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31 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 15 Countries Join the Endeavor Network at the 54th Selection Panel in New York City

New York, NY – August 14th – Endeavor selected 31 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 21 companies in 15 countries at its 54th International Selection Panel. Endeavor now supports 948 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 606 companies across 20 […]

August 14th, 2014 — by admin

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2013 Endeavor Gala Honoring Sir Richard Branson Spotlights the Magic of Endeavor

On Friday, November 8th, the 2013 Endeavor Gala brought together over 600 entrepreneurs, business leaders, Endeavor Board members and supporters to celebrate the magic of Endeavor at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. As Endeavor’s only annual […]

November 12th, 2013 — by admin

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Entrepreneurship lessons from the Berenstain Bears

Reprinted from Under30CEO. See the original article here

By Harrison Kratz

For 50 years, the Berenstain Bears have been teaching American youth lessons that last a lifetime. I’m sure all of you have read at least one of the 260+ editions of Berenstain Bears that Stanley and Jan Berenstain wrote, starting in 1962. Stanley passed away in 2005 and unfortunately Jan passed away at 88 because of a stroke this past Friday in Solebury, PA – 15 minutes from my hometown.

To honor all of the lessons they taught us, I wanted to add a few lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from the Berenstain Bears.

Dealing with Grown-Ups

In the book with the same title, Brother and Sister Bear become discouraged because it seems their parents only have negative things to say about them. By the end though, both the parents and cubs see the issue from each other’s point of view and that getting on each other’s nerves just comes with being a family.

Many young entrepreneurs feel discouraged by older professionals and self-appointed advisors because it always seems like they have nothing but criticism to offer. Like the cubs, young entrepreneurs should look at the issue from the older professionals point of view to understand that they are only trying to guide an entrepreneur’s ambition and teach from years of experience.

Too much can be a Bad Thing

The Berenstain Bears have several “too much” books, but all point to the same thing – Too much of a good thing can turn out bad. The same can be said for many entrepreneurs.

If you’re only focusing on successes or putting too much emphasis on a certain aspect of business, you may start to other aspects decline and start to drag your company down. While this isn’t a fateful occurrence, it is important to avoid as you try to build a successful company. Never dwell on success or failure too long, just take it all in stride so you can continue to run a well-oiled machine.

Stay away from the Green Eyed Monster

One of the classic Berenstain books, this tells the story of how Sister Bear becomes jealous of her brother’s bike and convinces herself she can ride it. She quickly finds out that was a mistake when she crashes the bike.

This is always important to remember. As an entrepreneur, you will see other companies or entrepreneurs moving quicker than you or building larger companies. While that should motivate you to do better, do not substitute that drive with envy. Being jealous of another company can cause you to stop running your race or focus on the progress you have made. Focus is key as an entrepreneur and measuring yourself against others can only take that away.

Value your money

As a young entrepreneur, money can be scarce and success can be fleeting. In the book “Money Trouble,” Brother and Sister Bear learn the value of money after they become world-class spenders of every penny they earn.

It is important for an entrepreneur to value the money that they make, receive, and have for it can be gone before they can finish counting. Value your success and don’t take money, no matter how it is received, for granted.

Think of Those in Need

As I’ve written here before, it is very important for an entrepreneur to give back or focus on being an agent of change. In “Think of Those in Need,” the Bear family realized that they have too much stuff and that they can help others with their excess of items around the house.

Entrepreneurs should take this approach when building their businesses and career. I’m not saying you should sacrifice your business growth or model in the name of doing good, but if you have the ability to reach others and be a change agent through your talent, drive, or company that you have built – that opportunity should never be wasted.

Thank you Jan and Stanley – you have taught us more than you’ll ever know.

Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager for MBA@UNC, the MBA online program from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. Connect with him on Twitter, @KratzPR.

