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Endeavor Jordan Hosts Second Annual “Catalyzing Conversations” Event with Top Members of the Global Network
Endeavor Jordan hosted the second annual ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ event in collaboration with the 59th Endeavor International Selection Panel in Amman. ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ is a multi-tiered event featuring a series of interactive and motivational discussions with business leaders, entrepreneurs […]
June 30th, 2015 — by adminRead more
In the news
The Greece-based Hellas Direct, a direct-to-consumer online insurance company, has announced the completion of an institutional investment round led by Third Point LLC’s affiliate, the Third Point Hellenic Recovery Fund (TPHR). TPHR joins a roster of top investors including private equity […]
February 17th, 2015 — by adminRead more
Latest Video(video) Endeavor Greece Celebrates Two Years and 3,500+ Jobs Created By Its Entrepreneurs
December 18th, 2014
Endeavor Mexico company and microfinance institution Kubo Financiero recently partnered with US non-profit KIVA, which has distributed over $400 million in loans since 2005. As a result, some Kubo borrowers will now have their loans posted on KIVA’s lending site. Notably, the Kubo-KIVA alliance was covered by Reforma, one of the most widely-circulated newspapers in Mexico.
Founded by Vicente Fenoll, who was selected by Endeavor in 2004, Kubo gives out small loans (USD $25-$4,000) via a peer-to-peer lending site to finance everything from education courses to health treatments. One example of a Kubo project posted on KIVA’s site was from a taxi driver asking for a USD $1000 loan to finance maintenance of his vehicle.
This year’s Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit offered entrepreneurs the chance to learn how to fine-tune their business savvy from some of the top innovators in the world. Held in San Francisco from June 19-21, the biennial conference invited Endeavor Entrepreneurs to hear business leaders’ secrets to success, participate in one-on-one “Global Connection” mentor-ship sessions, and attend a wide array of interactive workshops and break-out sessions.
On the morning of June 19th, Endeavor Entrepreneurs had the opportunity to participate in three different pre-Summit visits: lunch with Zynga founder Mark Pincus at the company’s headquarters and tours of Dropbox and Google.
Investor Network Day
On the morning of June 19th, the Summit kicked off for many participants with an Investor Network event at GreenbergTraurig. The event featured a panel of three investors leading a discussion about raising capital to sustain and grow a business. Steve Alper (Managing Director and Head of Investment Services for Barclays), Santiago Subotovsky (Endeavor Entrepreneur and principal at Emergence Capital), and Dave McClure (Co-Founder of 500 Startups) offered their top tips to Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Funding projects, pitching an idea, and reading the market in order to strike at opportunities were among the most hard-hit topics. The panelists also stressed the importance of making the most of Endeavor’s guidance.
Separately, investors from around the world met to discuss trends and opportunities in emerging market investments. A popular speed networking session between entrepreneurs and investors followed, along with a cook-off competition over lunch at the Williams-Sonoma facility.
One of the most memorable talks was a conversation between Jack Dorsey, Twitter mastermind and chairman and founder of Square, and Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Jelly, and The Obvious Corporation. Stone and Dorsey drew attention to the power of an idea as fuel for a successful business, pointing out how Twitter’s focus on communication as a marketing tool made it what it is today. Passion, said Stone, is what has driven businesses to become phenomena;it’s the most important capital an investor has.
In another keynote, John Donahoe, CEO of eBay noted how vital it is to fine-tune yourself to subtle shifts in the pulse of the market, especially in a business world growing increasingly virtual where distinctions are harder to point out.
Speaking with Eric Eldon of TechCrunch, the successful investor Ali Partovi encouraged the audience to take risks when necessary.
Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, and Wences Casares, an Endeavor Entrepreneur and Global Board member whose technological prowess launched many high-impact ventures, had an engaging discussion. Goldberg offered his advice on choosing a team that works. “Work with people you like to work with, work with people smarter than you, and work to people’s strengths.”
John McIntire and Andres Moreno of Open English held their own gem-filled discussion, while Mitch Free, founder of marketing company MFG.com, delivered the much-tweeted “Every person is a genius in something.”
