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Endeavor and Linda Rottenberg Profiled in The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor, a U.S.-based international news publication, recently profiled Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg and the story of Endeavor, spotlighting the organization’s journey and its rapidly growing global impact. In particular, the article calls […]

April 16th, 2014 — by admin

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Latin American Entrepreneur Companies Globant, Tecsis and Imagen Dental Profiled in Spain’s El Pais

A recent article in Spain’s El Pais featured Endeavor Entrepreneurs Guibert Englebienne, Bento Koike, and Ricardo Villarreal as well as Endeavor President Fernando Fabre as they discussed economic growth, innovation and competitiveness in the Latin American region. The article […]

January 22nd, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor and Startup Genome collaborate to map entrepreneurial ecosystems

Endeavor Global and Startup Genome are pleased to announce a partnership that will help drive and deepen the cultivation of entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide.

It’s the mission of Startup Genome to build the world’s most up-to-date database of entrepreneurial communities through a network of local curators. So far over 150 curators across the globe (including many developing nations) have begun layering real-time updates over the existing data in their respective ecosystems with profiles of founders, startups, investors, accelerators, incubators, universities, etc.

Co-founded by Dave Lerner and Shane Reiser, Startup Genome is going beyond mere hyperlinked lists and has already created the first of many data visualizations of these ecosystems to make entrepreneurial communities much more accessible and searchable for entrepreneurs and others worldwide.

Endeavor Global is now working with Startup Genome to add its own layer of curators in many cities and nations where Endeavor operates.

Video interview: Endeavor Entrepreneurs Tarek and Alaa Sryo

Reprinted from Wamda.  See original article here.

By Maya Rahal.

Entrepreneurs of the Week on Wamda today are Tarek and Alaa Sryo co-CEOs at SASCO, a family business specialized in manufacturing office supplies including stationery, paper products, filing products, and pens. While SASCO has been mainly targeting MENA since 1975, the two young CEOs are working hard on modernizing the family business by adding new brands and products, and implementing new marketing and sales programs to continue expanding in the Middle East. One of the newest programs newly released by SASCO is an online system for clients to choose and order online, in an easy and fast way.

Tarek Sryo, vice president of sales and marketing, discusses how working in an old company is not easier than working in a startup because “you need to convince the old employees to embrace new technologies, change strategies, adapt to the market and prove them that this is better for the brand.”

One of the main challenges faced by the young CEO is , as His brother, Alaa Sryo, vice president of manufacturing and finance, agrees, saying that convincing the “old guards” tend to be attached to more traditional ways of working and thinking; the brothers are working to change that.

Video interview: Melih Odemis of food-ordering site Yemeksepeti

Reprinted from wamda.  See original article here.

Melih Odemis, co-Founder of Yemek Sepeti, discusses how he and his co-founders initially were inspired to be entrepreneurs at our June event, CoE E-Commerce. Started in 2000, Yemek Sepeti has grown to a well-known online food ordering platform throughout Turkey.

With over 1.5 million users and 50,000 orders a day, Odemis describes Yemek Sepeti as “the biggest kitchen in the world.” The company has adapted to changing technology over its 11-year lifespan and continues to bring new users from across Turkey, and now from the UAE and Russia.

A “big online food court,” Yemek Sepeti believes in fostering a dynamic work environment to attract and keep talent. Employees work in a fast-paced environment, processing over 200 orders per minute, but still enjoying their workplace with opportunities to socialize and have creative fun together.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Nuñez wins T35 Award

By Hilary Saccomonno

Technology Review Magazine is honoring Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Nuñez as one of the 35 recipients of its internationally renowned T35 award.

Nuñez was the first to find a weakness in the security of software developed by SAP, a multinational company and market leader in enterprise application software. To fortify SAP software, Nuñez created a program that tested for vulnerabilities in its online platform, which is used by various governments and major companies. The expertise he gained while solving SAP’s security problems led him to develop his own software development firm, Onapsis. Today, Nuñez is being honored for the revolutionary work he has contributed to his field with an award that has garnered an international reputation for spotlighting those exceptional young talents who have created new and innovated existing technology.

