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Fifth Annual Endeavor Colombia Conference Brings Together Top Latin American Network Members in Bogotá

The 5th annual Endeavor Colombia Conference took place in Bogotá this month with the theme “A Day to Think Big”, aiming to inspire entrepreneurs and audiences with the high-impact stories of Endeavor’s network and provide a top forum for networking. The […]

October 21st, 2014 — by admin

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Argentina’s Belatrix Software Partners with Silicon Valley-Based kernel; Highlights Endeavor’s Multiplier Effect

Endeavor Entrepreneur company Belatrix Software, founded by entrepreneurs Alex, Luis and Federico Robbio, was recently named a Co-Innovation Partner for kernel, a Silicon Valley-based software venture co-founded by Endeavor Mentor Avikk Ghose. This unique partnership is […]

February 26th, 2014 — by admin

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CEO of newly selected Wehostels shares thoughts on Endeavor and his new start-up

Reprinted from PulsoSocial. Original article here.

By Aleyda Rodríguez (translated from Spanish by David Rousseau)

Diego Saez-Gil, Wehostels: “My objective as an entrepreneur is to give back 10 times the amount I’ve received.”

Last week, we announced that Wehostels would be participating in Endeavor’s ISP.  This week, we bring you two more headlines about the popular start-up, one of which was granted in exclusivity to PulsoSocial. First, the company has just opened its new offices in Bogotá, in the HubBog co-working spaces. Second, Lucas Lain has just joined the Wehostels team as the new CTO. I recently sat down with Diego Saez-Gil, co-founder and CEO of Wehostels, to discuss his experience as an Endeavor Entrepreneur and his involvement in the young start-up.

Diego Saez-Gil and his team at the Wehostels offices, in the HubBog.

Aleyda Rodríguez: You are an Endeavor Entrepreneur. What has this experience meant to you in terms of learning and personal growth?

Diego Saez-Gil: Yes, I was lucky  enough to have been recently selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur. The whole process has turned out be an extremely enriching experience.  Endeavor forces you to question every aspect of your business, from the macro all the way down to the micro. This introspective procedure is instrumental to any company’s growth. But more importantly, Endeavor puts you in touch with high-level people who give you their full attention and provide you with an invaluable service, analyzing your business, asking you questions, and offering you feedback. I was fortunate enough to receive feedback from people such as David Kidder, a serial entrepreneur in New York, Diego Piaccentini, VP of Amazon.com, as well as many other entrepreneurs and executives of the same caliber. You learn a great deal from such experienced people. I also like how Endeavor  inspires you at a more personal level to be a better person and realize that your responsibility as an entrepreneur is much broader that you might think: a good entrepreneur is also one who  generates a positive impact on society. I was amazed at how all these people with really busy schedules were so generous in giving up some of their precious time just to help entrepreneurs like me. Inspired by their generosity, I have decided to dedicate one hour of every day to other entrepreneurs. My goals is to give back 10 times what I’ve received.

 Aleyda Rodríguez: What is the most ambitious goal you’ver ever undertaken in all your time at Wehostels?

Diego Saez Gil: Wehostels has only existed for a short period of time, so we are currently taking on quite a number of goals and challenges. One of our  main goals is to develop the best possible products and adapt them to the actual needs and desires of our users. Another one of our top objectives is to capture and connect the market of travelers with that of hostels. We need to attract both markets simultaneously, and until we attain a critical mass, our service won’t be optimal. Finally, we have to deal head on with the challenge of competing with big-companies and swiping them of their market quotas. However, I am very confident in my team, and I know that together we will triumph over all of these obstacles.

Aleyda Rodríguez: How did this idea come about?

Diego Saez-Gil: A few years ago, I was lucky enough to move to Europe to complete my Master’s degree.  Once there, I fully took advantage of my stay and backpacked all throughout the continent. During the course of my travels, I started to take notice of many business opportunities. As a traveler, I felt that backpacker community was being underserved by the Internet travel industry. The web’s technological advances, reflected for instance in the growth of social networks and in the increase of  smart phones, were not being used to their full potential. I spent a lot of time researching the internet travel industry and discovered that the market opportunity there was very great. The idea behind our start-up continues to evolve but our passion for the internet travel industry remains the same.

Aleyda Rodríguez:  What is the current number of actual users on Wehostels?