Master tech advisor Ben Horowitz and washingtonpost.newsweek interactive CEO Chris Schroeder, as well as Roy Gilbert, CEO of Grockit, and Gina Bianchini, who co-founded the social platform Ning, spoke in two separate conversations about the need for drive and perseverance. Bianchini affirmed the necessity of having patience when embarking on a business venture, stating that failure is often part of the path to success.
Then there was Jawbone founder Alex Asseily and Fadi Ghandour of Aramex’s take on failure, as something not just to overcome, but to learn from: “Rejection strengthens us, but it is also feedback that you need to continue to improve,” as Asseily phrased it.
Jenn Lim, co-founder and CEO of Delivering Happiness, shared her discoveries about the subject on the road to business success. By mixing “pleasure, passion, and higher purpose,” companies can find success beyond numbers by bringing a sense of fulfillment to employees’ lives.
Endeavor President Fernando Fabre and Bain partner Chris Zook concluded the summit. Fabre discussed his vision of the ideal lifecycle of the high-impact entrepreneur—from success to giving back. Zook took a similar approach, returning to the words of Aristotle as a guide for the future: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is a habit.”
Workshops and Breakout Sessions
By attending smaller workshops and “hot topics” sessions, attendees benefited from personalized coaching and advice – in a sense, small “team meetings” with some of the best entrepreneurial minds today. There were nearly twenty different workshops, side panels, and group discussions that took place, tackling all subjects from protecting IP to managing customer data. Workshops were led by experts from leading companies including Bain (customer service), Business Model Generation (strategic planning), General Electric (human resources) and SAP (design thinking).
A highlight of the Summit was a 2-hour Global Connections session that brought together close to 300 entrepreneurs and members of Endeavor’s Silicon Valley network for a round-robin series of one-on-one mentoring sessions. Participants were given access to an online community platform, provided by Summit sponsor Jive Software, so that they could remain in touch after the Summit.
Endeavor also took the opportunity to recognize some of the most accomplished and inspiring entrepreneurs of the year in the Omidyar Network – Endeavor Awards Dinner, hosted by Endeavor Global board members Nick Beim and Wences Casares.
Young Entrepreneurs of the Year included entrepreneurs all under thirty who have already made a name for themselves. Mois Cherem (from Mexico’s Enova) was recognized for his outstanding progress in Mexico’s educational system with the Social Impact Award, while the Endeavor Advocate Award was shared among excellent Endeavor Entrepreneurs from all countries. Both the job growth awards and the highest revenue awards were divided into three categories. Concerning job growth, winners were awarded for creating the most jobs, for having the highest percentage growth in jobs, and for having the highest absolute growth in jobs in their companies. The revenue awards were broken down based on highest percentage growth in revenue, highest absolute growth in revenue, and highest overall revenue.
There’s one name that stood out among the rest, being called four times to the stage to receive an award. Bento Koike of Brazil’s Tecsis, a pioneer in the field of sustainable energy and the world’s second-largest producer of wind blades, took the top prize for the highest overall growth in jobs, highest overall revenue, and highest overall growth in revenue. He also starred as the recipient of the Omidyar Network-Endeavor Entrepreneur Award, introduced in an elegant and inspiring address by Endeavor Global Board member Matt Bannick, Managing Partner at Omidyar Network.
Talk of the town
With Twitter’s co-founders serving as keynote speakers, it was only natural that the discussion overflowed beyond the conference and become an opportunity for social networking. Check out the top tweets about this summit’s discussions and workshops (#endeavorsummit).
Be sure to check out the individual daily posts on the Endeavor.org blog for more insights into this year’s remarkable Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit.
This June, Endeavor Entrepreneurs and Endeavor network members convened in San Francisco to hear business leaders’ best entrepreneurship tips at the 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit.
Attendees enjoyed three days of keynotes and fireside chats, interactive workshops led by business execs, and a speed networking session. Entrepreneurs had the chance to learn from the masters and take away lessons to help them grow their high-impact businesses.
In case you missed the Summit, here’s a second look at some of the event’s most impactful (and most-tweeted) tips and tricks:
1. “Every transaction is a social event!” said Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Jelly, and The Obvious Corporation. Stone pointed out the role passion plays in building a business as the fundamental ingredient in a recipe for success. “When you are emotionally invested in something, it will carry you through the bad times,” he explained alongside Jack Dorsey. Stone and Dorsey remarked that Twitter was founded and fueled not by a business mantra, but by an idea: the power of conversation can connect people across the globe.
