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Endeavor Investor Network Convenes Over 120 Entrepreneurs and Investors in NYC

On May 5th, the Endeavor Investor Network convened growth market leaders in New York City for a day of networking and learning. The invitation-only event gathered over 120 participants including Endeavor Entrepreneurs and leading investors […]

May 13th, 2015 — by admin

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Report on Scale-Up Entrepreneurship in the U.K. Examines Research from Endeavor

A new report titled The Scale-Up Report on UK Economic Growth has identified the impact of scale-up companies on the country’s economy and highlighted the importance of supporting high-impact, high-growth firms. Authored by entrepreneurship influencer Sherry Coutu, the report utilizes Endeavor’s research […]

December 19th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Summit: Top Tweets from #endeavorsummit

It’s only fitting that the 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit, which featured a keynote discussion from Twitter’s co-founders, also took on a life of its own on Twitter itself (#endeavorsummit). Here, all in one place, are some of the most inspiring, interesting, and “Endeavor-y” tweets from this year’s Summit!


@lindarottenberg: Thanks to all the speakers, mentors, entrepreneurs and @endeavor_global (worldwide) team for making #endeavorsummit a huge success!

@NickBeim Loved the 2013 #endeavorsummit, continue to be inspired by Endeavor entrepreneurs, who generate $5bn+ in rev/year bit.ly/hdIXJl

@matthaggman Heading home after an outstanding @endeavor_global summit. What an incredible group of people. #endeavorsummit pic.twitter.com/J0ULNUD01Q

@dterminel The #endeavorsummit DREAM TEAM! pic.twitter.com/0AHBhYOtqN

@jmalvaradob The end! Thanks to @endeavor_global for a GREAT #Endeavorsummit pic.twitter.com/nn96jmpX6M

@avikkghose thank you @endeavor_global @fabref for a wonderful #Endeavorsummit and many great memories! see you soon…

@walterpenfold Thanks @endeavor_global for a phenomenal #endeavorsummit – I’m going back to South Africa full of ideas and inspiration

@Pilarmari WOW @EndeavorGlobal – you delivered happiness to all!!! Congratulations on the BEST #endeavorsummit

@MarkNoronha Great meeting outstanding #entrepreneurs, #massimpact ideas at #endeavorsummit !! Vision, Passion & Silicon Valley!! #SAP #Startups

@omvestments Reflecting on @endeavor_global #Endeavorsummit – omvestments.com/?p=915 #onvest

@Didem_Endeavor: the world would be a better place if we had more Silicon Valley clusters across the globe – Go Endeavor!

@Didem_Endeavor: Silicon Valley is all about “friendlove” = respect for someone’s brains & attitudes = peer learning community


Ali Partovi

@tvattikuti: “How many eggs would you need to have before you need a second basket?” -Ali Partovi on the need for start ups to focus

@walterpenfold: “The single most formative skill one can own is to assess talent”

@_bchen: If someone doesn’t want to join me, I don’t consider that a loss. Just another step in the relationship.

@dterminel: “When running my companies, the biggest mistake i made, was being afraid of taking big risks”

@didem_endeavor: The entrepreneur’s pure addiction is creative problem solving, whether for business or social impact.

@Sati_fied: “Don’t let your fear of failing stop you from taking risks”

Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone

@guibert: “You can’t blueprint your company culture but you can shepherd it”

@Sati_fied: “When i left @twitter it was bcoz i wanted to expand my service to people by creating something new” @biz

@Sati_fied: “Every transaction is a social event” @biz when @jack told him about square

@tvattikuti: “When you are emotionally invested in something, it will carry you through the bad times” -@biz

@EntreLeadership: “Timing, perseverance & 10 years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone

“If I spend all my energy being worried, the whole company will be worried”
@burningcrow: “Commerce is just a kind of communication” @jack on square

@fabref: #endeavorsummit More Jack Dorsey genius: company leaders can’t look angry or worried. Their job is to look happy. It’s contagious.

@Sati_fied: “Twitter has always been a public service.” So much respect for @jack & @biz

@tvattikuti: “It’s not about the technology, it’s about humanity.” Well said @jack

@Didem_Endeavor: Twitter Co-founders Jack Dorsey & Biz Stone: Company culture is born, by design or not. Founders’ happiness sets the tone.

John Donahoe

@tvattikuti: Donahoe calls out endeavor entrepreneurs & eBay partners @Fisbecer of pozitron and ideame on global collaboration at scale!

