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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 admin

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Endeavor’s Linda Rottenberg Highlights the Inclusive Power of Entrepreneurship for WEF 2015

As part of the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Linda Rottenberg, Endeavor co-founder and CEO, published an article assessing the state of inclusive entrepreneurship worldwide. The article celebrates the role that Endeavor Entrepreneurs […]

January 26th, 2015 — by admin

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March 2013 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s March newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

Reminder: To receive our monthly newsletters by email, please enter your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of our homepage.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Return to Austin for SXSW

Endeavor brought 18 entrepreneurs to Austin, Texas for SXSW Interactive, the annual conference celebrating the latest innovations in tech, entrepreneurship, media, and more.

Endeavor’s tour began with a trip to The Salt Lick, Austin’s most famous BBQ joint, where execs from TravelShark, Austin Ventures, and Whale Shark Media mingled with entrepreneurs over ribs, cole slaw, brisket, and potato salad.

The tour continued the next morning with a visit to Austin-based HomeAway, the leading vacation rental marketplace. The company was founded in 2005, IPOed in 2011, and today has a $2.5 BN market cap. Endeavor toured HomeAway’s unique office space- including the iconic “bird house,” before sitting down with founders Carl Shepherd and Brian Sharples, the winner of the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Services Industry. Endeavor Entrepreneurs spoke with Carl and Brian about their aggressive acquisition strategy, best practices in M&A, effectively pricing products, and HomeAway’s future.

After leaving HomeAway, Endeavor spent the afternoon at Whole Foods’ headquarters in downtown Austin. Betsy Foster, Global VP of Growth & Business Development at Whole Foods, presented the company’s mission and core values. Her colleague David Bigham, Global Technology Director, spoke to entrepreneurs about Whole Foods’ latest efforts in the mobile and gaming space.

Later, Lou Aronson talked about how and why he left his career as a lawyer to found Votifi, a civic engagement platform. He also stressed the importance of agility, as the feedback on Votifi he received at SXSW 2012 led him to shift the business model and create Discourse Analytics, a political insights and analytics provider.

Travis Murdock and Mike Brito, Vice Presidents at leading Public Relations firm Edelman, shared their favorite networking apps, best practices for attracting PR at a large-scale event like SXSW, and several case studies, including case studies on Endeavor Entrepreneur companies The Online Project (Zafer Younis and Ramzi Halaby, Jordan) and Mural.ly (Mariano Suarez Battan, Argentina).

Maher Kaddoura, Endeavor Jordan Board Member and former Managing Partner of Accenture Middle East, closed the afternoon with his Falafel Theory of Innovation, arguing that to effectively scale your company, you must specialize in one specific area- like making falafels at a superhuman rate.

On March 11th, Endeavor Entrepreneurs attended a private breakfast meeting with Scott McNealy, the Co-Founder & Former CEO of Sun Microsystems and the Chairman of Wayin. McNealy spoke to entrepreneurs about why he decided to become Wayin’s Chairman, leadership challenges and opportunities, and succession planning for the entrepreneurs’ companies. The Silicon Valley legend called Endeavor Entrepreneurs “heroes” for their role in creating jobs and opportunities in their countries.

Endeavor’s SXSW tour ended with a cocktail party at Malaga co-hosted by GigaOm and attended by journalists, Venture Capitalists, entrepreneurs, and start-up execs.

In addition to attending Endeavor-arranged events, entrepreneurs received invites to what is arguably the most important aspect of SXSW: social events. Entrepreneurs networked at parties hosted by Austin Ventures, Intel Capital/Mural.ly , Scopely, Wayin, and WeHostels.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs and staff with HomeAway founders Brian Sharples and Carl Shepherd


Endeavor Entrepreneurs and staff at breakfast with Scott McNealy (Co-Founder & Former CEO, Sun Microsystems; Chairman, Wayin) and his wife, Susan


Words of wisdom at HomeAway


Words of wisdom at Whole Foods HQs


Edelman exec Travis Murdock presents a case study on Mural.ly, Mariano Suarez Battan’s company.


Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur Mariano Suarez Battan (Three Melons, Mural.ly), staff member Travis Marchman, Endeavor South Africa candidate Zukhanye Mayekiso, and Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur Pablo Orlando (GoodPeople)


Endeavor Entrepreneur Nikos Kakavoulis of Daily Secret speaks at SXSW Interactive about “Growing a Business in a Submerged Economy (Greece).”



At Athens Selection Panel, Endeavor selects 18 High-Impact Entrepreneurs (from Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Turkey and Saudi Arabia)

Endeavor selected 18 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Turkey and Saudi Arabia at its 47th International Selection Panel. Endeavor now supports 784 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 489 companies in 14 emerging market countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from March 11-13 in Athens, Greece.