Nuñez holds a degree in Systems Engineering from the National Technological University in Argentina. While working as a consultant in various fields of computer security, he was assigned to review the safety of a web application that ran on an SAP platform. He discovered that vulnerabilities in the security of his client’s product arose from vulnerabilities in the SAP platform on which it ran. To minimize the likelihood of attacks to his client, Nuñez innovated SAP software and ended up making a more broad impact than he thought by benefiting all organizations using an SAP platform. His insights and efforts have become critical to the lives of people belonging to the many countries, companies and organizations using SAP software. At the age of 21, he was recognized as an expert in his field and invited to speak at a Black Hat Europe conference, and two years later he started Onapsis, which signed the United States Army, AXA Group, Sony Electronics, Roche and Siemens as early clients. Today he is being honored by Technology Review for creating software that is highly specific in function but whose broad application has allowed it to have an international impact.

Technology Review is a quarterly magazine published by MIT and uses the T35 award to annually honor 35 innovative individuals under the age of 35. Recipients come from a variety of industries such as biotechnology, energy, software and internet transport and who work within universities, private research, government and small and large companies. The award is used to recognize those who develop new technology as well as those who innovate existing technology for use in solving current problems.  The T35 aspires to spotlight individuals who in addition to making relevant contributions to their specific industries also impact the larger society from which those industries emerges.

Crain’s spotlights Endeavor Catalyst: “A nonprofit supports the world’s job creators”

Reprinted from Crain’s New York. Original article here.

By Anne Fisher

A couple of years ago, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Nick Beim, a venture capitalist with Matrix Partners, sat down and started brainstorming with Linda Rottenberg, co-founder and CEO of the Manhattan-based nonprofit Endeavor. The nonprofit, where the two men are board members, provides mentorship, networking opportunities and strategic advice to entrepreneurs. What if it could design a new kind of financing vehicle that would work, in some respects, like a for-profit investment fund?

The result of their blue-sky thinking, dubbed Catalyst, debuted in 2011. To date, the fund has attracted about $10 million in new donations, turbocharging Endeavor’s financial backing of entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world—443 startups in 17 countries so far, including Argentina, Lebanon, South Africa and Indonesia.

“Catalyst operates just like any investment fund, except that we’re ‘investing’ in high-growth startups in developing countries, rather than in the stock market,” Ms. Rottenberg explained. “Donations are tax-deductible, as with any nonprofit, but we treat the donors like limited partners. They can track the return on their donations, of which 80% is ‘reinvested’ to fuel more startups’ growth, and the other 20% goes to cover Endeavor’s operating costs and make us self-sustaining.”

In a recent conversation, Ms. Rottenberg talked about Endeavor’s mission, the organization’s plan for the year ahead, and why its unique funding mechanism makes some people cringe.

What gave you the idea to start Endeavor, back in 1998?

[Co-founder] Peter [Kellner], who founded and runs venture capital firm Richmond Global, had just come back from China, where he witnessed the tremendous boom in entrepreneurship there, and I had seen the same growth potential in my travels in Latin America and the Middle East. We started talking about the fact that there was no ecosystem of entrepreneurship in those countries, the way there is in the U.S.—no mentors, no venture capital.

So we wanted to bring that whole support system to startups in developing parts of the world. And we decided to make Endeavor a nonprofit because we wanted to encourage other [for-profit] investors, not compete with them or crowd them out.

How do you choose which enterprises to invest in?

The whole search-and-selection process takes from a year to 18 months, leading up to events we call International Selection Panels or ISPs. Each one is two-and-a-half days of interviews and meetings between entrepreneurs and our network of global business leaders. We’re having one of these in Miami in December, followed by one in Athens next March and another in Buenos Aires in May.

Since 1998, we’ve screened about 30,000 startups. Fewer than 3% of them are accepted to receive funding and mentoring, so we’re very selective. And the companies Endeavor has chosen to support have done really well. Last year they generated a total of $5 billion in revenues and created 200,000 jobs.

What are your plans for 2013?

Well, this year we launched in Indonesia, Greece and Saudi Arabia, and right now we’re talking with people in Poland, Spain, Morocco, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. We’ll expand next year to at least three of those countries.

We’re also planning events in 2013 in New York, Silicon Valley and Miami, where U.S. entrepreneurs and investors can meet with entrepreneurs from around the world. These kinds of connections are really exciting because some of the businesses we fund can [grow to a significant] scale across borders, so we’ve even seen partnerships develop between U.S. and overseas companies. Another goal for the year is for Catalyst to raise another $10 million in donations.

Has Catalyst gotten any reaction from the rest of the nonprofit community? Do people understand the thinking behind it?