Diego Saez-Gil: We’d rather not release that information for now, but our number of users is growing every day, and we are very excited about the traction we’ve attained on all fronts.

Aleyda Rodríguez: Describe your experience at the Endeavor ISP.

Diego Saez-Gil: The ISP was amazing. I was in Canary Wharf, in London’s Financial District, where many investment banks and corporations have their HQs. The most valuable part of the whole experience was the feedback I received from the panelists reviewing my application. I was lucky enough to deal with heavyweights such as Nicolas Szekazy, of Kazek Ventures, Matt Harris of Bain Capital, as well as other impressive panelists. I also had the opportunity to meet  other entrepreneurs from around the world who were also attending the event. It was an incredible experience. I came back full of energy and enthusiasm for what tomorrow will bring.

Aleyda Rodríguez: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned working with Wehostels?

Diego Saez-Gil: There are thousands of things I’m still learning every day. In one of my more recent learning experiences, I was taught the importance of having a focus point: we entrepreneurs have a lot of ideas and we try to cover too many at a time when we really should be focusing on a few things we want to be good at. Another important lesson I learned is that having the right team is essential; everything else is secondary. In order to keep attracting the most talented people to our team, I want to make Wehostels the most appealing company there is to work for.  We are actively trying to create a great work environment in our offices. Our employee benefits, for instance, are hard to match.

Aleyda Rodríguez: You succeeded at being selected at the Endeavor ISP. What’s next for Wehostels?

Diego Saez-Gil: First and foremost, it is with great pleasure that I announce the addition of a new and very important member to our team:  Lucas Lain, a serial entrepreneur who has built a number of companies (one of them was acquired by Argentina’s Grupo Clarin) has come on board as CTO. His addition to our team couldn’t come at a better time. Lucas’s extensive experience in the development of cell phone technology will prove invaluable as we narrow our focus on mobile phones. Our co-founder and first CTO, Alex Torrenegra, is now our Technical Advisor.

We are also very excited about the launching of our first mobile app for the Iphone. We are very proud of our application and are confident that it is at least 10 times better than the competing applications out on the market, both in terms of design and user experience.  We hope it will be available on the App store by the end of the month (We’ll keep you posted on this!).

Endeavor Entrepreneur Luis Chicani speaks to 7,500 Nigerians at The Platform 10.0

By Sam Weyrauch, Endeavor summer intern

On the western coast of Africa lies Nigeria, its most populous country. It has the continent’s second largest economy, yet faces many challenges, and has one of the highest population densities. It also includes an eager and budding horde of entrepreneurs ready to take the next step with their companies.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Luis Alexandre Chicani traveled across the Atlantic from Brazil to Nigeria recently to participate in the entrepreneurship-focused Platform 10.0, a biannual Cultural Innovation Conference. After Endeavor’s Allen Taylor heard from Silicon Valley friend Sarah Lacy about Pastor ‘Poju Oyemade, who runs the event, he encouraged Chicani to attend. Lacy, the author of Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky, a book promoting worldwide entrepreneurism, had spoken at the event last spring.

Chicani spoke to an audience group of over 7,500 people—as well as thousands more online and on TV—at The Platform before presenting at a smaller Q&A workshop for about 2,000 Nigerians alongside speakers from the U.S., China, India, and Nigeria.

“I talked to people hungry for knowledge,” he said in an interview. “I got very excited to contribute something, and decided to talk about Do’s and Don’ts that drove my life as an entrepreneur in Brazil. As one of Endeavor’s commitments is giving back to communities that need this kind of help, I felt very happy to participate at Platform 10.0 and of course, talked a lot about Endeavor.

Luis continued: “The idea was to tell my history with DentalCorp, BenCorp, TourisMed Brazil and Club Saúde, pointing out difficulties and achievements and always trying to make some comparison with Brazilian and Nigerian realities. I had an opportunity with 21 DentalCorp offices in different urbanized areas of Brazil, but also in the Northeast and Amazon Area where the conditions and needs were much more like those in Nigeria.”

Among the countless entrepreneurs he met, Chicani highlighted two that particularly struck a chord with him. The first was Dr. Edwin Ndubuisi, who founded New Dimension to mentor young African leaders and entrepreneurs to develop their communities and to showcase positive role models to inspire the next generation, in a similar manner to Endeavor. The second was Fifehanmi Bankole, a life coach and senior strategist with Harval Nigeria Limited.