“It’s very exciting to have so many new companies join the Endeavor community,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “And I’m particularly pleased that the selection panel took place in Greece, where, amidst much economic chaos, we launched an office in September. I often say that when economies turn down, entrepreneurs look up!”

The International Selection Panel (ISP) is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process. At the ISP, top local and international business leaders interview candidates about their businesses and high-impact potential, and then vote on whether or not candidates become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Post-selection, Endeavor provides entrepreneurs with customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating thousands of jobs and building sustainable growth models in their home countries.

Endeavor’s next International Selection Panel will be held in Buenos Aires this May.


Entrepreneur(s)/Companies selected:



Entrepreneurs: Gamal El Din Sadek, Mohamed Rafea

Company: Bey2ollak (www.bey2ollak.com/desktop.html)

Bey2ollak aims to help individuals in congested cities like Cairo avoid traffic, ultimately improving people’s quality of life by saving them time and money. As a simple, user-generated traffic tracking system, Bey2ollak’s cross-platform mobile application helps users find the fastest and safest routes.



Entrepreneur: George Patsis

Company: Obrela (www.obrela.com/home/)

Obrela is an IT security outsourcing company that offers comprehensive “security as a service” packages to enterprise clients and SMEs. Clients are able to buy the packages that match their needs–anything from a single software license to a fully-integrated suite of outsourced services–and Obrela will step in to optimize almost any IT security environment.


Entrepreneurs: Kerstin Trikalitis, Daphne Loukas

Company: Out There Media (www.out-there-media.com)

Out There Media (OTM) offers advertisers and mobile operators the technology and know-how to execute efficient and highly targeted advertising campaigns on mobile phones. OTM’s mobile advertising development and sales unit offers brands convenient and specialized end-to-end solutions for generating ads best suited to mobile and brands’ core audiences. The company’s Mobucks platform connects operators, publishers, brands and their agencies to distribute targeted ads across mobile channels to end users.



Entrepreneur: Sugianto Tandio

Company: Tirta Marta (www.tirtamarta.com)

Tirta Marta was established in 1971 as a pioneer in flexible packaging material.  In 2010, Tirta Marta launched two groundbreaking eco-friendly technologies: OXIUM® (a natural additive to plastic that ensures rapid degradation) and ECOPLAS® (a biodegradable plastic polymer made from tapioca). Through these products, Sugianto hopes to provide a long-term answer to the problem of waste accumulation and pollution. Today, over 90% of Indonesian modern markets and convenience stores exclusively stock OXIUM® plastic shopping bags.



Entrepreneur: Omar Onsi

Company: Nymgo (www.nymgo.com)

Nymgo is making the world smaller by connecting under-privileged immigrants with their families back home. Nymgo’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software offers immigrant communities a low-cost and high-quality solution for calling landlines and mobile phones in regions where Internet and broadband infrastructure remain scarce. Nymgo’s VoIP calls are a fraction of the cost of its competitors. The product can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and tablets and offers a very simple design to make cheap calls to landlines and mobile phones around the world.



Entrepreneurs: Claudio del Conde, Claudia de Heredia, Paul Marquard

Company: Kichink! (www.kichink.com)

Kichink! is an ecommerce solution that is designed and built to be as simple, intelligent, personal and safe as possible to allow anyone to start selling in minutes, without upfront investment.


Entrepreneur: José Luis Cisneros

Company: La Zarza (www.lazarza.com.mx/directorio.php)

La Zarza makes classic Mexican desserts and pastries from the highest-quality ingredients and distributes them across Mexican states through 61 proprietary and franchise stores. The company is planning an aggressive expansion of both its geographic reach and its portfolio dessert options.


Entrepreneurs: Manuel Villarreal, Jorge Bouffier

Company: Sin Secretos (www.frutosdevida.com, www.holasmoothie.com)

Sin Secretos produces 100% natural and preservative-free fruit juices and smoothies under brands Frutos de Vida (Fruits of Life), Frutos de Vida for Kids, and HOLA Smoothie. The juices are available on the shelves of most major Mexican supermarkets and price clubs, and will soon be at convenience stores. The company emphasizes the positive nutritional benefits of its products for adults and children alike.


Entrepreneur: Manolo Diaz

Company: Yogome (www.yogome.co)

Yogome develops educational tablet and mobile games to help kids ages 4 -10 learn in a fun way through technology. The multi-lingual games are among the top 10 in the Apple App Store’s education category, are developed by pedagogical experts, and cover a range of school subjects taught by engaging “Yogotar” characters. The company aspires to become a global kids’ brand.


Saudi Arabia

Entrepreneurs: Abdulmohsin Alrabiah

Company: Shawarmer (www.shawarmer.com)

Shawarmer has transformed the way Saudis think about and eat shawarma, the most popular Arabic sandwich. This chain of fast-casual restaurants, with 28 locations throughout Saudi Arabia, is devoted to serving shawarma and other Arab foods, freshly prepared with high-quality ingredients and served with Arab hospitality.