Well, Endeavor’s whole approach makes some people uncomfortable because it seems too much like a business. Starting about a dozen years ago, we’ve done annual impact reports that analyze the return on donations, which tends to attract a certain kind of donor—hardheaded financial types who want to see exactly how their money is being put to work—and Catalyst is just a logical extension of that. Peter and I are from the for-profit world, so we’re big into metrics. We’re not the feel-good, warm-and-fuzzy kind of nonprofit.

But, even though we don’t give directly to the poorest of the poor, and we’re far more selective than nonprofits that provide microfinancing generally are, we do help create jobs. On average, our entrepreneurs have a job growth rate of 80% in their first two years with us, and that helps entire local economies in these very poor countries. For example, in South Africa, 61% of Endeavor entrepreneurs’ employees have access to private health care, which is [more than] three times the national average of 18%. It’s a matter of fighting poverty by helping to create economic growth that is self-sustaining over time.

More than 10 years later: The impact of an Endeavor Office

Endeavor Insight releases a new report, “Impact of Endeavor Chile”.

More than 80% of all employment in Chile is generated by entrepreneurship. But the country’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem did not develop over night. In fact, along with the Chilean government and a few other key actors, Endeavor has been fostering this ecosystem for more than a decade. This stewardship has been two-pronged.

First, Endeavor Entrepreneurs themselves have been crucial in inspiring, mentoring, and investing in other entrepreneurs. (See a related blog post here.) And, second, the Endeavor office has spurred the development of many other support actors; ranging from angel networks and venture capital funds to mentor networks and incubators. As an example, in the angel network space, Chile Global Angels, the most active angel network in Chile, was founded by a former Endeavor employee and has since then invested in 11 different companies, including three second rounds. Of the 27 angels, 80% are connected to Endeavor.

The Endeavor office influence is best encapsulated by the former Managing Director of Endeavor, Alan Farcas: “Nearly 100% of the Chilean organizations which support entrepreneurs were founded by individuals in some way linked to Endeavor and, without a doubt, we are somehow related to every other entity which operates in the entrepreneurial space.” Yet, despite the plethora of support options available to entrepreneurs, more than one-third of those surveyed cited Endeavor as the organization to which they would most like to belong.

To learn more about how Endeavor has impacted the ever-growing and exciting entrepreneurial space in Chile, check out the video below! For an in-depth look at Chile’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, check out the report here.

Effective culture is simply clarity amplified

Reprinted from Escape from Cubicle Nation. Original here.

Guest post by John Jantsch.

I wish there were a crisp definition of the word culture as applied to business. It’s a tricky word that finds its way into most discussions regarding the workplace these days.

Like so many things, it’s hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.

Lately what it looks a lot like to me is clarity. Or perhaps more specifically clarity of purpose amplified and shared.

People try so hard to make it about things like espresso machines, ping pong tables and bean bag chairs in the break room when it’s really about is a clear sense of shared purpose. Everyone simply believes in the “why” of the business.

In order for this to occur you must remove all doubt about what your organization believes and you must be crystal clear on that in the simplest way possible. Once you do that everything else just follows form – it’s clarity amplified.

The thing is, every business has a culture. It may be strong or weak, positive or negative, or just plain hard to spot, but it’s like a form of internal brand in a way. It’s the collective impression, habits, language, style, communication and practices of the organization.

Some elements of culture are intentional, some are accidental, some are rooted deeply in the ethos of the original employee group, and some are created out of a lack of any real direction or clarity of purpose.

My belief is that a healthy culture is a simple one and it’s shared culture, one created through shared stories, beliefs, plans, language, outcomes and ownership and a shared clear and simple purpose.

These aren’t little things; these aren’t things that you get right during an annual retreat. These are things molded over time with trust and passion and caring. These are things that evolve.

The following elements make up the foundation of a system of shared clarity.
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Want to know how to better partner with, raise money from, or be acquired by a big media company?

Reprinted from Both Sides of the Table.  See original article here.

By Mark Suster, host of This Week in Venture Capital.

This is one of the best episodes of This Week in VC for a long time. I had the chance to speak with Andrew Siegel who runs corp dev & strategy for Condé Nast (aka Advance Publications).

In case you don’t know, they are one of the biggest media companies in the world. They are best known for their magazine titles such as The New Yorker, Wired, Vanity Fair and Vogue.

But did you also know that they are a large cable operator? That they own a large piece of The Discovery Network? That they own Reddit? Who knew?