Company press release: Smowtion to silver sponsor MIT Latin American Conference

Press release – BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, March 1, 2012

Smowtion, a technology company focused on providing products and support for advertising networks, will be a Silver Sponsor of the 15th annual MIT Latin American Conference, the oldest Latin American Conference among U.S. business schools. The event will be held on Saturday, March 10th, in the Wong Auditorium at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and is organized in partnership with BrasiIinvest.

An established Sell Side Platform (SSP) with more than 150,000 long tail publishers in 130 countries, Smowtion has 270 million unique users worldwide and 5 billion monthly impressions. “We are proud to be a sponsor, along with Brasilinvest and Bain and Company, of this important international event,” said Andres Alterini, Smowtion’s CEO. “Smowtion invites MIT students seeking to join a fast-growing company to find out more about us and the wonderful opportunities offered to them in the dynamic digital media market.”

Led entirely by MIT Sloan students, the aim of the conference is “to promote greater involvement of the international community in the development of Latin America, to increase the awareness of investment opportunities in the region, and to inspire future leaders to become ethical, innovative change makers in Latin America.” Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, will be the event’s keynote speaker.

For more information visit http://mitlac.com.

About Smowtion

Smowtion is a technology company specializing in developing products and solutions that help target quality audiences for the online advertising industry. Its proprietary technology helps more than 150,000 publishers—including Web sites, blogs and social networking sites that reach over 270 million users worldwide—through display ads and customized solutions. In 2010, Smowtion was included on Endeavor’s List of High-Impact Entrepreneurs at the 36th International Selection Committee.

Endeavor March 2012 newsletter

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

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Seth Godin visits Endeavor Turkey (with video)

Prominent entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin was in Istanbul last week, and graciously visited the Endeavor Turkey office on February 23 to meet with numerous Endeavor Entrepreneurs and other members of the local Endeavor network. Check out video clips below.

In a speech, Godin had this to say about Endeavor’s model:

What’s exciting to me about Endeavor’s mission is Endeavor surrounds entrepreneurs with people who are probably thinking about the opportunity differently. When you add this perspective to the entrepreneurs’ ideas, then you have a chance to create a new norm. But since the entrepreneur is leading an initiative that’s never been done before, the road map of where he wants to go and how he’s going to get there becomes imperative; yet, nobody can tell him exactly how to embark on this unknown adventure step-by-step. Local knowledge is essential but more essential than that is Endeavor’s role as a compass providing a sense of direction to help entrepreneurs figure out where they are and where they want to go.

More generally, Godin discussed the common mindset of pursuing careers that are safe, valuing complacency over risk. This, he says, is where entrepreneurs come in. “Any time you find yourself doing a routine ‘job,’” he says, “you need to fire yourself. An entrepreneur’s job is to think.”

He also offered specific tips for running a business — for instance, the importance of “think[ing] of solutions where you would reduce the risk of the person to whom you are selling your product.”

Referring to Endeavor’s goal of helping entrepreneurs scale their business, Godin also discussed limiting forces that keep entrepreneurs from growing infinitely big, and answered common questions from Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Overall, the Entrepreneurs found Godin’s advice to be extremely valuable, and appreciated the chance to participate in this special event.

Thank you to Büke Çuhadar from Endeavor Turkey for contributing to this article.

Endeavor network makes an impact at Mobile World Congress

During the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona this week, Felipe, Prince of Asturias recognized a group of entrepreneurs, including Endeavor Entrepreneur Arturo Galvan, Founder & CEO of Naranya, for their innovation in the mobile arena of the Spanish speaking world. Arturo, selected by Endeavor last December, was the only Latin American in the group. Naranya develops interactive media products and specializes in the mobile entertainment and mobile marketing world.

Edgar Bronfman, Jr., outgoing Chairman of Warner Music Group and Chairman of Endeavor Global, gave a wide-ranging interview on the “D: Dive Into Media” stage, offering insights on the future of digital and mobile music among other topics.

