York].


August 2013 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s August 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: Jack Dorsey & Biz Stone

Renowned founder Jack Dorsey (Twitter, Square) wanted to be a sailor, tailor and painter before becoming an entrepreneur. His Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, first flexed his entrepreneurial muscles when he started his high school’s lacrosse program. Listen in as they recount stories and insights from their entrepreneurial journeys.



Topic Breakdowns:

00:01 On having passion for what you do: Twitter vs Odeo

06:04 On company culture, communication and the impact of both on product/services

12:46 Problem solving at Twitter

15:39 Range and interpretation of Twitter

19:14 On leadership

21:13 On starting over: origin of Square and Jelly



Endeavor Entrepreneurs Andy Freire, Santiago Bilinkis, Marcos Galperin and Wences Casares join Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Larry Page as “most admired” entrepreneurs in Argentina

A new study published by Argentine research institute Prodem asked 1,000 Argentine entrepreneurs to name the entrepreneurs who had most inspired them.  Endeavor Argentina board chair and entrepreneur, Andy Freire, came in second only to Steve Jobs and just ahead of Bill Gates. Rounding out the list of the top 10 most admired worldwide were Endeavor Entrepreneurs Santiago Bilinkis, Marcos Galperin and Wences Casares.  The study has been publicized widely in Argentine media including leading newspapers such as Ambito Financiero, Clarin and Cronista Comercial.

The full ranking is below:

#1:  Steve Jobs
#2:  Andy Freire
#3: Bill Gates
#4: Santiago Bilinkis
#5:  Marcos Galperin
#6: Fulvio Pagani
#7:  Mark Zuckerberg
#8:  Larry Page
#9:  Ricky Sarkany
#10:  Wences Casares

Endeavor entrepreneurs took 5 of the top 10 spots when the list was limited to Argentina only with Globant co-founder and CEO Martin Migoya included as well.

The Prodem ranking is part of a larger study surrounding the importance of building entrepreneurial ecosystems to inspire the creation of new companies in Latin America.  The results confirm the importance of key individuals in inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, a finding also explored by Endeavor Insight — which included many of the same entrepreneurs — in  an earlier study on the Argentine multiplier effect.


Spotlight on Endeavor’s Newest “Green” Entrepreneurs

Climate change and the protection of our environment have emerged as global issues. While individuals can limit the deterioration of the environment by changing little habits in their everyday lives, it is also crucial to get  companies across the globe involved, particularly in developing countries where attention to environmental issues has traditionally not been as strong as in the US or Europe.

Endeavor has over two dozen entrepreneurs across its portfolio whose businesses directly address climate change issues from energy conservation to waste-water management and agriculture (including natural fertilizers and other bio solutions). Enrique Gomez Junco of Optima Energia in Mexico has built a model business focused on energy saving solutions.  Luiz Chacon of Brazil’s SuperBAC is a pioneer of waste-water management solutions. Nicholas Cock Duque is building a line of eco-friendly household products at Ecoflora.

Thanks to a grant from Zennstrom Philanthropies, Endeavor continues to seek out and help emerging companies who can contribute to addressing climate change and become role models in their countries. Three companies selected over the past eighteen months provide great stories of the growing trend towards sustainable “green” entrepreneurship in developing countries.

Carrot is the first car sharing service in Mexico City. The founders, Jimena Pardo and Diego Solarzano, are determined to solve the pollution issue that is caused by the vast amount of traffic in Mexico City. Carrot not only makes it easy and affordable for individuals to get around Mexico City, but it also helps solve the pollution problem by encouraging people to share and use electric or hybrid cars. Over the past year Endeavor Mexico has built an advisory board for Carrot and provided mentors to aid with customer acquisition strategy, among other areas.


Bionativa develops, produces, and sells phytosanitary products, naturally derived fungicides, bactericides, biological stimulants, and bio-insecticides to Chile’s medium and large-scale farmers. These organic products are just as effective as chemical substitutes but are produced at a fraction of the cost. The founders, Eduardo Donoso and Paulo Escobar, have chosen to focus on Chile’s large, conventional agriculture industry rather than just focus on smaller organic producers. Given Chile’s pivotal role as a global supplier of fruits and vegetables, encouraging mainstream players to adopt organic inputs has the potential to have a major impact on the sector. Endeavor Chile has created an Advisory Board for Bionativa and is helping focus the management team on sales strategy.


