Santiago, Chile – April 22, 2015 – During the 58th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) , 31 high-impact entrepreneurs representing 18 companies and 9 countries were welcomed into the Endeavor network.
Endeavor now supports 1,082 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 684 companies across the 23 markets where it operates. This newest group of entrepreneurs was chosen at a panel held from April 20–22 in Santiago, Chile – also the site of Endeavor’s first-ever selection panel in 1998.
The conclusion of an intensive multi-step selection process that is the foundation of Endeavor’s model, the ISP brought together top business and industry leaders from Latin America and all around the world. These panelists spent a day interviewing entrepreneur candidates to learn more about their businesses and identify those with the most potential for high-impact growth. They then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become part of the Endeavor network and help lead the entrepreneurship movement in their countries.
“With candidates representing industries ranging from education to transportation to e-commerce, this panel really demonstrated the wealth of entrepreneurial talent all around the world,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Congratulations go to the Endeavor Chile team and board, particularly Board Chair Salvador Said, for bringing together so many promising entrepreneurs and notable business leaders in Santiago this week.”
After their selection into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given access to world-class services and programs, including introductions to local and international mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and built sustainable and transformative growth models in their home countries. In turn, they become crucial role models for future generations of entrepreneurs.
Endeavor will be hosting four more International Selection Panels in 2015. Locations will be in Amman, Jordan; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Marrakech, Morocco; and Mexico City, Mexico
Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and their companies follow.
Endeavor staff members at Las Majadas Casona de Campo for deliberations
Entrepreneurs: Federico Malek & Alan Kraus
Avenida is a one-stop-shop e-retailer that offers its customers a vast selection of brand-name products at affordable prices, with flexibility in payment and delivery. It has already raised over US$20M in capital from international VCs like Tiger Global and Naspers along with an initial seed funding from Quasar Ventures (founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Santiago Bilinkis). Avenida’s integrated logistics allows it to have a delivery time of 48 hours compared to the typical six days of the local post. Avenida plans to have its own delivery fleet to be the first ecommerce site to offer same day delivery in Argentina—and in doing so, reach 70% of its addressable market within 24 hours.
Entrepreneurs: Linus Spatz, Dan Kaplan & Jorge Villalonga
Nowadays, vaccines combine two types of proteins. One is naturally neutral, while the other comes from the disease. When combined, they generate antibodies, the proteins necessary to fight the target disease. Typically, these neutral proteins are only compatible with certain types of germs – only cancer germs, for example. Inmunova’s patented IMC platform uses a specialized protein that is compatible with any germ, allowing it to serve as the base for numerous vaccines. With two products in the final stages of testing (one to prevent a fatal bovine disease and another to prevent HUS, the leading casue of pediatric kidney failure), Inmunova stands to become a big shot in the the Argentine biotech scene.
Entrepreneur: Ernesto Cambursano
For any media company covering a sports event, displaying the right stats immediately and sleekly is always the goal. But with dozens of games across numerous leagues across every night, collecting, sorting, and presenting sports events cost valuable time and money. DataFactory’s (DF) platform aggregates data from over 30,000 live events each year and displays it in esthetic, customizable visualizations. Already counting ESPN, Yahoo! and Fox Sports as clients, DataFactory plans on developing more product offerings in its unique market.
Entrepreneurs: Cristiano Melles, Luiz Marsaioli & Rafael Valdivia
Company: Sociedade Grand Vivant
Sociedade Grand Vivant is a holding company that is comprised of Pobre Juan restaurants, the traditional Argentine steakhouse chain, and a secondary B2B beef distribution business. Pobre Juan serves high quality Argentine steaks with cutting-edge global recipes, inside restaurants where contemporary Latin American design and top-notch customer service combine to produce an exclusive yet welcoming dining experience. Pobre Juan’s 11 restaurants also maintain a consistent ”hometown” ambiance through live local jazz music, while boasting an expansive wine collection curated by the winner of Brazil’s national sommelier competition. Prime Cater is Pobre Juan’s beef distributor that portions and cuts the beef not only for all of Pobre Juan’s restaurants but also for three direct competitors and 20 other independent restaurants groups. The vertical integration allows Pobre Juan to source the best meat available – from Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Australia – portioned to perfection with 15% better margins compared to a traditional beef distribution relationship. The Pobre Juan restaurants have been awarded Best Steakhouse awards and global gastronomic prizes from a number of publications for nine of its locations.