Endeavor supports a large number of innovative entrepreneurs in the mobile space. In addition to Arturo, the following Endeavor Entrepreneurs are participating in this week’s conference:

Felipe Valdes (Tiaxa) – Chile
Provides the mobile telecom market with infrastructure, clearinghouse and revenue enhancement services, increasing revenues for major operators around the world

Labib Shalak (Mobinets) – Lebanon
Provides Next Generation OSS systems that enable operators to design, build and operate current and future networks, especially to overcome challenges on the transmission side

Bahadir Kuru and Başar Akpınar (PI Works) – Turkey
Provides network optimization products used by voice or data wireless operators to increase the capacity and decrease the operating and capital expenditures

Fatih Isbecer (Pozitron) – Turkey
A top mobile software developer that has partnered with such firms as Apple, IBM, and Microsoft

Endeavor Entrepreneur shares tips for creating your social media strategy

Endeavor Entrepreneur Zafer Younis (The Online Project) shares his tips on carving a social media presence for small and growing businesses.

Reprinted from www.wamda.com.

Two years ago, The Online Project began offering social media utilization services to companies in the Middle East. As one of the region’s first social media agencies, we serviced clients from a variety of industries and budgets. With unique differentiators, one constant was observed from the start: every enterprise we dealt with had the opportunity to benefit from social media.

Today, our experience has grown deeper across multiple disciplines and this constant still remains true so long as companies begin their exploration on social media outlets with a strategy and direction of where they aim to be.

The opportunity for SMEs to benefit from social media utilization has not dwindled. However, like any marketing or outreach exercise, the beginning can be daunting, so we have prepared this basic guideline for how to approach your endeavors on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media platform you wish to pursue.

Step 1: Identify your goals

Clearly articulating your goals before getting started will guide your strategy, allow you to track your progress and end results. By understanding the objectives you want to achieve first, you and your team will be able to ask yourselves if your actions support achieving that end goal.

Once you identify your goals, it’s important to determine how you will measure them. The online world is full of factors to be measured; identify the metrics that will let you know if you’re getting closer or further from the end picture.

Companies that are using social media to drive sales will have to look at very different metrics than companies who are using it for solving customer care issues or for marketing.

Step 2: Identify your audience and your platforms

Once you know what you want to do and how you will measure your success, you need to articulate who you plan to reach.

Knowing your target audience will allow you to develop a relevant communication plan, and most importantly it will guide you in what platforms to use. Not all social media opportunities are created equally and no two popular social networking platforms cater to the exact kind of audience. Know who you want to reach and then decide where to go to find them.

Step 3: Write down your timeline and milestones

Before we began working with some of the most recognized brands in the region, we experimented on social media with our own brands – the first being a Jordanian based radio station that caters to a young audience.

We knew we wanted to be on Facebook because that is where our audience was, so we broke down our plan to “conquer” Facebook into smaller phases. Each phase had a milestone related to our overall goal, which allowed us to track our progress in smaller steps.

Step 4: Prepare your content

Each brand and community has its own unique personality, which you articulate through content. Preparing content beforehand will give enough time to plan things ahead, like testing variant content, times to post and study the results, it will also help reduce the amount of time the community manager will spend on this task. Instead of doing it daily, it will be done on weekly bases resulting in higher efficiency.

Step 5: Find your most passionate users

The first movers into your community are the ones that set the tone and direction more than you will, which is why it’s important to bring in your brand advocates to start.

Brand advocates are like key players in sports, not only will they strengthen your community from the inside but they will also help spread your brand to wider and more variable audience; they sometimes even spread it into different platforms.

Identify your advocates and invite them to your shared space.

Step 6: Engage, engage, engage

A social media strategy has to revolve around one main element: being social. Let people take advantage of communicating with you to develop a true community around your organization or brand and that is when you’ll begin to see the benefits of going social.