Indonesia’s Tirta Marta produces innovative plastics – some produced from locally grown tapioca rather than petroleum – that decompose in only two to three years as opposed to the hundreds of years it takes generic plastic. Founder Sugianto Tandio, who was recently named a Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year, has convinced most of Indonesia’s largest retailers to buy these environmentally friendly plastic bags, thereby keeping millions of pounds of plastic from contaminating the environment. Next stop, the US market. Since being selected at the Athens ISP in March 2013, Endeavor has already arranged ten mentoring sessions for Sugianto.

Endeavor has always believed in the power of local role models.  Hopefully, the entrepreneurs behind Carrot, Bionativa and Tirta Marta and the many other Endeavor “green” entrepreneurs can prove that “green” business can be a profitable alternative.


Endeavor Board Chair Edgar Bronfman, Jr. Visits Colombia: Meets with President, Entrepreneurs and Local Business Leaders

Endeavor board chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr.’s successful visit to Colombia was capped by a meeting with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos.

Bronfman spent a week visiting Bogotá and Medellín, meeting with local business leaders, Endeavor Entrepreneurs and mentors.  The trip to Medellín was particularly timely as Endeavor Colombia is looking to locate a regional office there. During the meeting with Santos, Bronfman and Endeavor Colombia Managing Director Adriana Suarez (pictured at left together with the president) discussed Endeavor’s activities in Colombia and the possibilities for Endeavor to provide advice to the presidential office on how to further develop and strengthen Colombia’s emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. Endeavor’s Insight team is currently completing a mapping study of the Bogotá ecosystem that should be a valuable resource.

Linda Rottenberg and Endeavor featured in USA TODAY

USA TODAY featured Linda Rottenberg in its newly debuted “Change Agent” series. In addition to publishing an article that highlighted Endeavor’s success “revolutionizing entrepreneurship in emerging nations,” USA Today posted a video interview with Rottenberg to their website. The article examines Endeavor’s model and highlights key entrepreneur success stories such as Leila Velez  (Beleza Natural), Wences Casares (Patagon/Lemon) and Martin Migoya (Globant). It also discussed Endeavor’s pending launch in Miami and other US cities.

The Change Agents series aims to “highlight innovators and entrepreneurs looking to change business and culture with their vision.”  For a link to the article and accompanying video on USA TODAY.com click here.

Mexican Entrepreneur Naranya Creates Mobile Start-up Accelerator

Endeavor Entrepreneur Naranya, a leader in innovative mobile communications technologies, has launched an accelerator program in Monterrey, Mexico, to help new start-ups get their business ideas off the ground.   Launched by Naranya’s R&D subsidiary, Naranya Labs, the program is hoping to identify 75 worthy mobile development projects that will initially receive US$20,000 in seed funding along with free workspace and technical, business, legal and design advice.  Companies will be eligible to compete for a second round of funding at the $200,000 level.

Naranya joins a number of later stage Endeavor Entrepreneurs who are moving beyond traditional mentorship and  turning to a range of things, from venture capital to incubators, to support continued entrepreneurial innovation in their countries.  Companies participating in the Naranya accelerator will have access to test their business ideas via Naranya  platforms and relationships with leading carriers across Latin America reaching over 100 million mobile users.

The accelerator program will be managed by Rogelio Martinez, a former CIO of media group Reforma, who co-founded Naranya Labs with Naranya CEO Arturo Galvan.   Martinez was recently interviewed by Startup Buzz  and talked about Naranya’s interest in playing a role in a rapidly developing technology ecosystem in Mexico.  “We are seeking to be an active part…” said Martinez, noting that the accelerator will be housed inside Naranya Labs to “create a breeding ground of fresh ideas that can be tossed back and forth between up and coming entrepreneurs and experienced Naranya employees.”

The first class of start-ups will begin this summer but will then move into a program of regular spring and autumn sessions.




Fostering High Impact Entrepreneurship in Indonesia

Endeavor Indonesia Managing Director Sati Rasuanto was recently published in Strategic Review, an important Indonesian policy journal, writing on the subject of  how to create the necessary conditions for high impact entrepreneurship to flourish in that country.  Rasuanto points out that surveys show that Indonesians are “far less likely to start their own businesses than their Singaporean or American counterparts.”  In the article she outlines some of the necessary steps toward increasing awareness and participation in entrepreneurial activities.  Endeavor launched in Indonesia in 2012 and has already selected its first four Indonesian Endeavor Entrepreneurs.  To read the full article, click here.

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