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Turkey’s Iyzico Raises Series B Round of Funding with Participation from Endeavor Catalyst

The Istanbul-based Iyzico, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Barbaros Özbugutu and Tahsin Isın, raised a  $6.2 million Series B round of funding led by IFC, 212 and Speedinvest, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst.  The payments company provides a platform to […]

May 28th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor Expands to Third U.S. City with Launch in Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY – May 12, 2015 – Endeavor is expanding its U.S. presence with the launch of an office in Louisville, KY that will support high-impact entrepreneurs in the greater Louisville and Southern Indiana region. […]

May 12th, 2015 — by admin

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Mexico’s Yogome Announces R&D Partnership with Yale University to Explore Educational Gaming

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yogomeYogome, the leading developer of highly engaging, educational mobile games for children in elementary school, has announced a two-year, research and development partnership with the play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab at Yale University, a video game and mobile game research initiative. Yale’s p2P Lab builds collaborations with researchers, educators, and game developers to create and rigorously test innovative, effective, and targeted game interventions focused on behavior change and education for youth.

Researchers in the p2P Lab will work with Yogome, co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Manolo Diaz, to assess and further develop math and other subject games, including science, programming, and sustainability. The partnership also entails a randomized controlled trial with children aged 5-11, parent focus groups, and data analysis intended to optimize and measure the educational efficacy of the mobile games.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Yogome,” said Dr. Lynn Fiellin, founder and director of the p2P Lab and associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. “Not only do we want to measure their learning impact, we also want to explore if children’s attitudes towards learning are positively affected when combined with appropriate engaging content.”

“Partnering with one of the world’s leading researchuniversities, and especially with Dr. Fiellin and her team, is an amazing opportunity for us,” said Manolo Diaz, Yogome’s co-founder and CEO. “Whereas many game developers claim to be educational, we will have the scientific resources to validate the impact of playing our games, which we believe is what parents want to see.”

Yogome’s mobile games, which have been downloaded over 10 million times in 150 countries, are played by over half a million children every day. The games are based on the Common Core framework and adhere strictly to child privacy standards.

Since joining Endeavor in 2013, Manolo has been an active member  of the network, receiving key introductions to investors through the Endeavor Investor Network and tailored mentorship services from local and global business leaders.

For more details about the play2PREVENT Lab and Yogome, visit play2PREVENT.org and Yogome.com. Read additional coverage of the announcement in The New York Times’ Bits Blog.

Endeavor Egypt Partners with the 2015 Egypt Economic Development Conference; Spotlights High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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During the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), top influencers in Egypt’s entrepreneurship scene demonstrated their commitment to supporting the local ecosystem and the growth of SMEs. This year, Endeavor Egypt served as a Knowledge Partner in the conference, hosting a session focused on high-impact entrepreneurship and featuring the stories of Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

The session, titled “High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Egyptian Women and Men Building Enterprises”, brought together some of Egypt’s leading entrepreneurs and various stakeholders in the country’s growing entrepreneurship ecosystem, with the goal of informing the audience and identifying opportunities for growth. The conference as a whole aimed to showcase Egypt as an attractive market for institutional investment and economic development initiatives.

Opening remarks were given by Naguib Sawiris, one of Egypt’s leading entrepreneurs and founder of Orascom Telecom Holding, who commented on the burgeoning talent pool and investment potential that’s ushering the country into a new area of growth. The conference’s main objectives were divided into three segments: Inform, Inspire and Activate. The high-growth entrepreneurship session represented the government entities and organizations that support and fund entrepreneurs at different stages, including: Hossam Allam; Founder of Cairo Angels, Hany Al Sonbaty; Partner at Sawari Ventures, Mohamed Osman; CEO Sofico, Ayman Ismail; CEO DMG & Chairman of Endeavor Egypt and Hussein El Gueretly; CEO Information Technology Industy Development Agency. Endeavor Entrepreneurs that were highlighted include Mohamed Azab, CEO of Hassab Labs, and Sherief Kasseba, CEO of Nile Valley Growers.