This 6-step process is essential to get you started on social media. Once you’re there and you begin building your community, it’s important to listen to the conversation and see where your community takes you. User generated conversations and content will open up a world of possibilities to grow your brand and improve your services and products.

Zafer Younis is a marketing specialist who is paving new ways for companies to connect with their consumers in the digital space. He is the co-founder and CEO of The Online Project where his team develops and executes social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and high profile organizations operating in the Middle East and North Africa.

Content marketing: 5 proven strategies for turning prospects into buyers

Reprinted from womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com. See original post here.

By Donna Gunter

I discovered a few years ago that I had accidentally stumbled upon the new wave of marketing, now referred to as content marketing, as I went about my regular marketing activities. As a card carrying introvert, it’s just always been so much easier to share my knowledge with others rather than trying to sell myself or my products. Ironically enough, that strategy has proven insanely successful for me. At the time, I never looked upon it as a strategy or a system — I just did what naturally came to me. Who knew that I was on the cusp of the newest marketing system about to be adopted by all sorts of companies around the globe?

Today, there is a huge focus on content marketing, and it’s become an entire industry, ironically enough. In a nutshell, content marketing has been defined as a way of communicating with your customers and your prospect without selling. Instead, you deliver valuable information to them that helps them solve their day-to-day problems, rather than constantly pitching your products and services to them.

Why does it work so well? Consumers have become numb from marketing overwhelm between the television, radio, and magazine advertising, as well as online banner ads. They have learned to tune out everything that doesn’t relate to their current issue at hand, but will pay attention to great sources that help them in their search for relevant information. They then reward that sharing of valuable information with their loyalty by purchasing from you, someone that they like, know and trust.

Here are 5 proven strategies to help you use your content to turn prospects into buyers via content marketing:

1. Provide great information. Great content is not equal to a thinly disguised sales pitch for a product. If you’re going to bother to create content for your target market, make it worthwhile for them to read. Provide at least 2 valuable tips your reader can use to move forward or solve an issue. Please don’t waste their time by focusing your entire piece of content on why they have the problem. They already know that a problem exists — they are coming to you for solutions.

2. Mix it up. I just read that today’s teens and 20-somethings rely less and less on web sites as way to get the solutions to their problems, and their use of email is practically non-existent. So, take your content and package it in a variety of formats and reach out to your prospects where they are or where they hang out, like an audio podcast on iTunes, a screencast video on YouTube, a slide show on Slideshare, quick tips on Twitter and Facebook, or in app for their iPhone or iPad.

3. Boring makes them leave. Just because you’re providing some educational tidbits to your target market doesn’t mean you have to go about it in a boring manner. Put on your copywriting hat and create compelling headlines that make them want to read, view or listen to what you have created. Share your personality and your sense of humor — let you authenticity shine through. Tell entertaining stories that illustrate what you’re talking about,

4. Start with your web site. Even though more and more consumers are getting their information from user-generated sites like iTunes or You Tube, your web site is still your home base and your primary repository for your content. However, you need to educate your visitors on all pages of your site, rather than trying to sell them. Start with your home page and let visitors clearly picture who you are and how you help them solve their problems. Get your prospects to resonate with you by sharing your personal story on your About page. Continue to educate your prospects about what you do and how you do it via your FAQ page.

5. Don’t stop at the sale. Your best customers are those who have already purchased from you. Don’t drop your customers off a cliff once you’ve sold them something. Keep the love alive by continuing to educate them about other issues to which you have solutions, and that will help you build more sales.

Take Action Strategy

If you’re not yet in the business of educating your prospects, there’s no time like today to start that process. You’ll find educating your customers via content marketing a much more rewarding way of marketing your business.

Internet Marketing Coach Donna Gunter helps professional service businesses stop the client chase and create online businesses that drive clients to them. She invites readers to download her free ebook, Turbocharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at http://www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com

Company press release: Integr8 stays on top of global managed service providers

The following press release was issued by Endeavor company The Integr8 Group. Founded in 2001 by Lance Faranoff and Robert Sussman, Integr8 is the largest privately held ICT company on the African continent, providing a complete range of sophisticated IT outsourcing services.