@Fisbecer: The online and offline distinction in commerce is getting blurred says eBay CEO John Donahoe #endeavorsummit @endeavor_global

Dave Goldberg

@RashaManna: Dave Goldberg advice: work w/ pple u like to work work, work w/ pple smarter than u, work to people’s strengths @EndeavorJo

@RashaManna: Survey monkey, the ultimate lean startup – Dave Goldberg @EndeavorJo

@RashaManna: Find businesses where you can grow profitably, makes raising capital to scale much easier – Dave Goldberg @EndeavorJo

@rakaneur: “treps smtims look for scaling up only, how about looking for Profitable Growth & not needing to raise money?” Dave Goldberg

@SallyBuberman: Dave Goldberg – “When investors told us no, we were challenged to prove them wrong”

@agalvanc: “Defining vision&strategy, helping my team where I add value,and helping my team to execute better is my job”. Dave Goldberg

Wenceslao Casares

@ChambersErika: Don’t prepare for your #VC mtg like u would the SATs, prepare as you would for a first date. Wences Casares @lemonwallet

Ben Horowitz

@peterolivier: I’m glad everyone is learning from my mistakes. They were extremely painful. – Ben Horowitz

@peterolivier: Gauntlet thrown down by Ben Horowitz. The people that build the biggest companies move to Silicon Valley.

@lvminott: Ben Horowitz thinks you have to move to Silicon Valley to build a great company- look around the room @bhorowitz

@agalvanc: Any advice to entrepreneurs? I hope you have an irational desire to build a company…you will need it! Ben Horowitz

@agalvanc: If anybody is developing a great product and is dominating in its market..we will invest!!!. no matter where.. Ben Horowitz.

Gina Bianchini

@pilarmari: “The people that are excited about the challenges are the ones that will move your idea forward” G Bianchini

@agalvanc: “When choosing talent choose those that love thrill of the game, face challenges.The attitude is key for success.” Bianchini.

Roy Gilbert

@agalvanc: “If you want to be an entrepreneur dont overweigh short term risk and underweigh long term risk. Do vice versa” Gilbert

@Didem_Endeavor: Roy Gilbert: Learning from each other is much more effective than a classroom; reflection & laughter critical success factor

@ChambersErika: “Growth produces the most opportunities but can also produce the most casualties”@roygilbert on employee #retention

Andres Moreno

@matthaggman: @talktoandres on three yardsticks to finding good people: good hearted; they are open to learning; u can learn from them.

@agalvanc: Open English has raised $120 million dlls.Now has 200,0000 students.Extending to US. Great entrepreneurship from LatAm!

@tvattikuti: “It was a challenge to raise institutional capital as a husband and wife team” – Andres Moreno

@agalvanc: Helping people to be more competetive is something that drives our passion and efforts. Andres Moreno Open English.

Aileen Lee

@walterpenfold: “Product companies need to focus more on design, creativity and user experience, to be successful” @aileenlee

@endeavorarg: tell people what you are trying to work on, ask for help. Aileen Lee #advice

@lvminott: Best interview question: “In your performance reviews, what negative feedback have you received?” – Aileen Lee

@Randalltavierne: You should have a Growth Team for your business. Great advice from Aileen Lee

@tvattikuti: Its 1 thing to build a product that people buy & don’t use. It’s another to build a product that delights. -Aileen lee @kpcb

Hosain Rahman

‏@mateojaramirez4h: “Design is just attention to detail” what does your user want? @hosain @Jawbone pic.twitter.com/Q8wQdzryaE

Mitch Free

@aamin1968: “Every person is genius in something” Mitch Free, http://MFC.com #endeavorsummit @ask_arabia

Jenn Lim

@pilarmari: Hire slowly and fire quickly- Jenn Lim

@tvattikuti: “Company core values should be more than a plaque on a wall.” – Jenn Lim

@tvattikuti: “If you get your company culture right, everything else (productivity, efficiency, etc.) will flow” Jenn Lim of @DHMovement

@sati_fied: “Be true to your weird self”

Geoff Ralston

@agalvanc “You might not get rich with an Incubator/Accelerator, but you might change the world”, Ralston

@agalvanc: “Build something that lasts…don’t get stucked with the idea of a big exit….be profitable”, Geoff Ralston

@sati_fied: “When u r profitable, investors love u. Bcoz u no longer need them. Focus on survivability, not exit”-Geoff Ralston,Ycomb

@_bchen: The only reason companies fail is because the founders give up. – Geoff Ralston

Andy Kleinman

@dilekdayinlarli: Retention is the #1 thing for mobile applications, #2 engagement–Andy Kleinman

Maneesh Goyal

@lvminott: “Millennials care about money, they care more about being empowered, they care about being comminuted with, not down to” – Maneesh Goyal

Nick Beim

@tvattikuti: If you’re an Internet entrepreneur, you want to hire someone who studied math to run your marketing – Nick Beim

@tvattikuti: Nick Beim’s Secret of the Universe: Sales and marketing is not an art, it’s a science.

