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Mexico’s Ver De Verdad Launches First Mobile Eyecare Network in Mexico

Ver de Verdad, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Hugo Moreno González, is a retailer of  affordable, high- quality and stylish eyeglasses and accessories primarily serving low-income Mexican consumers. The retailer recently announced that it is introducing […]

October 31st, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Insight Report Spotlights Growing Entrepreneurship in Bogotá’s Tech Sector

Bogotá’s tech entrepreneurs have built over 100 companies and created thousands of jobs over the past two decades, according to a recent study by Endeavor Insight. With the support of Endeavor Colombia and the Omidyar Network, the research team […]

February 17th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Entrepreneur Levent Yilmaz profiled in The National

Newly selected Endeavor Entrepreneur Levent Yilmaz was profiled by The National in an article highlighting the success story behind Baydöner, his restaurant chain in Turkey, which last year added 27 locations and increased revenues by 90 percent.

Much of this success comes from the founder “knowing his numbers”:

To get the biggest bang for each lira, Mr Yilmaz’s chain offers just one main dish and only six sides so that food procurement costs and food wastage are kept to a minimum. His employees are trained to turn around every order in an average of only seven minutes. And each customer is usually out the door within half an hour, with the same chair often being used more than 10 times in rapid succession, “which is providing us lots of efficiency”, said Mr Yilmaz.

At Endeavor’s recent International Selection Panel in Dubai, judges picked a total of 20 entrepreneurs, including Levent. Now he wants to expand further, including outside of Turkey.

“We need a very important thing: an international network,” Mr Yilmaz said at the selection meeting. “In Turkey and here [in Dubai], it was excellent to meet with the members of Endeavor. They gave us very good clues and strategic advice.”

Muwaffa Lahham, ISP panelist and chief executive of E3, a healthcare IT company in the UAE, was quoted as saying networks like Endeavor can help entrepreneurs to speed up the growth process by providing valuable introductions and by lending credibility to relatively unknown ventures.

“It helps a lot when you are part of an ecosystem,” said Mr Lahham, who, as a panellist during Endeavor’s event, spoke about doing business in the Middle East. “You’re just sharing your struggles and your strategies and progress and improvements, so that network is great.”

CNN’s Marketplace Middle East on Endeavor, selection panel in Dubai

Endeavor’s recent International Selection Panel (ISP) in Dubai was featured on CNN’s Marketplace Middle East program.

Following the ISP process, the report focuses on how panelists, comprised of top-tier business leaders, engage potential Endeavor companies through the rigorous selection process. With their years of experience, these panelists provide feedback and, often, constructive criticism of these companies, letting them know how they can improve their businesses and presentations. While not all feedback is positive, all of the potential selectees leave the ISP with new ideas about how to improve their companies, even the ones who don’t make the final cut.

CNN highlights the rationale for why Endeavor holds a high standard for chosen companies, only selecting those high-impact entrepreneurs which show potential for substantial growth, impressive job creation, and the potential to inspire others in their region. This is especially important in the Middle East, where unemployment has reached an all-time high and youth unemployment has reached nearly 25%. Endeavor’s model of helping among high impact companies reach their potential is cited for its potential to help alleviate this problem.

Endeavor April 2012 newsletter

To view Endeavor’s April 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.

Press release: Intel Capital and Endeavor Catalyst invest in Minha Vida, largest health and wellness portal in Brazil


You can view the original press release here.

São Paulo, April 5, 2012 – Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organization, and Catalyst, an investment fund created by Endeavor to support companies in its portfolio, have announced an investment in the Minha Vida (“My Life”) health and wellness portal. Founded in 2004 by experienced Brazilian Internet entrepreneurs, Minha Vida is currently the biggest health and wellness portal in Brazil, attracting over eight million unique visitors per month and over 14 million registered users.

With over 10,000 articles, videos, evaluations and picture galleries created by an internal editorial team and the over 200 health professionals that contribute to the site, Minha Vida is the health channel for the top Internet portals in Brazil, including MSN, Yahoo, Terra, UOL and R7. Minha Vida currently reaches 69% of the growing health and well-being market on the Internet. This year, Minha Vida is also translating the most prominent health libraries in the world, such as ADAM and Harvard Medical School, to offer Brazilian Internet users the same medical content accessible to North Americans.