The Integr8 Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned ICT managed services provider, is the number one Managed Service Provider (MSP) in South Africa for the second consecutive year, the third best in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) and the only South African company amongst the top thirty five worldwide.

This is according to the latest MSPmentor 100 Report brought out by the global guide to managed services produced by Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media. The annual report is a culmination of analysis and expert review by international industry specialists. It is based on calculated index measurement metrics that include overall managed services revenue, overall managed services revenue growth and number of devices managed, as well as global standards. This is the second year in a row Integr8 has been listed as the top MSP in SA and also the second year running it has achieved listing amongst the top fifty companies globally, with a ranking of 33rd.

Robert Sussman, joint CEO at Integr8, is immensely proud of the company’s proven position in the way it delivers its leading edge services. He believes this success is down to a combination of over a decade’s worth of experience in building the technology, educating the best minds in the industry and instilling a culture of relentless winners. The core aggregation of this comes together in the company’s client centric entrenched Nerve Centre® operation and leveraged platform.

“The Nerve Centre® has once again been recognized as a leading core offering where we differentiate ourselves by not only the innovative services provided, but the way in which these are provisioned. An independent rating from MSPmentor, solidifies our roadmap, whereby we are comfortable that we remain 18 to 24 months ahead of the closest global competitor,” says Sussman.

“We have the critical mass the publically traded companies maintain, yet we have coupled entrepreneurial innovation that is core to our value system as we are one hundred percent privately owned by people that work in the company. Our Nerve Centre® is a cohesive, tight unit and we are able to deliver a proactive, instantaneous service as a result of this operation and the established platform that we have developed. This incorporates our technology insight, infrastructure, expertise, intelligence and ability to pro-act on change, not react to it. This is what the market demands and this is the level of agility we have to continue to instill,” he adds.

The Fifth Annual MSPmentor 100 Report, incorporating a list of the world’s top 100 MSPs was unveiled in a live webcast on 15 February.

Reflections on the state of venture capital [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a panel at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.

Overview: This panel of leading US venture capitalist explores the role of US venture investment in emerging markets and discusses both the challenges and opportunities of investing in entrepreneurs abroad.

Participants:

Moderator – Phil Wickham: President and CEO Kauffman Fellows Program – The Center for Venture Education
Matt Cohler; General Partner, Benchmark
Jeff Bussgang; General Partner, Flybridge Capital and author of Mastering the VC Game
Dave McClure; Founding Partner, 500 Startups
Stuart Francis; Vice Chairman, Barclays Capital
Dan Senor; Senior Advisor, Eliot Management and Co-author Startup Nation

Full transcript:

Phil: We’re here to talk about venture capital in emerging markets, and we’ve got an expert panel from Silicon with some insights from other parts of the world and want to jump right into their ideas and contents for your benefit.

Phil Introduces panelists:

Dan Senor is with Eliot Management. He’s a co-author of Startup Nation, well immersed in the New York and Israeli dynamic.

Stuart Fancis is the Vice Chairman of Barclay’s Capital. Stu is our authority on capital markets.

Dave McClure from 500 Startups is one of the real pioneers in the angel wave.

Jeff Bussgang, from Flybridge Capital. Jeff is a start-up manager extraordinaire, an author extraordinaire, a teacher extraordinaire—he teaches with us at the Kauffman Fellows Program—and has put together one of the hot young venture brands, carrying the flag for the Boston venture market.

Matthew Cohler, of Benchmark. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Benchmark is not only one of the premier brands in terms of returns but in terms of conduct and entrepreneur eccentricity. Has been characterized as “the most networked person on earth.”