Sidar Sahin

@tvattikuti: People are the same everywhere. Your IQ and intelligence has nothing to do with gender, race or nationality. -Sidar Sahin

@tvattikuti: It’s important to hire young people – Sidar Sahin. @PeakGames has a 22 year old running marketing.


Endeavor Summit Day Three: workshops and breakout sessions provide entrepreneurial tips and inspiration

In addition to the main keynotes, the 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit featured dozens of smaller workshops and sessions in which attendees learned from entrepreneurship gurus from the Valley and beyond.

With new companies starting up every second, one of the hardest things is create a completely unique brand voice for your business. In a workshop “Finding Your Brand Voice: From Product Flows to National Media Attention,” Innovation Endeavors team member Vanessa Hope Schneider offered advice for how entrepreneurs can connect with one another, develop their own brand, and connect with the media. During her workshop, she helped entrepreneurs better the voice of their brands for every situation imaginable – from content strategy to investor meetings.


Interested in turning your entrepreneurship career into a successful investment career? In “Founders into Funders,” Phil Wickham — President and CEO of the Center for Venture Education in California, who helps run the Kauffman Fellows Program — said LPs want to be confident in two things when raising funds. “One – the team’s ability to attract a good pipeline. Two – the team’s stability.” And what’s the best form of intellectual property? “Inspiration – doing what others don’t think is possible or logical.”


In “Mining the Silicon Valley Mind: Lessons for Foreign Entrepreneurs,” Dr. Carlos Baradello — a tech industry veteran — discussed the history of the Valley and gave tips on how foreign entrepreneurs can expand to the Golden State. “Openness brings reward,” he advised at one point. “Leave the non-disclosure agreements in your home country.”


Don’t be blindsided by a fast-growing company; use experts’ tips to handle the transition smoothly. In the panel entitled “Product Roadmaps for Fast-Growing Companies,” Nicolette Moreno related her own experience at Open English and explained the process of evolving products to encourage a company’s growth. Moreno is a founder and the Chief Product Officer at Open English. She helped bring the company to the landmark of teaching over 100,000 students across 40 countries. She talked about how she helped Open English meet that impressive landmark and what strategies companies can use to do the same.


“Protecting Innovation During Expansion” was the kind of panel discussion that every entrepreneur should hear. Diana Muller and Ted Weisz discussed the latest news regarding intellectual property for international entrepreneurs. Having done extensive work and research on trademarks, Muller was part of the Women’s Wear Daily Legal Roundtable on Protecting Intellectual Property and Actions against Global Counterfeiting. Weisz was an electrical engineer before becoming a lawyer. He has spoken to entrepreneurs worldwide about intellectual property and the best methods of securing patents. They both shared their knowledge of the latest trends for intellectual property on an international level.


In “The Secret to Scale: Understand Your Unit Economics!” Endeavor Global Board member Nick Beim, a partner at Venrock, offered advice gained from advising companies worldwide. “Sales and marketing is not an art, it’s a science,” he said. “If you’re an internet entrepreneur, you want to hire someone who studied math to run your marketing.” It’s all a numbers game.


A good team can help a company, but only a great team will make it great. In the discussion “Unlocking Growth through Leadership Development,” Jennifer Waldo talked about using talent management to simultaneously grow and give your business a competitive edge. Waldo has worked at GE for years, and is currently the senior human resources manager for GE Software. She is known for preaching a new wave of leadership at GE.


In a discussion with Geoff Ralston, “Accelerators and Incubators: From Seed to Scale,” Ralston gave advice to early-stage startups about how to grow and scale their business. Ralston was the CEO of Lala Media, Inc. (a music startup) for seven years, before moving on to found Imagine K-12 (a program to help education startups) and become a partner at Y Combinator (a company that invests in startups and helps them get moving).

He encouraged entrepreneurs to “build something that lasts – don’t get stuck with the idea of a big exit. Be profitable.” This is also good to remember when looking for investors: “When you are profitable, investors love you. Because you no longer need them. Focus on survivability, not exit.” His answer for how not to fail? “The only reason companies fail is because the founders give up.” Bottom line: stick with it, grow your company, and focus on profitability.