They are also very active as an early-stage tech investor, partner and acquirer. And they invest n select VC funds.

I asked Andrew how companies can best work with Condé Nast and he gave the answers in the episode.

He also covered how “traditional media companies” think about the future and how they view disruption.

You have the luxury of either watching the whole episode with Andrew Siegel (or listing on podcast at the gym! download from iTunes for free) or just skipping to the bits you like. Here’s the summary and on YouTube the links to skip right to these moments is below the actual video.

Key moments:

Whole Outline:
00:30 Welcome everyone, I’m here today with Andrew Siegel of Advance Publications.
1:15 Tell us a little about Advance Publications and your role there.
2:15 You’re one of the largest publication owners in the world, aren’t you?
3:00 You were running corporate development for Yahoo before this?
4:45 How do young entrepreneurs begin to work with a company like yours?
6:30 Do you disclose which funds you’ve invested in?
7:00 Thank you to Walker Corporate Law for sponsoring the show. Everyone follow @ScottEdWalker for some great insight into the legal process.
8:15 How do you feel about your properties? Do you feel protected from new media?
10:00 Is news being disaggregated?
11:00 Andrew on the importance of high-quality content.
14:30 Andrew tells about a time he heard a German tourist ID the Conde Nast building in NYC.
15:30 How do you view the transition of your magazines to the iPad, to e-readers?
17:15 Which other publishers “get it” the most?
21:00 How do you balance the people with more money than time–and with more time than money?
21:30 Why did Advance Publications buy Reddit?
24:15 Are there similarities between Twitter and Reddit?
25:00 How should entrepreneurs approach you for funding?
27:45 Thank you to Detroit Venture Partners for their support of the show! Check out detroitventurepartners.com.
30:30 Are you investing in email?
33:00 Discussion of Ian Roger’s Topspin Media.
36:00 Andrew: Display advertising has a real problem.
37:30 What are your thoughts on product placements?
30:00 Have you been following the Dalton Caldwell vs. Twitter story?
44:15 Consumers want to have an authentic dialogue with a brand.
45:15 What’s your process for investing in startups?
48:15 Is it fair to say that every company is different in terms of their M&A strategy?
50:30 Is Pinterest real? Are you seeing much real conversion from it?
52:00 Andrew, thank you so much for joining us today. And thank you to Detroit Venture Partners and to Walker Corporate Law.

Connecting the dots: mergers of early-stage startups

Reprinted from OnStartups. Original article here.

By Ken Smith

The explosion of co-working space has created an parallel explosion of would-be entrepreneurs. This is good for both the nation and innovation economy. But as any seasoned entrepreneur or investor will tell you, if you have a good idea for a business, it’s very likely that 100 other people have the same or very similar idea. And if you have a great idea perhaps 1,000 people are working on the same idea too. Lower cost office space (coworking, innovation center, etc.), cloud hosted everything, WYSIWYG tools and rapid prototyping applications, easy access to global networks of potential users and customers – well, let’s just say it’s a lot easier and cheaper to get a product concept to market today than it has ever been.

Those same seasoned entrepreneurs and investors will also agree that the key to entrepreneurship is not having the best idea, it’s execution. I have been involved in more than a dozen startups and reviewed plans or advised dozens more. Often times when I see two teams going after a very similar market opportunity I look at the founders and can easily envision a great combined team. One start up has been founded by a marketing professional with ten years experience in a major consumer technology company, another by a tech whiz with a newly minted Masters from MIT, and a third by a born saleswoman who already built a small network of beta testers for her nascent product. But each continue to struggle to reach the critical mass or momentum required to break away from the pack because they are often working alone. Once the CEO hat goes on, it’s hard to take it off, especially willingly. Yet many an entrepreneur would do their fledgling company and their wallet good if they pooled resources with another entrepreneur – money, talent, and especially time – rather than seeing another startup operating in the same space as competitive.

Pooling technical resources can deliver a product with a more complete feature-set because of the different perspectives brought to the design and development process by team members with a slightly different but equally valid view point. Pooling capital can mean delivering a more complete product, or if minimal viable product (MVP) is attainable without additional capital then money can be focused on capturing beta testers and/or early users. Pooling talent increases your chances of attracting outside investors and shows with action that all team members are professionals dedicated to making the company successful rather than being CEO of their own startup. And pooling time means that by dividing up critical tasks and responsibilities more gets done faster and with less effort because team members can focus what time they have on doing what they do best.