“It was really an honor to give a message about how wonderful it is to develop a culture of entrepreneurship, and that the main fuel is your dream and resilience to go, day after day, facing similar challenges and opportunities,” Luis said. “I wanted to make as many people as I could excited about becoming an entrepreneur (or continuing as one) as a positive force in Nigeria.”

 

eMBA field report: breaking down barriers, both physical and psychological, in South Africa

Elizabeth McKenna is an MBA candidate at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. She is interning with Stoned Cherrie in South Africa through Endeavor’s eMBA Program.

Arriving in Johannesburg, I was immediately struck by the unrelenting fences and dividers in the city. Gates, walls, electric wiring, and other barriers to entry served as obstacles at every turn and every step. Given this pervasive element, I expected a corresponding wariness from the city’s denizens. My experience could not be more contrary. Nkhensani Nkosi, the Endeavor Entrepreneur for whom I am working, has welcomed me with open arms as have her staff, the local Endeavor team, and even her family and friends. Nkhensani has treated me like an equal in discussing business ventures and like a friend, including me in family activities and weekend events.

Nkhensani’s company, Stoned Cherrie, is a fashion house that embraces an Afro-Urban aesthetic. Nkhensani strives to bring a modern African product to the local and international marketplace. Like many South African entrepreneurs, she faces many barriers to entry in her native country. The predominant marketplace in South Africa is the shopping mall due to its security and its convenience. The owners of this real estate ultimately dictate market access and pricing. Unfortunately, these decision makers cater to large department stores and international brands. My project at Stoned Cherrie is to find unique solutions around these barriers to entry. We are looking at innovative retail methods and new ways to market and sell Stoned Cherrie merchandise.

Our primary solution is e-commerce. This has been an intriguing challenge as no other South African fashion designer has yet to establish an e-commerce platform. At first, my project overwhelmed me as we discussed warehousing, courier services, sales forecasting and website design. As I thought about the many components to the project, my anxiety only multiplied. Working directly with Nkhensani has been a remarkable experience. She believes in making the impossible happen. As we have chipped away at all of the project’s variables, our vision is slowly becoming a reality. With its challenges come great rewards. In my mind, e-commerce, m(mobile)-commerce, and s(social)-commerce are not only the most cost-effective and efficient methods of selling but also the future of retail. I believe that the establishment of an online platform for Stoned Cherrie will create global access and ultimately lead to a new set of global customers. I am thrilled to be working with Nkhensani on such a valuable asset to her long-term business development.

Working and living in Johannesburg, I have faced overt barriers to entry. However, in my short time here, I have learned that beyond these barriers lies a wealth of opportunity, creativity, and an incredible future for South Africa.

eMBA field report: courting car dealerships and changing career trajectories in São Paulo

Anthony Muljadi is a recent graduate of Harvard Business School. He is interning with iCarros, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Fernando Ortenblad, through Endeavor’s eMBA Program.

Oi!

My name is Tony and I recently graduated from Harvard Business School. I grew up in Colorado and worked as a consultant in New York prior to my MBA. During business school, I was actively involved in activities surrounding Social Enterprise, Volunteer Consulting, and International Business. These three passions eventually led me to seek out an internship with Endeavor.

I am currently an eMBA working at iCarros, an internet startup in São Paulo that sells classified ads and online products to car dealers across Brazil. I am working closely with Endeavor Entrepreneur Fernando Ortenblad, the Superintendent of Operations, on a number of marketing and sales initiatives at iCarros. I was initially drawn to working with iCarros because I wanted to gain experience in an entrepreneurial environment, work in an emerging market, and better understand the function of marketing.

My experience at iCarros has far exceeded my expectations. The people here have been incredibly welcoming and helpful. I am constantly learning new things as I gain exposure to diverse projects, ranging from CRM implementation, to new product development, to measuring sales effectiveness. My favorite part of the internship has actually been learning how to work in a different language and culture. Picking up Portuguese has become easier as I attend meetings and go to lunch with my Brazilian coworkers.

A few passions of mine have been solidified during my time here at iCarros. The first is that I want to continue working internationally, regardless of where my career takes me. What I love about international business is that it forces you to adapt to a different environment, understand other people’s perspectives, and find common ground. Entrepreneurship is another passion of mine that has grown here in Brazil. I know that someday I will want to start my own business, because I have realized that when you are your own boss working toward something you believe in, your job becomes infinitely easier. That is not to say that being an entrepreneur is easy in itself, but rather the challenges you face become that much more important to overcome.