In 2011, the Minha Vida platform helped its users to achieve more than 140 tons in weight loss and over 50,000 years in aggregate of increased life expectancy. Its online dieting program, the biggest in Brazil, grew 220% in the past two years. The investment from Intel Capital and Catalyst will help Minha Vida accelerate expansion in the health and wellness market and launch new products and services for its users.

“With the significant inflow of new Internet users in Brazil, the online health and wellness sector is a promising market for entrepreneurs in this region,” said David Thomas, managing director for Intel Capital in Latin America.
“The health and wellness market has been one of the least impacted by the Internet so far. We are ready to lead this revolution. Year after year, demand for innovation in this market grows, and we think this is the right moment to invest further in this goal,” said Daniel Wjuniski, CEO of Minha Vida.

In addition to content, Minha Vida is focused on improving relationships between doctors and patients with a product currently under development. In order to lead and launch this new unit, Minha Vida has assembled a leading team of Internet executives.

Minha Vida is an Endeavor company and its highly regarded team led by founder and CEO Daniel Wjuniski and co-founders Roberto Lifschitz, Fernando Ortenblad and Sylvio de Barros were chosen as “2011 Entrepreneurs of the Year” by Ernst Young and PEGN Magazine.

Minha Vida is the first Intel Capital investment in Brazil in 2012. Since officially entering the region in 1999, Intel Capital has invested approximately US$140 million in nearly 40 companies in Latin America, with US$75 million invested in Brazilian companies. In 2011, Intel Capital invested in five companies and also expanded its local investment team, which now features four investment directors based in the region. In addition to David Thomas, the team includes investment directors Ricardo Arantes, Fabio DePaula, and Alexandre Villela.

About Minha Vida
Founded in July 2004 under the Dieta e Saúde (“Diet and Health”) brand, Minha Vida is an online portal focused on providing broad access to health and wellness information via the Internet to improve the Brazilian population’s quality of life. Minha Vida is the largest health and wellness portal in Brazil, with over 8 million unique visitors per month, 14 million registered users, 10 million visits per month and 50 million page views. In 2008, the company won the Ibest Award in the category of “Best Health Website,” “The Entrepreneur of the Year Award” from E&Y, and most recently the PEGN “Successful Entrepreneurs Award.” Since 2009, Minha Vida is an Endeavour company. Minha Vida is a privately held independent company; its revenue is obtained by selling advertisements and subscriptions to its healthy weight loss program, Dieta e Saúde – http://www.dietaesaude.com.br/.
Twitter: www.twitter/minhavida Facebook: www.facebook.com/minhavida

About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and M&A organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, health, consumer Internet, digital media, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$10.5 billion in over 1,218 companies in 51 countries. In that timeframe, 196 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 291 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2011, Intel Capital invested US$526 million in 158 investments with approximately 51 percent of funds invested outside the U.S. and Canada. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com or follow @Intelcapital.

Kommunity Group partners with GM to distribute desks to South African children

Kommunity Group (formerly LapDesk), a portable desk company founded by South African Endeavor Entrepreneur Shane Immelman, has partnered with General Motors South Africa to distribute 475 LapDesks to disadvantaged children from the Mzomtsha Primary School in Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth. Every child at the school received their own LapDesk–a lightweight, ergonomically designed writing surface made from durable, child proof materials, which they can use at school and at home.

School principal Mntuwenkosi Mashologu said the school has 465 students and 16 teachers, but struggles with limited resources: “Most of our buildings are dilapidated and subject to vandalism. We have no paving, no administration offices, many classrooms have no electricity and conditions are generally a challenge for teaching the children.” Mashologu said at least half his students did not have proper desks where they could sit during class. “We are all very happy to have received these Lapdesks, as it will make a huge difference in the ability of learners to do their schoolwork,” he said.

While many schools in the world today use expensive advanced technologies as teaching resources, over 480 million students worldwide still lack proper desks, a most basic education tool. Shane founded Kommunity Group to overcome this barrier in South Africa by distributing portable LapDesks. His company has now distributed over 1,000,000 LapDesks in 16 countries.