We have a pretty deep relationship with Endeavor. We know a lot of the entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs that come out of this ecosystem are nothing short of spectacular. Not just in terms of performance but in the tough environments in which they work. (more…)

Turkey’s B-fit chain empowers women, attracts female entrepreneurs

Reprinted with permission from Today’s Zaman. You can find the original article here.

B-Fit, started by serial entrepreneur Bedriye Hülya, joined Endeavor in 2009. B-fit is the first chain of women-only gyms in Turkey, and uses a franchising model which empowers other Turkish women as they are entirely women staffed and managed.

B-fit, the first women-only gym chain in Turkey, which empowers women by selling franchises to women entrepreneurs only, is also attracting investment in overseas franchises as its business grows larger.

It is currently aiming to have a total of 300 branches by the end of 2012.

B-fit is a 100-percent Turkish brand and a workout program designed for women to get slim through 30-minute workout sessions in which the exercise changes every 30 seconds while the women exercising follow the instructor. Women of all ages come to work out at the sessions which professional trainers with college degrees in the field conduct. Also, each participant’s pulse is measured every 10 minutes during the session to make sure everything is going well.

The founder of the business, Bedriye Hülya, told Sunday’s Zaman she attended a similar workout program in the US while studying psychology in New York. She also studied circuit training, after which she decided to start her own business in the field. Hülya said she researched the machines and their functions and talked to almost every single machine producer in the US before she started her business. She had already moved back to Turkey and, after two years of going back and forth between the US and Turkey to develop the right machines for her b-fit program, she finally started her business in 2006 in the western province of İzmir.

Hülya was cited as an example of one of Turkey’s great entrepreneurs by US Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke at the Second Global Entrepreneurship Summit in İstanbul during his visit to Turkey in December. She was also chosen as one of Turkey’s best entrepreneurs by endeavor.org in 2009.

The gym saw a lot of participation from the women of İzmir, which is also Hülya’s hometown. In the course of a year, Hülya had opened two more gyms in İzmir and one in İstanbul. The business got a lot of attention after Hülya gave a newspaper interview, with women demanding a franchise license. B-fit opened another 10 gyms in 2007, another 15 in 2008, another 30 in 2009 and another 52 in 2010 throughout the country, in addition to branches in Northern Cyprus as well as a branch in Germany. Although the numbers for 2011 have not yet been released, Hülya said it should be well over 52 branches. She added that the company’s target is to have open 300 b-fit gyms in total by the end of the year. The main areas where b-fit would like to sell franchises are the Black Sea and central Anatolian regions. The company also plans to increase the number of branches abroad, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East, in the coming years to give women a chance to empower themselves in developing countries.

Hülya noted b-fit is a great opportunity for women to start their own business and calls the company’s policy to only sell franchises to women positive discrimination. She said even though it may be difficult for women to adapt to a work environment since they are not used to it and may be easily de-motivated by the challenges that come with the job, women are very creative, pay attention to small details and understand each other very well. She added that working with only women is the main driver of the company’s success and rapid growth.

Company procedures require that women who plan to open a franchise gym be ambitious and friendly. These women must also be in need — this doesn’t necessarily mean financial need, but they have a need for success, fulfillment or achievement. They must be solution-oriented individuals rather than problem-oriented. A franchise costs TL 60,000, which covers the costs of machines, brand rights and furniture. Hülya says franchisees must give 4 percent of their earnings to b-fit and recommends they implement company rules well in order to be successful in the business. The company requires franchisees to offer a seminar once a month about nutrition and healthy eating, in addition to organizing member activities such as going out to dinners, events, movies and the theater. B-fit sends out inspectors to branches and also checks on them by sending out secret customers.

B-fit chose a clear apple on a green background as its symbol for promoting a healthy lifestyle. So far, the company has 80,000 members who have lost 50 tons of weight. Fifty percent of their members are working women, 30 percent are housewives while 20 percent are students. The monthly fee for membership varies between TL 50 and TL 150, depending on the location of the gym, and it provides an additional 20 percent discount to students.

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