Entrepreneurs: Francisco Salles & Renato Saraiva
CERS offers online exam prep courses taught by Brazil’s top teachers. Its platform includes prep for the OAB, the Brazilian equivalent of the American Bar exam. It also offers courses for civil servant examinations that are requisite for professionals to enter government-affiliated occupations, and legal career courses that help aspiring lawyers progress in their careers. By virtue of its revenue-sharing model that provides teachers with 30-50% of the income generated from the courses they teach, CERS attracts the highest quality teachers to its platform. These teachers are financially incentivized to promote their own courses on the platform through their robust social networks.
Entrepreneurs: Pablo Guzmán, Jovino Novoa & Sergio Guzmán
Company: Sano Seafood
Sano Seafoods is in tune with its clients’ needs. In order to quickly cook perfect entrees for each customer, restaurant chefs need uniform protein portions that are consistent in shape, size, and thickness. Ensuring this consistency, adds costs such as longer prep time and additional waste to the cooking process. Enter Sano Seafoods, a secondary seafood processor that provides value-added premium seafood products to the retail and foodservice sectors. Sano Seafoods sells uniform fish fillets to the United States and Europe, bellies to Vietnam, collars and tails to Japan, and skin and bones to fish food producers, to give every client what they want, and waste no part of the fish in the process. Sano Seafoods also processes around ten additional types of seafood in order to offer clients a one-stop-shop for all of their seafood needs.
Entrepreneurs: Hernan Restini & Gonzalo Restini
Inside Chile’s illustrious copper mines, FMA is striking gold. In a US$86 billion global market for mining equipment, most machinery is mass-produced; few manufacturers create products tailored for specific challenges. These challenges arise because of the diversity of terrain and equipment inherent within mines, no two of which are alike. Mines currently rely on manual labor and poor mechanization to accomplish tasks such as changing the tires of giant dump trucks or winding the heavy electric gables of large drillers. Without proper tools, these tasks are not only inefficient but also unsafe for workers. First-Class Mining Attachments (FMA) designs and manufactures semi-customized equipment to address clients’ task-specific needs. From the Andean mountains of Peru to the desert plains of Mauritania, FMA’s clients operate in 25 countries across five continents. The company is on the brink of a major international expansion campaign to conquer the lion’s share of North American and Asian-Pacific markets.
Entrepreneurs: Juan Felipe Arbeláez & Pablo Arbeláez
Company: Vive Agro
Previously, restaurants and caterers sourced produce from farmers markets. Ripe with inefficiencies – a string of middlemen sell to other middlemen before reaching the end user – these markets force farmers to underprice their vegetables and fruits while giving restaurants little transparency over the food they use. It also required restaurants to spend valuable time and resources preparing and storing the vegetables. Vive Agro offers clients washed, cut, and ready-to-use vegetables, helping restaurants reduce their costs substantially. Meanwhile, the farmers who work Vive Agro obtain better prices on their produce and receive agricultural best practice from Vive Agro’s agronomists.
Voting during panel deliberations
Entrepreneurs: Adalberto Flores & Leonardo de la Cerda
Accessing affordable capital is a longstanding problem in Mexico as a large portion of the population – the young in particular – do not qualify for a wide range of financial services – like loans, and credit cards – because of low or nonexistent credit scores. In practice, this situation means that people have high-friction alternatives to banks, such as offline pawnshop lenders, who can be slow to deliver funds. Kueski, an online micro-lending platform, applies big data and advanced analytics to approve micro-loans for Mexico’s financially underserved population within 35 minutes of customers placing their request. Fast, transparent, and available 24/7, Kueski is the most convenient lending platform for those who need an immediate loan.
Entrepreneurs: Andres Sucre, Sebastian Gomez & Adrian Cuadros
To purchase a bus ticket in Mexico, 550 million bus passengers a year go to the station or a physical store, wasting hours of their time. At the same time, bus operators lose customer visibility and incur extra costs from maintaining physical sales locations. Reserbus solves these problems by connecting bus operators with customers through an integrated booking platform. Reserbus aggregates over 9,000 routes, and 650 destinations through 26 bus operators.
Entrepreneur: Francisco Cordero
Dinero drives diplomas. In Mexico, higher education is reserved for the privileged few, rather than the qualified masses. Only 2% of qualified applicants can afford to attend a private university, in contrast to 60% in countries such as Chile and Brazil. Laudex’s goal is to provide all Mexican students with the financial resources they need to achieve a higher education. A cohort of college-age students equal to the population of Switzerland (seven million) does not attend university in Mexico, largely due to the high cost of enrollment. Laudex continues to build alliances with Mexico’s largest private universities, it will expand its national presence.