I only have three more weeks here at iCarros and I am feeling quite sad about leaving. I have had such a great experience here at the company as well as in Brazil as a whole and I really hope to come back some day. I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity by Endeavor, and I know that many of the lessons I have learned here will be incredibly valuable later on in my career.

eMBA field report: scaling businesses and mountains in Monterrey

Marjorie Camporini, Maria Fernanda Brockman and Mariya Krasteva at Grutas de García, Mexico

2012 eMBAs Marjorie Camporini and Mariya Krasteva and Rocío Díaz González of Endeavor Mexico at La Bandera in Monterrey

Mariya Krasteva is an MBA and MPA candidate at MIT Sloan and Harvard, concurrently. She is interning with Inmobiliaria Enexa and Vialux through Endeavor’s eMBA Program.

My first month in Monterrey, Mexico has given me everything I was hoping for and more!

The Mountain King

Monterrey in Mexico has two r’s and is therefore spelled differently than Monterey, California. While its homophonic, American brother is situated on a waterfront, Monterrey is cuddled amongst the magnificent hills of Sierra Madre. Thus, the city stays very true to its own name – el rey del monte means “the king of the mountain.”

Monterrey is also another type of a king – one that dominates Mexican business. It is the third largest Mexican city and the home of the biggest and most profitable companies in Mexico, such as Pemex, Cemex, OXXO, etc. and the headquarters of many multinational corporations. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the most powerful engines driving the city’s progress.

Helping Build a New Business

This summer I am interning at a startup real estate investment company called Inmobiliaria Enexa, which was founded by a parent company, Endeavor Entrepreneur firm Vialux. Vialux builds cell phone towers and leases them to telephone operators. The land underneath the towers is usually rented, posing large operating expenses. Purchasing and owning certain lands can be financially beneficial in the long run due to minimizing renting expenses.

Which properties should be owned versus rented? What are the additional costs associated with ownership? How profitable will the business be in 10 years? What is its best strategy over the next 5 years? These are all questions that I am helping answer through building complex financial models to understand and project real estate profitability. I quickly realized that sitting in a conference room and challenging various assumptions together with the Enexa team and the CEO himself, Oscar Odriozola, is quite the real world business experience!

The Global Endeavor Family

There are five Endeavor eMBAs here in Monterrey representing four countries – Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico, and Portugal and five different business schools. In between discussing our internships and how to bring the most value to the entrepreneurs, raving over the delicious Mexican food (La Nacional and La Mejico are excellent traditional restaurants) and sightseeing (Grutas de García is the most amazing cave I have ever seen), we have gotten to know one another and have become friends. The Endeavor staff here has been extremely welcoming and has ensured that we have both productive and fulfilling summer experiences. In addition to helping us with structuring out internships, they have been introducing us to Endeavor mentors and entrepreneurs through one-on-one meetings and social events, such as start-up drink gatherings.

On a personal note, my summer experience so far has helped me grow significantly through getting me out of my comfort zone both intellectually and physically! I have for the first time built a real estate profitability model, led a business meeting solely in Spanish and rock-climbed the tall dry walls of el Cañón de la Huasteca!

Mariya Krasteva rock-climbing at Huasteca

eMBA field report: coffee and creative growth, Chilean-style

2012 eMBAs Gloriann Lopez and Anthony Campbell and Gloriann’s co-worker

Gloriann Lopez is an MBA student at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. She is interning with Endeavor Entrepreneur company Sirve in Chile through Endeavor’s eMBA Program.

“Cachai?” he asked me with his eyebrows raised and a twinkle in his eye. I nodded my head in agreement. “Cacho,” I responded affirmatively, somewhat proud of my newfound ability to grasp one of the most integral words in the Chilean dictionary.