Another popular workshop was “An Entrepreneur’s Playbook to Getting the Most out of Attorneys” with Doug Mandell. Mandell works as both general counsel and personal counsel to tech companies and entrepreneurs, such as LinkedIn. He has now founded his own firm, Mandell Law Group, PC. He spoke about everything an emerging business needs to know from a legal standpoint, such as how to work with an attorney, understand legal terms, and pick the right lawyer.


“Designing an e-Commerce Strategy” was led by Endeavor network member Diego Piacentini. Piacentini was the VP at Apple Computer Europe before taking on his role as SVP International of Amazon.com, where he manages the company’s Asian and European divisions. The previous year’s Endeavor Global Mentor of the Year winner discussed how to craft the right e-commerce strategy for your company. One thing to remember, he said, is that “E-commerce in the US is still 5-10% of total commerce. Physical stores won’t go away.” He also gave advice on how “e-commerce can still thrive in markets where credit card penetration is low.”


The workshop “Driving Growth via Customer Experience” focused on how to make your customers an integral tool for your company. Aaron Cheris, a partner at Bain & Company, Inc. where he is the worldwide product leader for customer loyalty, talked about how to make your business flourish by focusing on its customer experience. Cheris gave a demonstration on how to use Net Promoter Score to pick out its biggest fans and worst enemies.


Doesn’t everyone love a good success story? The chat titled “EE Spotlight: Peak Games’ Path from Istanbul Startup to Global Player” delivered one of the best stories of them all. Sidar Sahin, an Endeavor Entrepreneur, has founded or partnered in many companies, such as Trendyol and Gamegarden. Most recently he has co-founded Peak Games in Turkey, which has become the third most popular social gaming country in the whole world. “People are the same everywhere,” he said at one point. “Your IQ and intelligence has nothing to do with gender, race, or nationality.” Sahin also cautioned against ignoring potentially successful employees due to inexperience, citing that he has a 22-year-old in charge of marketing.


“Experiential Marketing: Connecting the Online and the Offline” was a great discussion concerning one of the new waves on the marketing front, which uses consumer interactions in its efforts. Maneesh Goyal, founder and CEO of experiential marketing agency MKG (which has worked with big names like Google and Coca-Cola), talked about why this new movement is becoming particularly popular as of late. “Milennials care about money, but they care more about being empowered. They care about being communicated with, not down to.” Make your customer a part of the conversation, and they’ll be more willing to like your product.


Laptops are so last season. The session “Navigating the Mobile Movement” discussed how mobile is growing at a huge rate, and how to tap into that business opportunity. Andy Kleinman answered questions and talked about different strategies to make mobile work for your company. Kleinman is an advisor to multiple startups, as well as previous GM at Zynga and current Chief Business Officer at Scopely, a fast growing business in the mobile world. The most important things to keep in mind when it comes to mobile apps? “Retention is the number one thing . . . number two is engagement.”


Another panel focused on problems every company faces: those involving the HR world. Titled “The HR Doctors Are In! A Human Resources Forum for CEOs,” it had speakers Donna Dubinsky and Tricia Tomlinson, with over 60 years of experience in HR combined. Dubinsky is the former CEO of Palm (which created the PalmPilot), co-founder of Handspring (which created the Treo smartphones), and board member for the company created when Palm and Handspring joined forces. Tomlinson has been an HR executive for decades and is Principal of her own HR firm, Tricia Tomlinson Consulting.


In a unique side event, “Upward Then Onward: Elevator Pitches,” attendees were given the opportunity to give their elevator pitch to Venture Capitalists for critiquing and feedback. Those mentors included Steve Dupree, a General Partner at Richmond Global and creator of marketing e-newsletter MarketFound; Andrew Heckler, CEO of Workhouse Capital and previous panelist for multiple Endeavor selection panels; and Mike Hennessey, startup mentor and Managing Director for BlueBanyan, where he invests in tech startups in the US and Latin America. The best part? The pitching was done inside an actual elevator.


Another interactive workshop focused on building a good culture and maintaining it through company growth. “Deliver Happiness Like Zappos!” was led by Sunny Grosso, who   has worked in several startups and is now the Culture and Brand Boos at Delivering Happiness, LLC, where she works to create success in companies by way of happiness. Sunny focused on teaching work-life integration instead of the cliched work-life balance. One quote to remember: “People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”


Another interactive session, “Design Thinking Across Borders and Industries,” discussed how to manage overwhelming customer data and was led by Daniel Markwig and Beate Riefer. Markwig was a mechanical engineer and marketing consultant before joining the Design and Co-Innovation Center at SAP, where he is now a Senior Design Strategist. Riefer is also a Senior Designer Strategist at SAP and is responsible for team building and people development.