Shane has been endorsed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and chosen by Harvard Business School for two case studies in its curriculum. His company remains focused on R&D, and released four new products in 2011.

Strategy+Business: “Linda Rottenberg’s High-Impact Endeavor”

Reprinted from strategy-business.com. See the original article here

By Paula Margulies

This social entrepreneur pioneered a new model for mentoring startups in emerging markets. Now she’s replicating it around the world.

Growing up in one of Rio de Janeiro’s impoverished favelas, Heloísa Helena Assis realized that there was enormous demand for an affordable product that would tame Brazilian women’s unruly curls. In 1993, Assis and her partners — a former nanny, a cabdriver, and a McDonald’s employee — started a business called Beleza Natural (“Natural Beauty”) in the basement of a modest house in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. The company was an immediate success. Beleza Natural was soon scrambling to keep up with demand, unsure of how to pursue strategic growth with limited funding.

In 2005, Assis turned to Endeavor Global Inc., a nonprofit organization headquartered in New York that promotes “high-impact entrepreneurship” in emerging markets. Endeavor accepted Assis into its entrepreneurs program, providing her with what Endeavor founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg describes as “venture capital without the capital” — training, mentoring, and support from a network of business leaders, finance and organizational experts, and successful entrepreneurs.

With Endeavor’s help, Beleza Natural’s revenues have grown by 914 percent and its employment has increased by 214 percent since it joined the entrepreneur program in 2005. (Today, the company boasts 26 salons across Brazil, a full line of hair-care products, and a cosmetics research lab.) With US$30 million in yearly revenue and 1,300 employees, the company is a rags-to-riches Brazilian success story.

And it is the sort of story that Endeavor has been helping to replicate in emerging markets across the globe over the past 15 years. In 2009 alone, the organization’s entrepreneurs — who have created 130,000 jobs in 11 countries — generated $3.5 billion in revenue and $92 million in equity capital. And whereas less than half of new firms in the U.S. survive their first four years of operations, 95 percent of Endeavor’s emerging-market companies still operate after eight years. Indeed, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Thomas Friedman has called Endeavor “the best antipoverty program of all.” (more…)

20 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico join the Endeavor network

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Endeavor selected 20 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico at its 42nd International Selection Panel. Endeavor now supports 676 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 422 companies in 12 emerging market countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a Panel held from March 27 – 29 in Dubai.

“This panel was one of the most international events we have ever held, both from the point of view of entrepreneurs represented and panelists,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg, who noted the attraction of Dubai’s strategic location. “Our panelists came from as close as Saudi Arabia and as far as Silicon Valley and were incredibly impressed by the global spirit of entrepreneurship represented by the candidates, including the first nominated company from our newest affiliate in Indonesia.”

Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating thousands of jobs and building sustainable growth models in their home countries. The International Selection Panel is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step Search & Selection process where top local and international business leaders interview and then offer guidance to entrepreneur candidates. Post-selection, Endeavor provides entrepreneurs with customized services provided by local business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms and top U.S. business schools. Additionally, Endeavor’s Catalyst program co-invests in Endeavor Entrepreneurs’ professional funding rounds.

The Dubai International Selection Panel was also an excellent opportunity to showcase Endeavor’s close ties with Abraaj Capital, which Rottenberg noted has been an indispensable partner for Endeavor in the region. Abraaj has supported Endeavor’s expansion to new countries in MENASA and senior Abraaj managers have served as professional mentors for Endeavor Entrepreneur companies. Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive of Abraaj Capital and a member of Endeavor’s Global’s Board of Directors, served as one of the 18 judges on the Panel and personally hosted the delegates at the opening night reception. “I can’t thank Arif and his team enough for the warm welcome they provided our global organization in Dubai,” said Rottenberg.

Endeavor will host four more International Selection Panels this year in Cartagena, Colombia (May); London (June); Istanbul (October) and Miami (December).