There is something about Chile. Maybe it is the people, the beautiful mixture of native and European ancestry who you find surrounding you; the many expats you find who come here to explore the treasures hidden within the borders; the warm, genuine nature of a morning greeting; or the necessity of a morning coffee. Maybe it is the bread: soft, delightful and integral to any good day. Maybe it is the breathtaking scenery: the surrounding mountains that seem to dwarf us and make us seem almost insignificant; the expansive ocean that Neruda once loved so deeply and described with such poetic beauty; the far reaches of the dry north; or the harsh, cold climate of the icy south that holds within it treasures that only mother nature can divulge. Maybe it is the history, one of stark contradictions and struggle, that is often misinterpreted and yet inseparable from the DNA and mindset of every Chilean, regardless of age or affiliation. Maybe it is the deep-rooted appreciation for tradition, for education, for perseverance and excellence. Or maybe it is the food, the sweet richness of a Pastel de Choclo, the ingenuity of hearty humitas, the creamy indulgence of just about anything filled with manjar, or the anticipation as you bite into a fresh-made, warm empanada. Maybe it is a bit of everything.

Over the past four weeks I have had the opportunity, through Endeavor, to work with the top seismic engineering company in Chile as a strategic consultant to develop internal and external strategies. The role has been challenging to say the least, but more rewarding than I ever expected. The people that form this visionary engineering company are incredibly hard-working, bright, and forward-thinking when it comes to developing their business to compete both within Chile and on a global scale. There is a great sense of pride in the engineering and creative excellence that forms the basis of Sirve, and the company’s acceptance of me, of my ideas, and willingness to adapt their processes and push themselves to the next level of growth has impressed and inspired me. I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by this great team and even luckier to feel like a part of it.

Today, we are in the process of developing and streamlining internal processes through the selection of a new ERP and are working to tighten organizational definitions and operating procedures, as well as analyze and assess external strategies and growth. There is no shortage of work or excitement in any given day and when 6 or 7pm hits, there is no mad rush out of the door. I come home exhausted most nights, but with a sense of achievement and excitement for what tomorrow will bring. Each weekend is filled with a different adventure that renews and refreshes my soul as I meet new people, explore new reaches of the world, and perfect my Spanish, Chilean-style. I wouldn’t wish for it any other way.

Gloriann Lopez, Anthony Campbell & a Sirve co-worker at Isla Negra, Chile

eMBA Anthony Campbell and Gloriann Lopez’s co-worker at Sirve at Valparaiso

How do you make a product into a habit?

Reprinted from Pam Slim’s Blog (Escape from Cubicle Nation). Original article here.

By Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter and author of the bestselling book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

How do you make a product into a habit?

That question has bedeviled entrepreneurs and marketers for eons. Everyone knows that once they make their product into a habit – part of a customer’s daily routine, an automatic reaction – it becomes a best-seller. When we start shaving every day, checking our email automatically or wiping the counter after every use, that’s when companies sell us razor blades, smartphones and paper towels.

But how does it happen?

To understand how products become habits, consider the case of how America developed a toothbrusing habit, and in particular how one toothpaste – Pepsodent – became one of the world’s most popular brands.

In the early 1900s, a prominent American businessman named Claude C. Hopkins was approached by an old friend with an amazing new creation: a minty, frothy toothpaste named “Pepsodent” that, the friend promised, was going to be huge.

Hopkins, at the time, was one of the nation’s most famous advertising executives. He was the ad man who had convinced Americans to buy Schlitz beer by boasting that the company cleaned their bottles “with live steam” (while neglecting to mention that every other company used the same method). He had seduced millions of women into purchasing Palmolive soap by proclaiming that Cleopatra had washed with it, despite the sputtering protests of outraged historians.

But Hopkins’ greatest contribution would be helping to create a national toothbrushing habit. Before Pepsodent, almost no Americans brushed their teeth. A decade after Hopkins’ advertising campaigns, pollsters found that toothbrushing had become a daily ritual for more than half the population. Everyone from Shirley Temple to Clark Gable eventually bragged about a “Pepsodent smile.”

I discovered the story of Claude Hopkins a few years ago while reporting my book, The Power of Habit, which explores the science of habit formation. Today, Hopkins is almost totally forgotten. He shouldn’t be. Hopkins was among the first to elucidate principles that even now influence how video games are designed, public health campaigns are managed and that explain why some people effortlessly exercise every morning, while others can’t pass a box of doughnuts without automatically grabbing a jelly-filled cruller.

So, how did Hopkins start America brushing?

By taking advantage of a quirk in the neurology of habits. It wouldn’t be until almost a century later that medical schools and psychology labs would fully understand why habits exist and how they function. Today, we can create and change habits almost like flipping a switch.

But there are historical outliers who seemed to intuit or stumble into these insights before anyone else. Hopkins created a tooth brushing habit by identifying a simple and obvious cue, delivering a clear reward and —most important —by creating a neurological craving.