The session concluded with the launch of the Cairo Tech Map, developed with Endeavor Insight, further validating the presence of a collaborative ecosystem in Egypt. This was followed by an announcement from The World Bank in cooperation with the Social Fund for Development introducing a $120 million Venture Capital Program to overcome the key challenges faced by under-served Egyptian start-ups. This will by accomplished by providing sustainable access to capital and realizing long-term capital appreciation by providing debt and equity investments in venture capital companies, incubators and directly to startups. The fund offers up to $10 million of co-financing capital to each individual investment, provided by the World Bank to the SFD to develop and catalyze a nationwide entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt.

“Endeavor believes that one of the main drivers of true economic growth and prosperity lies in the hands of ambitious and driven entrepreneurs, and we believe that it was absolutely right that the EEDC provided a platform to highlight the success and opportunities of the growing entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt,” said Heba Gamal, Managing Director of Endeavor Egypt. “Given the right amount of support and freedom, entrepreneurs can build thriving companies which can have a measurable impact on the local economy. We now have an ecosystem that has boomed over the past five years and we are ready to extend an open invitation to investors, multinationals and individuals to come to Cairo – the entrepreneurship hub of the Middle East.”

Read more about the event by clicking here.

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The EEDC team

Greece’s Tripsta Announces Merger with Airtickets to Form Country’s Largest E-Commerce Company

tripstaThe Athens-based Tripsta, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Philipp Brinkmann, has announced a merger with competing online travel agency airtickets ®. The news marks a milestone for Europe’s OTA industry as the newly united company becomes the largest OTA in South Eastern Europe and is among Europe’s top five. The status of the new company is also significant for Greece, as it becomes the largest e-commerce company in the country.

Driven by an increasingly fragmented European OTA market, the merger looks to consolidate the technology and customer base of these two major businesses, presenting an even more sophisticated and wide-reaching transportation offer. With both companies in recording over 4 million total web visits, bookings exceeding 168K and 206K tickets sold, it is forecast that the new joint company will command sales in excess of 500 million Euros. The merger will also enable both Tripsta and airtickets to extend their current customer portfolios in a number of new European markets. As part of the merger, both Tripsta and airtickets will continue to operate under their existing company brands with new CEO Philipp Brinkman and airtickets  Board President Dimitris Kontogeorgos, providing a solid value proposition and a management team to ensure continued growth. The combined companies will have offices in Greece, Russia, Romania, Poland, Turkey and Brazil.

“We are both hugely excited about this new chapter for our businesses, and the opportunity to perform on a larger global stage. At Tripsta our strategy continues to be offering customers the most innovative and convenient travel solutions and the merger will strengthen our ability to do this,” said Philipp Brinkmann, CEO of Tripsta. “The European OTA market is very fragmented and, as such, consolidation is a key driver for our future success. Therefore, we will see more of these activities in the market in the future.”

Dimitris Kontogeorgos, President of airtickets, added: “The commercial synergies between both our businesses made a clear argument for a merger. We will be far stronger together and it will mean we can make wider and deeper investments in important technologies for customers.”

Selected into the Endeavor network in 2015, Tripsta is an innovative online travel agency currently operating in more than 40 countries. Launched in 2005 as Travelplanet24, the Greek branch of Tripsta, Endeavor Entrepreneur Philipp Brinkman and co-founder Kristof Keim decided to develop an online booking system and web applications to serve the niche Greek online travel market. In the beginning of 2010, Travelplanet24 strategically decided to enter new European markets under the brand name Tripsta.

Read more about the news by clicking here.

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Dimitris and Philipp celebrating the merger

UAE’s The Qode, A Luxury Brand Management Agency, Highlighted in Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine

The-Qode-to-Represent-1915-by-SeddiqiEndeavor Entrepreneurs Dipesh Depala and Ayman Fakoussa, co-founders of The Qode, were featured in Entrepreneur Middle East magazine as part of a profile on luxury marketing and leadership in the region. The entrepreneurs’ company is a brand management and public relations firm which utilizes a keen understanding of the MENA market to help both local and international brands engage the region’s luxury consumers.