Entrepreneur: Naif Alqahtani

Company: LSS (www.lss.com.sa/)

Logistics Solution Services (LSS) is a leading logistics provider in Saudi Arabia offering storage, distribution, and supply chain management services. LSS operates state-of-the-art warehouse technology and has achieved international logistics standards. LSS prides itself in serving some of the most significant clients in the region, including Halliburton, DB Schenker, and Saudi Aramco.



Entrepreneur: Murat Özler

Company: KobiMaster (www.kobimaster.com)

KobiMaster provides small and medium businesses with an integrated software and services solutions to build and manage their ecommerce presence. The company also aims to fulfill various integration solution demands such as supplier integration, inventory management, accounting, and user traffic integration solutions.


Entrepreneur: Kaan Aykaç

Company: Gezlong (www.gezlong.com)

Gezlong’s localized hotel bookings platform – the first of its kind for Turkish travelers-has disrupted the largely untapped online travel and hotel accommodation market in Turkey. Gezlong offers travelers flash deals as well as season-long sales to premium and boutique hotels in Turkey and across Europe.



Endeavor and Ernst & Young share best practices for corporate volunteers in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Endeavor CEO and Co-Founder Linda Rottenberg was published in the 10th Anniversary Issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The article, focusing on best practices in corporate volunteer programs, was co-authored with Deborah K. Holmes, the Americas director of corporate responsibility for Ernst & Young.

“‘Resilient dynamism’—confronting adaptive challenges and turning them into transformational change—was the theme of this year’s World Economic Forum,” Rottenberg and Holmes write. “We believe one way to encourage this concept within emerging economies, inside leading businesses, and among young professionals is through well-designed international corporate volunteerism (ICV) programs.”

Endeavor and Ernst & Young have collaborated since 2006 on the Americas Corporate Responsibility (CR) Fellows program, which gives Ernst & Young’s top-performing, mid-career professionals an opportunity to assist high-impact entrepreneurs in Latin America for seven weeks. The program benefits both the entrepreneurs and CR Fellows.

As more and more leading companies are launching Volunteer programs, Rottenberg and Holmes put together six tips for designing a successful program:

“Focus money and time on the issues you understand.”

“Look for surprising connections, and find the right partner.”

“Look for the big change.”

“Create a context in which resilient dynamism can thrive.”

“Enter places that show promise.”

“Expect the change to be permanent.”

Read the article here.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Suárez Battán promotes his newest venture– Mural.ly

Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur, Mariano Suárez Battán, recently announced enhancements in the collaboration features of Mural.ly– his newest venture that provides digital Murals for creative teams to share their ideas anytime, anywhere. Suárez Battán’s first business, a gaming company called Three Melons for which he was originally selected by Endeavor, was sold to Playdom in 2010, which was shortly after purchased by Walt Disney for $763 million dollars.

With his focus now on Mural.ly, Suárez Battán is improving his site with easier-to-add content capabilities, more customizable design options, and plans to introduce paid premium and business accounts in addition to its free services. “We talked with over 2,000 beta users in the creative industries: web product teams, game designers, visual designers, advertising agencies, visual thinking specialists, writers, videographers and more,”said Suárez Battán. “Our users need something easy and flexible to use to help them stay in the flow and let their ideas grow as they did in their designer war rooms.”

The startup, based in San Francisco with development operations in Buenos Aires, received funding from Intel Capital in 2012, and continues to develop with the help of angel investors from the Americas. “We are happy with our current stack and will continue to evolve as browsers get faster. Our goal is for tech to get out of the way and help creative teams work better together.”


Strong Interest Continues Surrounding Endeavor Miami

In a wide-ranging TV interview, Knight Foundation Program Director Matt Haggman speaks about Endeavor’s upcoming launch in Miami and what led the Foundation to lend its support.

Click here to watch the video.

New York Times’ Thomas Friedman Cites Endeavor Mexico Companies As Part of “Just Do It” Generation

During a recent visit to Mexico, New York Times’ columnist Thomas Friedman spent time visiting with Endeavor Mexico MD Pilar Aguilar and a number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. These visits strongly influenced a column he went on to publish about the positive side of things in Mexico. Friedman writes that the country continues to have many challenges but that there is great hope in “what Mexico is doing right.” Friedman turned to examples of innovative entrepreneurs he met in Monterey and explained that these individuals have chosen to pursue their dreams and build successful companies despite a seemingly difficult environment. Among them were Arturo Galvan of Naranya, Patricio Zambrano of Alivio (a spin-off company of Imagen Dental) and Raul Maldonado of Enova.

The complete column is available on the New York Times’ website here.


Attending SXSW? Check out these sessions featuring Endeavor Entrepreneurs!