2. “The best leaders learn the fastest,” stated John Donahoe, CEO of eBay. With business growing more global by the minute and the distinction between virtual and physical transactions fading fast, the importance of understanding subtle shifts in the pulse of the market cannot be understated. Along the lines of this advice, Ali Partovi, the highly successful investor, encouraged his audience: “Don’t let your fear of failing stop you from taking risks.” Think before you act–but not so much that you miss the boat.
3. Not certain how to go about choosing your team? Take the advice of Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey: “Work with people you like to work with, work with people smarter than you, and work to people’s strengths.” As the marketing company MFG.com founder Mitch Free put it, “Every person is a genius in something.”
4. Master tech advisor Ben Horowitz added stated, “I hope you have an irrational desire to build a company–you will need it!” Gina Bianchini, who co-founded the social platform Ning, affirmed the necessity of having patience when embarking on a business venture, stating that failure is often part of the path to success.
5. Sometimes, though, persevering seems hard, even impossible. Jawbone Founder Alex Asseily’s take on failure is not just to overcome it, but to learn from it: “Rejection strengthens us, but it is also feedback that you need to continue to improve.”
6. Fernando Fabre, Endeavor’s president, concluded the Summit by discussing the entrepreneurial life cycle. He explained, “A high-impact entrepreneur is defined in two stages. Stage one: be successful and scale. Stage two: use the success to mentor and invest in other entrepreneurs.” It’s just another way of spreading the entrepreneurial spirit; success grows off of itself, so the more you can lead others to it, the more pay-off there will be for your own company. Bestselling author Chris Zook took a similar approach, returning to the words of Aristotle as a guide for the future: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is a habit.”
Hungry for more advice? Check out the top tweets from the event (#endeavorsummit) to hear the speakers’ most memorable tips.
The Omidyar Network – Endeavor Awards Dinner celebrated the remarkable achievements of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Hosted by Endeavor Global board members Nick Beim and Wences Casares, the event awarded Endeavor Entrepreneurs for their accomplishments in various categories. Let’s take a look at the winners.
Featured Young Entrepreneurs of 2013 Award (Presented by Dell):
The recipients of this award, all under 30 years old, manage companies that help solve the everyday needs of the consumer, from running corporate daycare services to serving up all-natural smoothies.
- Selcuk Atli of SocialWire (Turkey/USA)
- Jorge Bouffier of SinSecretos (Mexico)
- Luis Garza of Advenio (Mexico)
- Frank Martin of Restorando.com (Argentina)
- Deniz Oktar of Iletken (Turkey)
- Franco Silvetti of Restorando.com (Argentina)
Social Impact Award (Presented by eBay Inc.):
This award is for the entrepreneur with the greatest traditional social influence — creating jobs and serving as a role model.
- Mois Cherem of Enova, a company that has revolutionized education in Mexico through education centers that provide e-learning courses to populations in marginalized neighborhoods.
Endeavor Advocate Award (Presented by Ernst & Young):
The recipients of this award are not only successful entrepreneurs, but have also contributed greatly to Endeavor itself in a variety of ways, including speaking at entrepreneurship events on Endeavor’s behalf, donating financially to the organization, mentoring fellow Endeavor Entrepreneurs, and serving as Endeavor Board Members.