And craving, it turns out, is what powers a habit.

When Hopkins signed on to promote Pepsodent, he realized he needed to find a trigger for its daily use. He sat down with a pile of dental textbooks. “It was dry reading,” he later wrote in his autobiography. “But in the middle of one book I found a reference to the mucin plaques on teeth, which I afterward called ‘the film.’

“That gave me an appealing idea,” he wrote. “I resolved to advertise this toothpaste as a creator of beauty.”

(more…)

Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham on South Africa, entrepreneurship, and his latest business venture

Reprinted from the Daily Maverick. See original article here

By Rebecca Davis

South African tech entrepreneur Vinny Lingham is about to launch his new venture, Gyft, from his base in Palo Alto, California. Rebecca Davis talked to him about life as a start-up guru, how SA government policies are harming investment, and why he’s putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to turning Cape Town into a technology hub.

Vinny Lingham, at age 33, “has forgotten more about acquiring traffic than a lot of people in Silicon Valley know”, to quote a TechCrunch article in 2010. He made his name in search marketing, establishing Clicks2Customers and its holding company, incuBeta, aged 24. Then he founded Yola, a business offering free website building and hosting, which today has seven million users. Then he moved from Cape Town to Silicon Valley. Seven months ago he stepped down as the CEO of Yola to focus on his next big thing: Gyft.

That’s more action – and success – packed into a decade than many people manage in a lifetime. So perhaps it’s not altogether surprising to find that Lingham does not lack  confidence in an interview situation, albeit one carried out down a crackly Skype line.

With three companies behind him and another on the way, Lingham is living the start-up dream. But he’s quick to state that his lifestyle is nothing like the dotcom tycoon of popular stereotype. “Not all entrepreneurs drive around in big cars with fancy houses. I live in a modest little apartment. It’s nice, but it’s just two bedrooms,” he says.

“The difference between entrepreneurs and other people is that you work for a lot lower salary on a monthly basis, but then you’re building long-term equity wealth and value in your shares and the companies you build. Ambition often comes with sacrifice.”

He’s been living in the US for just over four years now. On his first visit to Silicon Valley, in 2002, it wasn’t a very appealing place to be – the market was dead, and not much exciting was happening. But after Google’s acquisition of YouTube in 2006, energy returned to the valley. At the time, Lingham was spending five months of the year on a plane between the US and South Africa, juggling Clicks2Customers’ substantial American client base.

“I built (Clicks2Customers) up within three and a half years to a $10 million-a-year business, with only one South African client. So all the revenue was coming from the States.”

Clients ranged from eBay to Expedia, and Lingham attributes the search marketing company’s success to his own technical know-how. “I understood the techniques to rank keywords for clients higher than anyone else,” he says simply.

“Other people try and start businesses with a very shallow knowledge of the field that they’re in, and it’s difficult to teach someone else if you don’t know how to do it yourself. So I spent many years building up my knowledge and developed a unique insight into how Google’s algorithms work, and we were able to use that to our advantage.”

But the constant travel to ensure that American clients were happy wore him down, and saw the chain set in motion whereby he left the company in order to start Yola in 2007, and made the move to Silicon Valley shortly afterwards.

Four years down the line, there’s still not a trace of American in Lingham’s accent. He says he doesn’t consider himself at all American. “I’m a South African citizen, and I love South Africa, although I’m disappointed in the way things are going. My mother-in-law was attacked last week in her house in Cape Town. These stories are becoming far too common, and it’s quite disheartening. But I’d love to go back one day, although right now it’s a career choice.”

Lingham maintains strong South African ties: he still has fingers in a lot of business pies, and he actively invests in and mentors entrepreneurial talent in the country. He was also a co-founder of the Silicon Cape Initiative, which aims to turn the Western Cape into a tech hub. He thinks the province is the perfect place for this.

“There’s a similar vibe to Silicon Valley, some fantastic tech companies, and the culture is nice and diverse – people from all around the world live there,” he says. “It’s not just about Cape Town, it’s about South Africa, but you’ve got to start somewhere, and tech hubs needs to be geographically centralised, and Cape Town makes a lot of sense.”