Selected at the 57th International Selection Panel in Singapore, The Qode works to delve deep into the brand ethos of their clients to help them maximize market potential and achieve goals. Since its beginnings in 2010, the company has provided end-to-end services to the brands in its portfolio, including tailored event planning, diverse publishing channels, and exclusive VIP guest-lists. With the MENA region’s US$6.7B luxury retail market projected to grow annually between 10% and 15%, The Qode has already secured work with noteworthy brands including Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Chanel. The company is also looking to expand its footprint geographically to the UK, US, and Asia to become a leading agency worldwide.

In the magazine, the co-founders lay out their views on engaging influencers and consumers in the luxury market in order to maximize brand awareness. Read the full article in Entrepreneur Middle East by clicking below.

Mexico’s Fairtrasa Celebrates 10th Anniversary; Featured in Huffington Post

huffpost_3lineMexico’s Fairtrasa, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Patrick Struebi, celebrated its founding this year with a feature in The Huffington Post recounting insights from Patrick’s experiences as a social entrepreneur. In the piece, he highlights his beginnings in 2005, when he shipped the world’s first fair-trade avocados to Europe from small-scale farmers in Mexico, igniting the idea that would form the global produce company he runs today.

At a time, when social entrepreneurship was not as wide known in Mexico,  Patrick discusses how he leveraged his business skills to help small-scale farmers transform their lives. Nowadays, as Fairtrasa has scaled around the globe and impacted thousands of farmers in many countries, social entrepreneurship is synonymous with innovation, change and goodwill. Patrick points to ten key lessons from his entrepreneurial journey, touching on everything from the importance of mentorship to the significance of giving back and supporting local communities.

Patrick left the corporate sector after almost a decade in order to start Fairtrasa, a fair trade and organic produce company based in Michoacan, Mexico. Fairtrasa works with hundreds of small farmers in Mexico and other emerging economies in Latin America to produce and distribute high-quality organic and fair trade fruits, wine, and spices in international markets at reasonable prices. The social enterprise aims to help small farmers out of poverty while opening the global market to local goods, equipping its network with financial capital, training programs and technical support. Since his selection at the 39th ISP in 2011, Patrick has received custom advisory from Endeavor’s mentor network while also regularly participating in leadership and fundraising events.

Read Patrick’s full piece in The Huffington Post by clicking here.

March 2015 Newsletter

Mar2015To 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 Insight Releases “The Criticial 9 Percent” Report on Jordan’s Growing Scaleup Ecosystem

endeavor_insightEndeavor Insight‘s “The Critical 9 Percent” reportreleased with support from Omidyar Network, highlights the contributions of scaleup companies towards job creation and economic growth in the country of Jordan. This is part of a series of reports from Endeavor Insight that focus on scaleup ecosystems worldwide and their significance in transforming emerging market economies. Earlier reports in the series studied the economies in ColombiaIndonesiaMexico and  Peru.

Scaleup companies, defined as companies more than three years old with a minimum of 20% average annual employment growth, are becoming a critical component of economic and social development in Jordan. Utilizing World Bank data, the report found that these businesses represent just 9% of the country’s total number of firms but created 53% of net new jobs in the past three years. For a nation like Jordan in particular, where the workforce is projected to grow by more than 330,000 people by 2020, the demand for new jobs has never been higher. A reported 200,000 people in Jordan are currently unemployed, a rate that is especially high among 15 to 24 year olds.

With the demand for new jobs continuing to climb, scaleup companies are critical to creating an environment for continued growth, addressing the challenge of unemployment by driving innovation, strengthening value chains and paving the way for long-term expansion. As the largest job creators in the country, scaleups need access to the sort of services Endeavor works to provide, promoting the right mix of talent, funding and networks to accelerate high-impact entrepreneurship that can transform the Middle East.

Endeavor launched its Endeavor Jordan affiliate in 2009. To read the full report and learn more about the research, click here.