If all of the potential merger partners are very early stage, especially if no company has any market traction or revenue, the best approach to a merger is a simple equitable split – 50/50, 25×4, etc. If one person gets greedy, arguing their contribution holds greater value than the rest, then you don’t want them for a partner now or at any stage – championships are rarely won by a single player. If one company has revenue and the other potential partners do not, then some small concession should be made for the entity bringing in the most important resource to continued success.

At the end of the day, the best early mergers are teams of professionals who have all seen the same market opportunity and have dedicated this segment of their careers to it. As you sit at your desk in a co-working space or innovation center and engage with other clever people at the coffee shop, consider the notion of joining forces, talk about it openly – you may find a willing partner, a kindred spirit, and greater success than working alone.

Wall Street Journal: Endeavor Entrepreneur Sidar Şahin, Peak Games founder, wants to change the world

Reprinted from the Wall Street Journal. Original article here.

By Ben Rooney

Among Turkey’s fledgling start-ups, Peak Games stands slightly apart.

For while the other big names of the Turkish start up scene — Yemeksepeti (online food ordering), Ciceksepeti, (an on-line flower seller), Trendyol, (flash sales) Markafoni, (private shopping club), and GittiGidiyor (an eBay clone)—are all big mainly inside Turkey, Peak Games under its charismatic founder Sidar Şahin, is getting big by spreading outside the country as well, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

And it is big. The company claimed earlier this year that it has more active users than Electronic Arts and was the third most popular games maker on Facebook after Zynga and King.com.

Mr. Şahin, who was previously a founding partner at Trendyol, founded the company in 2010 after feeling he had done all he could at Trendyol and wanted to return to his passion, games. He started a gaming company as early as 2001 and a mobile gaming company in 2002. But he also wanted to do something much, much bigger.

“I started Peak to change the world,” he says with no equivocation.

“In Turkey there is no ecosystem. It has just started. Yes there is a big potential. It is just starting. It is not there yet.”

He is second to none in his admiration for what Google has achieved and is taking a leaf out of its book. “Everyone says Google is a search engine. No. Google is a culture. What they have created is a culture.

“How we want to change the world is we want to create a culture here. It is about creating vision and culture. It is all about people.”

He sees Peak as being something of a training ground for would be entrepreneurs. “We take people in and train them. Then they become leaders and go on. We take in new people, and they become leaders.” He speaks admiringly of the so-called PayPal mafia, the group of founders who went on to create a whole slew of other start ups. “I want a ‘Peak Games mafia’.”

For him it is not about games, “it is about changing something in Turkey. The only way to do this is to build product and engineering-focussed companies in Turkey.”

So his ambition is to build one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, and the biggest technology company in Turkey.

He claims some success. Not only has the company succeeded in climbing rapidly up the social games league table, but he said it is drawing in graduates. “Last year everyone wanted to join Procter and Gamble. This year when you talk to new graduates, they want to join us. They say they want to be part of the company that reaches millions of people.”

Mr. Şahin has a long history of running companies. “I have started many companies,” he says laughing. “Most of them failed.” His modesty belies a successful track record including a mobile games company in 2002, a video portal and several others both in Turkey and abroad.

“I need to conquer the Turkish internet,” he told himself so he set about it in what he now admits was completely the wrong way. “I burned more than $10 million of my own money. I was so stupid. I would see a good model and copied it. I tried to build a social network because Facebook wasn’t here in Turkey then. But you cannot do it [build a great company] if you have ego and a focus problem.

“I had a big ego problem. I hit the wall big time, then again, then again. I said enough. I learned a lot about myself but it was hard,” he admits.

But it was then in 2009 that he met up with the people who were to become the co-founders of Trendyol. “That year was amazing. We went from 3-4 people to 500 people.”

But ultimately Mr. Şahin wanted to go back to running his own business and doing what he wants to do—to transform the Turkish internet scene.

The company’s first games were based on traditional Turkish and Arabic card and board games and were aimed not only at Turkey but the Middle East/North Africa region. It was this targeting of both the under-served home market (few games were available in Turkish) and the larger MENA region that has been the reason for Peak’s success to date.

And hoping to cash in on the expanding penetration of smartphones both locally and abroad the company is moving heavily into mobile gaming.

Peak’s offices have an enviable office, overlooking the Bosphorus, the river that historically brought wealth and influence to what was then Constantinople, now Istanbul. Peak is looking to do much the same.

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