His frustration at what he sees as the South African government’s obstructionism in making it difficult for expatriates to make a meaningful economic contribution from overseas is a theme he returns to continually. He cites the notorious “loop structure”, which refers to the prohibition on South African residents holding any South African assets indirectly through a non-resident entity. (Moneyweb once suggested that the loop structure “has probably scuppered more cross-border transactions contemplated by South African residents than any other exchange control or tax policy”.)

Lingham describes the loop structure as a “stupid rule from apartheid. I want to hire South African employees, and I want to give them stock options, in order to build up a culture, to build the business. I’m not allowed to do it.” He sees this as exemplifying the government’s blinkeredness when it comes to making the country an attractive prospect for investors.

“The biggest mistake that the government and people of South Africa (are) making is to think that South Africa is going to be the biggest economy in Africa in 10 to 15 years,” he warns. “South Africa is no longer the gatewa

Summer blog series: Read 2012 eMBA reports from the field! (updated)

As part of Endeavor’s annual eMBA program, generously supported by Barclays, MBA students from around the country are selected to work on-site with our entrepreneurs for 10 weeks during the summer. This year, 31 eMBAs were placed with 27 Endeavor Entrepreneurs in 10 countries across the world.

The eMBAs create stories chronicling their experiences throughout the summer, contributing to Endeavor’s blog as part of our “eMBA field report” series.

Here are the accounts we have published thus far:

Spreading innovative design from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia

This eMBA has been surrounded by entrepreneurs in colorful Lebanon.  He’s on a mission help furniture designer Nada Debs expand to Saudi Arabia and to solve the unemployment crisis in the region through entrepreneurship.

A fresh approach to fast growth and seaside splendors in Uruguay 

Working alongside the sharp entrepreneurs of Pedidosya.com has been a dream for this eMBA and it’s helped him to re-shape his career goals.  Weekends spent at nearby getaways didn’t hurt, either.

Lights, camera, asado!

This eMBA’s charismatic host entrepreneur welcomed him with a steak dinner and then got right down to business.  Since then, Adrian Garcia has been thrilled to bring a fresh perspective to an already well-positioned and fast-growing media company.

Pushing boundaries for personal growth and professional gain in Monterrey

At the foot of the beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains of Monterrey, this eMBA is plotting her host company’s expansion to Brazil.  She’s already learned a great deal about the Mexican economy and way of doing business and next she’s off to Colombia for a research project.

Taking charge and finding adventure in Santiago

For this eMBA, his summer internship has been the full package: he’s lived in new country, learned a new language, applied his business school knowledge and hit the slopes and the beach in the same weekend.

Research and teamwork in Egypt 

A repeat blogger on Endeavor.org, this eMBA has dusted off his programming knowledge at Hindawi. Along the way, he’s treated his co-workers to a Chinese feast and they, in turn, invited him to an aftar, a traditional Ramadan breakfast.

Rainy weather and fiery ambition near the southernmost point in the world

Working with Innovex has led this eMBA to Puerto Montt, the salmon capital of Chile, where he is working with the advisory board to help chart out the company’s future.

Saving the world one industrial city at a time

Living in Monterrey, Mexico has been rewarding for this eMBA, where he is helping Imagen Dental build a business plan for national expansion and even attended an Endeavor National Selection Panel.

Taking an entrepreneurial risk to keep Mexican companies safe

Interning at ALTO, this eMBA is collaborating with the CEO to research, strategize, and create a plan to expand the company to all of Mexico.

Tea and vision technology in enchanting Istanbul

This self-proclaimed tea addict has been stationed in Turkey, where she has not only analyzed markets to determine the potential for Vistek’s products within them but also found even bigger tea drinkers than herself.

Preserving public transportation at one of Chile’s 2011 “best places to work”

At Grupo Alto, this eMBA is helping one of the leading entrepreneurs in Chile to break into Santiago’s public transportation market to work with bus operators to protect against fare evasion.

Inventive flowers and food in fast-growing Istanbul

As an intern for Ciceksepeti.com, this eMBA is helping expand and develop the e-commerce company’s corporate structure while becoming an expert in modern versions of traditional Turkish cuisine.

Promoting health in the Mexican sun

At Alivio Capital, this eMBA has gained insight into both customer and management goals so that she may help focus the company’s commercial strategy and brand identity on what its consumers want.

Financial savvy and pisco sours in Santiago

After being selected, this eMBA has worked as the Executive Director of International Expansion for ForexChile, where she has designed the business plan for the company’s upcoming entrance into Peru.