- ARGENTINA: Marcos Galperin from MercadoLibre.com
- BRAZIL: Wilson Poit from Poit Energia
- CHILE: Isabella Jaras from Nutrabien
- COLOMBIA: Andrés Albán and Mauricio Hoyos from Conexred
- EGYPT: Amr Shady from T.A. Telecom
- GREECE: Nikos Kakavoulis and Phaedra Chrousos from Daily Secret
- INDONESIA: Aldi Haryopratomo from Ruma
- JORDAN: Amin Amin from ASK for Human Capacity Building
- KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA: Naif Alqahtani from LSS
- LEBANON: Nemr Badine and Marc Dfouni from Eastline Marketing
- MEXICO: Eduardo Graniello and Felipe Labbé from Intellego
- SOUTH AFRICA: Carlo Gonzaga from Taste Holdings
- TURKEY: Melih Odemis from Yemeksepeti.com
- URUGUAY: Gabriel Colla from Lynkos
Greatest Growth in Jobs Awards (Presented by SAP):
- Most Jobs Created by Year-End 2012: Runners-up: Globant from Argentina; Kibernum from Chile; Bodytech from Colombia; Vicky Form from Mexico; and Baydoner from Turkey. Winner: Carlo Gonzaga for Taste Holdings — from South Africa
- Highest Percentage Growth in Jobs (2010-2012): Runners-up: To-Life from Brazil; Enova from Mexico; Ruma from Indonesia; Daily Secret from Greece; and Onapsis from Argentina. Winner: Sidar Sahin for Peak Games — from Turkey
- Highest Absolute Growth in Jobs (2010-2012): Runners-up: Travel & Vacation Group from Colombia, Globant from Argentina, Masana from South Africa, Intellego from Mexico, and Hindawi from Egypt. Winner: Bento Koike for Tecsis — from Brazil
Highest Revenue Awards (Presented by Barclays):
- Highest Overall Revenue Year-End 2012: Runners-up:Mercadolibre.com from Argentina; Intellego from Mexico; Agrotop from Chile; Travel and Vacation Group from Colombia; and Pharmacy One from Jordan. Winner: Bento Koike for Tecsis – from Brazil
- Highest Percentage Growth in Revenue (2010-2012): Runners-up: Advenio from Mexico; Tecverde from Brazil; Daily Secret from Greece; Comparaonline.com from Chile; Ruma from Indonesia. Winner: Sidar Sahin for Peak Games — from Turkey
- Highest Absolute Growth in Revenue (2010-2012): Runners-up: Mercadolibre.com from Argentina; Travel and Vacation Group from Colombia; Intellego from Mexico; Pharmacy One from Jordan; Baydoner from Turkey; and Taste Holdings from South Africa. Winner: Bento Koike for Tecsis – from Brazil
Omidyar Network-Endeavor High Impact Entrepreneur of 2013 Award:
“This newly established award has been set up to celebrate the best of the best,” said Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network Managing Partner and Endeavor Global Board Member.“It recognizes that entrepreneur who has achieved extraordinary success and done so in the most exemplary fashion. It identifies that one person who over the course of the year has achieved the highest impact and demonstrated the requisite mix of vision, passion, and tenacity.”
The award was given to Bento Koike of Tecsis, a pioneer in the field of sustainable energy and the world’s second-largest producer of wind blades. Tecsis added 4800 new jobs between 2010 and 2012, grew revenue by $550 million between 2010 and 2012, and had $800 million+ in revenue in 2012.
Endeavor CEO and Co-Founder Linda Rottenberg was a guest on the June 27th Today Show “Making it Happen” segment. Appearing with LearnVest.com founder Alexa Von Tobel, Rottenberg was interviewed by Today Show co-anchors Hoda Ktob and Kathie Lee Gifford about what it takes to launch an entrepreneurial venture. Among the bits of advice she shared: Take being called “crazy” as a compliment; Having a product and customers is more important than a business plan… learn as you go along. View the clip here.
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!
GENERAL THOUGHTS AND IMPRESSIONS:
@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
KEYNOTES & WORKSHOPS:
@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.
@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
@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
@ChambersErika: Don’t prepare for your #VC mtg like u would the SATs, prepare as you would for a first date. Wences Casares @lemonwallet
@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.
@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.
@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
@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.
@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
@mateojaramirez4h: “Design is just attention to detail” what does your user want? @hosain @Jawbone pic.twitter.com/Q8wQdzryaE
@aamin1968: “Every person is genius in something” Mitch Free, http://MFC.com #endeavorsummit @ask_arabia
@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”
@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
@dilekdayinlarli: Retention is the #1 thing for mobile applications, #2 engagement–Andy Kleinman
@lvminott: “Millennials care about money, they care more about being empowered, they care about being comminuted with, not down to” – Maneesh Goyal
@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.
@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.”
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