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Sebastián Valin (ComparaOnline.com, Chile), Diego Saez-Gil (WeHostels, Colombia), and Nikos Kakavoulis (Daily Secret, Greece) will participate in SXSW Interactive sessions around emerging/submerging market entrepreneurship.

Building Successful Teams in Latin America

Friday, March 8

3:30PM – 4:30PM

Austin Convention Center

Room 5ABC

500 E Cesar Chavez St

Latin America is among the most dynamic emerging markets in the world, resulting in a tremendous amount of opportunity for startup success.

Building teams in Latin America presents a unique set of challenges, from identifying and hiring remote talent, to scaling company culture, to creating successful workflows with off-site teams.

Join the conversation as experienced entrepreneurs, digital marketing experts, and investors, share experiences and deliver best practices when it comes to building successful global teams across borders.

Moderator: Bedy Yang, Partner, Brazil Innovators/500Startups


Diego Saez-Gil, Co-Founder, WeHostels; Endeavor Colombia Entrepreneur

Sebastián Valin, Founder & CEO, ComparaOnline.com; Endeavor Chile Entrepreneur

Pedro Torres Picón, Managing Director, Quotidian Ventures

Growing a Business in a Submerged Economy (Greece)

Saturday, March 9

5:45PM – 6:00PM

Hilton Austin Downtown

Room 615AB

500 E 4th St

Nikos Kakavoulis, CEO & Co-Founder, Daily Secret; Endeavor Greece Entrepreneur

The Greek economy was one of the hottest global news topics of the past year. While international media sparked constant fears of the Euro fallout, local residents faced the instability of transitioning governments and unemployment surpassing 22% (50% for youths under 25!). Despite these staggering statistics, the recession was actually a source of opportunity for several young Greek entrepreneurs and companies, including ours – Daily Secret, the world’s smallest and fastest growing multinational digital media company. Started as a positive energy initiative to spread our love for Athens, Daily Secret has grown to over 550k members across 4 continents in over two years. We will discuss how the economic crisis inspired us to capitalize on the economic turmoil while simultaneously benefiting the Greek community. We’ll also talk about how the techniques and strategies we use are relevant to succeeding in other struggling economies around the world.

Linda Rottenberg discusses “scale-ups” with WOBI

Endeavor CEO and Co-Founder, Linda Rottenberg, spoke with the World of Business Ideas (WOBI) on the inflection points entrepreneurs face.

Is it okay to fire a friend? Should your company take capital? Do you want to franchise? “All of these strategic questions are the decision making points that we find at endeavor,” Rottenberg says. “ [These] are the moments of inflection when companies either stay flat or have that hockey stick effect.”

She discusses in the interview that not everyone is going to be a high-impact entrepreneur. “Entrepreneurship at the end is about the stomach. Do you have the stomach to make those tough decisions and to try to mitigate risk?”

Rottenberg finds that most entrepreneurs are not fearless risk takers. They want to be responsible and make smart choices. But where can they go for help?

“I think mentorship is really key,” she tells WOBI. Rottenberg believes that learning from the successes and failures of others can help entrepreneurs get past these points and properly scale their businesses.

The founders of WOBI, Nelson Duboscq and Eduardo Bruchou are two of Endeavor’s earliest entrepreneurs who have benefited from such mentorship. Since joining Endeavor’s network in 1999, their company HSM Group, which provides executive management education, has grown in revenues by 397%. HSM launched WOBI last year, providing another multimedia platform for sharing innovative business ideas from experts like Rottenberg.

Watch the video, “Linda Rottenberg: When Real Entrepreneurs Come to Life” on WOBI here.

For Rottenberg’s previous video, “Five Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs”, see here.

Integr8 of Endeavor South Africa sells part of company for R126M

Endeavor South Africa Entrepreneurs Robert Sussman and Lance Fanaroff sold Integr8 IT- an arm of their company, Integr8 Group- to Business Connexion for an estimated R126M. Business Connexion is a leading ICT services provider with more data center capacity than any other provider in South Africa. The merger creates a single organization of 7,000 employees who will deliver services across Africa.

Since its launch in 2001, Integr8 has provided leading corporations with a range of sophisticated IT outsourcing services, including hardware and software solutions, back-end 24/7 customer support and on-site service. Today, Integr8 is the largest privately-owned ICT infrastructure management and managed-services company in Africa.

Sussman and Fanaroff have been globally recognized for their achievements. receiving awards from prestigious organizations such as Ernst & Young. The acquisition marks a new success for these entrepreneurs. “I am excited from where we have come from, I am hugely excited about where we are today, but this pales in comparison about the excitement I feel for the opportunities that will arise whilst working hand-in-hand with BCG and all of their subsidiaries,” said Sussman.

Their joint efforts with Business Connexion are likely to capitalize on the combined domestic ICT market in South Africa, which is estimated at more than US$14 billion.

See more here.

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