Three Keynote Speakers Announced for the 2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat

2015 RetreatThe invite-only 2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat will take place May 6-8 in Westchester, NY. Three top-tier keynote speakers have been confirmed for the event:

Kenneth I. Chenault is Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company. He joined in 1981 as Director of Strategic Planning and served subsequently in a number of senior positions until his appointment as CEO in 2001.

Seth Godin is the author of 18 bestselling books, the creator of one of the most popular blogs in the world, and a frequent entrepreneur.

Daniel Lubetzky is a pioneering social entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of KIND Healthy Snacks and the KIND Movement. He is also founder of PeaceWorks Inc. and co-founder of Maiyet. His book, “Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately,” is available now for pre-sale and will be released March 31, 2015.

Participants of the Retreat will be able to hear from leading corporate figures, entrepreneurial stars of the NY tech scene, and business thought leaders from top US universities and the media. The Retreat will include industry-specific breakouts led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs and challenge/trend-focused workshops from some of Endeavor’s best Global mentors. There will also be a significant amount of networking time with  entrepreneurs and other members of Endeavor’s global community.

In addition to the Retreat, an Investor Network event will take place in NYC on Tuesday, May 5. Endeavor will also host a series of first-come, first-serve company tours on the morning of the 6th prior to the Summit to Google, IBM and other corporates in the New York Metro area.

Early bird registration rates have been extended through March 20, 2015. Register now by CLICKING HERE.

(Please note that this year’s registration price includes 2 nights accommodation in a double room at the Doral Arrowwood conference center and all meals during the conference.)

CNBC Features Endeavor Greece Research on Job Creation; Highlights the Need for Entrepreneurship

cnbcCNBC recently featured Endeavor Greece‘s Creating Jobs for Youth in Greece report, bringing focus to the need for  high-quality employment opportunities in the struggling economy.  The piece highlights the sharp decline in young college graduates in the country as many move abroad in search of better job climates. With a nearly 50% youth unemployment rate, Greece’s economy is primed for a rise in high-impact entrepreneurship that can spur job creation and usher in a new period of growth. Endeavor Entrepreneur Alexis Pantazis, co-founder of Hellas Direct, was also interviewed for the article.

The report focuses on the stagnation of value-adding sectors, the necessity of startups for initiating growth, and the promise shown by a generation of Greek youth who are more globally-minded and connected than ever before. The findings reveal that a change in the perception of entrepreneurship needs to happen, particularly among younger populations, which will only be possible if healthy role models and supportive institutions exist. Endeavor Greece Managing Director Haris Makryniotis was also featured in the article, discussing the uncertainty that has plagued the country in recent years and the role that entrepreneurship can play in improving the economic outlook.

Read the full CNBC article by clicking here and learn more about the report in the video below.

Argentina’s Fën Hoteles Plans U.S. Expansion with Properties in NYC, LA and Miami

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Argentina’s  Fën Hoteles, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Patricio Fuks and Alejandro Frenkel, recently announced that it is planning an expansion across the U.S.  In an agreement with  investment firm Rosental Group, the hotel management company will have 12 new properties under its management across New York City, Los Angeles and Miami.

To support this expansion, Fën will establish a new company headquarters in New York City. The company operates on a franchise model and currently oversees the Dazzler and Esplendor brands with 35 hotels in 17 cities. The series of U.S. openings is expected to begin in April with the 170-room Dazzler Brooklyn, which will be followed by additional openings in New York and Miami in the first stage. All together, 3,000 rooms are expected to be in operation in 2015.

“It’s exciting. This landing in the United States is a sign of continued expansion that began twelve years ago, from Argentina to the rest of the world,” said Patricio Fuks, CEO of Fën.

Since its founding in 2003, Fën has become one of the largest and fastest-growing hotel management and franchise businesses in Latin America. The founders were selected into the Endeavor network in 2007, and have since received custom mentoring from teams of business experts. The team has also been connected to other leaders in the hospitality industry through Endeavor, and has received support from initiatives like the eMBA Program.

 Read more in Argentine news by clicking here.


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The team of Fën Hoteles

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