Mobile media in Monterrey; the right place at the right time

Working in Mexico for Naranya, this intern has helped develop a new business and marketing strategy for the Latin American ecosystem, fully immersing himself in the entrepreneurial atmosphere of the city.

In Egypt, change is in the air

From his first journey through the now-famous Tahrir Square to his work with Hindawi on a project calculating top bloggers for uFollow, a type of RSS compiler, this intern has had an unforgettable experience in Cairo.

A Brazilian adventure filled with strategy, futebol and broken Portuguese

When he hasn’t been going to futebol games, exploring Brazil, learning Portuguese, or indulging in Brazilian cuisine, this eMBA has worked with the leadership of Arizona to draft long-term strategies for growth.

A test of will power in the struggle to break down barriers in South Africa

Despite a retail market that caters to international behemoths, this eMBA is optimistic about the future of an African fashion brand as she works to develop its first e-commerce platform.

A summer spent selling ads to car dealers and jump-starting a personal journey

Interning in Brazil has allowed this eMBA not only to brush up on his Portuguese, but also to confirm his desire to work abroad and start his own company.

A lesson in scaling businesses and mountains in Monterrey

This eMBA’s internship experience has challenged her mentally and physically, from conducting business meetings in Spanish to climbing el Cañón de la Huasteca.

A taste for coffee and creative growth, Chilean-style

At Sirve, the top seismic engineering company in Chile, this eMBA has savored the local coffee and chocolate and the opportunity to become a part of a talented and open-minded management team.

Explosive IT growth, exuberant dancing and a steak that will make you cry in Bogotá

This eMBA arrived to a brand new office an apartment stocked with food.  Since then, he has worked on an passionately on expansion plan
to Mexico and Brazil while still making time to see the sights and eat some truly amazing steak.

A quest to improving online tourism options in Argentina

This eMBA has learned a great deal about the Latin American tourism industry while strategizing about how to consolidate its offerings online and touring the barrios of Buenos Aires, himself.

Spontaneity and new marketing frontiers in sunny Silicon Valley

This eMBA is putting his marketing knowledge to the test for a South African Endeavor Entrepreneur in the world-renowned, dynamic start-up environment of Silicon Valley.

Leveraging private sector efficiency to improve education for disadvantaged groups in Mexico

Mutu Vengesayi is an MBA candidate at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and is interning with Endeavor Entrepreneur company Enova. Hear about her experiences incorporating technology in the classroom.

Enjoying spontaneity and discovering new marketing frontiers in sunny Silicon Valley

Dhiraj Sehgal is an MBA candidate at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is interning with Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham’s new venture, Gyft, located in the heart of the tech industry.

Marcos Galperin and Reid Hoffman speak on CNBC about entrepreneurship, Endeavor

Earlier this year, Endeavor Entrepreneur Marcos Galperin was named the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year from Argentina, while Endeavor board member Reid Hoffman was the winner from the United States. The following are excerpts from their interviews on CBNC at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Monaco Forum.

Interviewer: How are you helping to make an entrepreneurial spirit in your community?

Marcos Galperin: I’m helping create and foster an entrepreneurial spirit in Latin America by participating in all sorts of activities where we foster entrepreneurship. I’m a board member of Endeavor in Argentina, I’m a big donor of Endeavor, and we support and help high impact entrepreneurs in Argentina and in the region. I’m constantly mentoring and helping entrepreneurs access investors in Latin America and in the United States, and I’m very active in this area.

Reid Hoffman: There have been two themes to how I choose non-profit organizations. One is entrepreneurship, which is entrepreneurship in terms of how do we change societies—this is Endeavor and Kiva and Startup America—and the other one is the use of the consumer internet. So, for example, DoSomething, which enables every teen to be a philanthropic agent. And both of these get to confounding scale and have the same impact on the world, that what I do as an entrepreneur, with LinkedIn, has. The U.S. has a great history of entrepreneurship, but now in kind of the modern, kind of globalized times, it’s more important than ever. So, with the combination of Startup America, which helps entrepreneurs in each of the fifty states; Kiva, which helps micro-entrepreneurs; and Endeavor, which helps high-impact entrepreneurs around the world; each of these organizations helps grow and foster both entrepreneurial culture and the network of essential people that make entrepreneurial companies go. Customers, advisors, investors; all these sorts of things all come down to networks, and so you grow the network.

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