Entrepreneur: Nicolas Droguett
With SeguroSimple, five minutes could save you a lifetime of paperwork on your car insurance. The process of buying an auto insurance policy is riddled with inefficiencies for consumers: from the tedious nature of meeting with sales representatives, to the time-consuming process of sifting through tall piles of policy information. By moving the insurance industry online, developed countries now boast 50-60% online purchases of policies. Peru, in contrast, still relies entirely on offline brokers. SeguroSimple is Peru’s first digital insurance broker. The company plans to scale its business in Peru, expand regionally, and grow into new product verticals such as health and life insurance.
Entrepreneur: Kirsty Chadwick
Company: The Training Room Online
Corporate training seems more like corporate torture for most employees. The global corporate training industry is notorious for its antiquated reliance on lackluster lectures and never-ending PowerPoint presentations. Existing systems are inefficient with high auxiliary costs like facilitator fees, travel, and lost employee work days, on top of the general cost of content development and upkeep. These systems also lack the multifaceted educational approach needed to effectively train today’s increasingly tech-savvy workforce. Enter The Training Room Online (TTRO), a digital learning design and development company that transforms clients’ employee training content into blended learning resources. TTRO’s strong team uses various design strategies, including animation, mobile, and video, to produce high-quality customized learning solutions that are more convenient, stimulating, and interactive than traditional offline solutions.
Entrepreneur: Philippe Gelis
While large businesses receive preferred foreign exchange (FX) rates from banks, most SMEs are stuck paying exorbitant fees in order to do business outside of their home market. Kantox is the first peer-to-peer (P2P) foreign exchange market that connects SMEs and Mid-Caps to each other to offer equitable trade rates. While using Kantox’s platform, the majority of clients save more than 80% than if they used a bank. This is largely because Kantox offers transparency with the live market trade rates and its clear 0.09 -0.29% commission fee, compared to banks’ typical 3.0% fee.
Entrepreneur: Daniel González de Vega
Smartick is improving mathematics learning with just one click. Malaga-born learning company Smartick channeled its inner child and ventured to make math learning fun and more effective for children, ages four to fourteen. The company built an online, adaptive platform that teaches mathematics skills. The methodology consists of daily, 15-minute working sessions in mathematics, comprehensive reading, and some cognitive domains (e.g. memory, attention, reasoning, and mental flexibility). Students work on modules that adapt in real-time to the child’s individual level and performance. Since the product launched commercially in 2011, more than 10,000 students from 35+ countries have benefited from Smartick’s highly effective approach to teaching mathematics.
Entrepreneur: Juan de Antonio
Hailing a taxi the old way in Spain and Latin America is often inefficient and difficult. Across Latin America in particular, taxis are unreliable and unsafe while black cars are expensive. Meanwhile, drivers face fluctuating salaries, depending on an unpredictable stream of passengers. With Cabify, a mobile app that connects users with drivers, users can book a car in advance, know the journey’s price ahead of time, and enjoy a quality experience. Operating in Spain, Chile, Peru and Mexico, Cabify aims to push the pedal to the metal and expand rapidly in the region over the coming years.
Entrepreneur: Sassan Khatib-Shahidi
Company: German Imaging Technologies (GIT)
GIT is leaving its imprint on businesses in MENA. As a result of the steep cost of print toner, companies save up to 50% per order by purchasing remanufactured products in lieu of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridges. German Imaging Technologies (GIT) is the market leader in producing remanufactured toner cartridges in MENA and has been the largest supplier in the UAE since 2007. The company sells toners that are 20-30% less expensive than OEM toners, do not compromise on quality, and have a reduced environmental impact. GIT has over 1600 corporate customers in the UAE and exports to 18 countries in the MENA region, an estimated US$1.3 billion toner market. The company is a full-service provider of printing solutions for businesses, offering renting, leasing, and sales of printer equipment as well as maintenance services. In 2011 and 2012 GIT was named one of the top 50 companies in the industry globally and an Arabia 500 Fast Growth Company.
Entrepreneur: Wadih Haddad
Company: The Box
In Dubai, a city built around luxury, extra closet space comes at a premium. Although Dubai is known for its modern skyscrapers, magnificent architectural buildings, opulent hotels, and shopping malls, real estate in the Emirate comes with a whopping price tag. As a result, the majority of residents struggle with space constraints. Until The Box built its first self-storage facility in 2008, there were few options for self or bulk storage. Founded during the heart of the financial crisis, The Box has grown to 25 facilities and 250,000 square feet within the UAE, operates facilities in Lebanon and Qatar, and has partnerships in Canada. The company plans to increase its footprint across multiple cities in MENA through opening new locations, constructing joint venture facilities, and management contracts with competitor companies leading to acquisitions.
Entrepreneurs at Makerspace during Candidates’ Day