Another workshop, “Innovated through Business Model Generation,” went through entrepreneurs’ business models to dig deeper into their businesses to find more ways they could refine and grow. Patrick Van der Pijl, CEO of Business Models, Inc. (where he works with global organizations to create new business models and pick out strengths and weaknesses), and Lisa Kay Solomon, the US partner of Business Models, Inc. and co-founder of Thirty-X Innovation Studio, ran the workshop.

Endeavor Summit Day Three: Endeavor’s Fernando Fabre and Bain’s Chris Zook close Summit by reflecting on “The Founder’s Mentality”

The 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit concluded with two inspirational keynotes.

Endeavor President Fernando Fabre delivered an address on High-Impact Founders, reflecting on what makes High-Impact Entrepreneurs different and the lifecycle of these rare innovators. “A high impact entrepreneur is defined in two stages,” he said. “Stage one: be successful and scale. Stage two: use the success to mentor and invest in other entrepreneurs.” He highlighted Endeavor’s continued research in studying the “multiplier effect” as one of the most effective ways of fostering a culture or “ecosystem” of entrepreneurship.

The last session was titled “The Founder’s Mentality,” featuring Chris Zook. Zook is a best-selling book author, a speaker at international forums and a Partner at Bain & Company, where he helps companies find new avenues that will help foster growth. In his keynote he discussed new research on how founders think and quoted some old time thinkers, too — including Aristotle’s “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is a habit.”

That founder’s mentality of excellence is something to believe in – “founder-led companies outperform non-founder led companies by approximately two times as much,” he said. Founders are more like conquerors in this day and age, it seems; they are pushing the economy forward and taking the risks that often lead to the greatest successes.

And what’s the key to a founder’s success according to Zook? In a word, “Focus.”


Note:  To learn more about Bain’s work on the Founders Mentality, click here.


Endeavor Summit Day Three: Fadi Ghandour and Alex Asseily address revolution and entrepreneurship; Jenn Lim on happiness

Are the spirit of revolution and entrepreneurship essentially the same thing? In the Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit session “Revolution and Entrepreneurship,” Alex Asseily and Fadi Ghandour discussed the daring it takes to succeed at enterprise.

Asseily founded Jawbone and served as its CEO. Today, he is its chairman, a job he balances with serving as the founder and chairman of a startup called STATE, a “global opinion network” based in London. Ghandour is the founder, vice chairman, and former CEO of Aramex, a worldwide transportation company. In addition to being an active Endeavor network member, he co-founded and manages an investment company, serves on multiple company boards, and is the founder and chairman of Ruwwad for Development, a company dedicated to empowering disadvantaged communities.

Both stressed that entrepreneurship is making people rethink the way things are done. Said Asseily, “Entrepreneurship is about restlessness and perseverance. We rewrote the rules of the industry.” Asseily also talked about how entrepreneurs start with next to nothing, and they “put their all” into everything they are doing; for this reason, they have to continually find revolutionary ways of pushing forward and making their ideas a reality.

And when you hit a roadblock? “Rejection strengthens us, but it is also feedback that you need to continue to improve.” Take the failure, look at the reasons why there was one, and grow from that. “You remember failure more than you remember anything else,” said Ghandour, stressing the importance of using failure to create success. Ghandour also said, “As a young entrepreneur, there was a sense of innocence and irrationality that allowed us to take big risks,” much like how a revolutionary thinks and acts.


Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all focused on selling happiness? “The Business of Delivering Happiness” featured speaker Jenn Lim, who strives to help businesses do just that.

Lim started out creating Culture Books for Zappos and launching Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s first book Delivering Happiness. She is now co-founder and CEO of Delivering Happiness, a company that devotes itself to helping companies, organizations, and people manage their lives and achieve the ultimate goal: happiness.

How do you sustain that happiness? “Pleasure, passion, and higher purpose,” she said, along with, “Be[ing] true to your weird self.” As far as keeping up the happiness in a business, she urged everyone to remember that “company core values should be more than a plaque on a wall.” You have to actually work to create a culture, and work even hard to create a respectable one. Then, “if you get your company culture right, everything else will flow.” The best piece of advice for getting the best people for that culture? “Hire slowly, fire quickly.”

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.


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.


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.”




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