Entrepreneur(s)/Companies selected:

From MENA

Egypt

Entrepreneurs: Dr. Amina Hassab and Mohamed Azab
Company: Hassab Labs
Description: Hassab Labs provides accredited, fast and accurate medical test results to individuals, health professionals and medical institutes in Egypt.

Entrepreneur: Dr. Ahmed Farouk
Company: Imtenan Health Shop
Description: Founded in 2005, Imtenan Health Shop imports, manufactures and sells more than 200 natural health products. With 13 retail locations in Cairo, Alexandria, and Assiut looks to become Egypt’s leading provider of health food and all-natural supplements.

Turkey

Entrepreneur: Levent Yılmaz and Feridun Tuncer
Company: Baydöner
Description: Founded in 2006, Baydöner is a fast-food chain serving traditional Turkish “doner” at 48 locations throughout the Middle East, employing 749 people. Former veterinarians and pharmacists, Levent and his partner Feridun are bringing new standards for quality and efficiency to the industry.

From LATIN AMERICA

Brazil

Entrepreneurs: Marcelo Castanha, Guilherme Kümmel, Edson Bastos, Helcio Maciel and Frederico Rocha de Araujo
Company: Novaprolink
Description: Founded in 1993, Novaprolink is the leading ERP provider to the Brazilian legal industry, helping law firms access millions of legal documents, streamline internal operations, and manage client relationships.

Entrepreneurs: Marcelo Amado and Marcelo Di Giorgio
Company: Touch Watches
Description: Founded in 2009, Touch Watches is a watch and accessories retailer based in Rio de Janeiro. Rolling out more than 700 new designs every year to its 88 franchises, Marcelo Amado and Marcelo Di Giorgio are bringing the fast-fashion concept to Brazil.

Chile

Entrepreneurs: Tomas Pollak and Carlos Yaconi
Company: Prey Project
Description: Prey Project is a Santiago, Chile-based anti-theft software company that helps individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations find and recover stolen computers and mobile phones.

Mexico

Entrepreneurs: Rene Freudenberg & Roberto Iberri
Company: Interlub
Description: Founded in 1983 by Rene’s father, Interlub provides specialized lubricants to large manufacturing companies in the glass, steel, and automotive sectors in 20 countries.

Entrepreneurs: Jorge & Juan Carlos González Olvera
Company: 4e
Description: Founded in 2006, 4e is a Mexican manufacturer of liquid soaps and gels. The third company founded by the Olvera brothers, 4e has won 57% share (by volume) of a market historically dominated by multinationals.

Entrepreneurs: Andrés Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Vera
Company: BlueMessaging
Description: Founded in 2007, BlueMessaging allows businesses to improve the quality, efficiency, and scalability of their interaction with customers by providing user-friendly mobile and web communication platforms.

About Endeavor

Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as “the best anti-poverty program of all,” Endeavor is leading the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 30,000 entrepreneurs and selected 672 individuals leading 422 high-impact companies.

With support from Endeavor’s worldwide mentor network, these high-impact entrepreneurs:

-Have created over 156,000 jobs
-Generated over $4.5 billion in revenues in 2010
-Inspire future generations to innovate and take risks

Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in 15 countries throughout Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. As the high-impact movement expands globally, Endeavor will continue to prove that anyone with a big idea can succeed, from Silicon Valley to Latin America, the Middle East, and beyond.

Endeavor attends Global Entrepreneurship Congress

Last week, Endeavor representatives from 10 offices worldwide attended Kauffman’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Liverpool, England, a conference “where people, passion and potential are celebrated, inspired and accelerated.” As an important part of this 4th annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress, the 16 Endeavor representatives in attendance mingled with iconic business innovators such as Sir Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin, and Stephen Felice, SME and Consumer President of Dell, while spreading their message on the positive effects of entrepreneurship, particularly in the emerging markets in which they focus their activities.

Endeavor Global’s Director of Marketing & Development, Rebecca Plofker addressed the Congress about how Endeavor uses the powerful stories of High-Impact Entrepreneurs to inspire future generations in developing economies as well as going into detail on what Endeavor affiliates do as country hosts during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Citing the growing number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs participating in GEW activities, she also elaborated on how sharing these stories of success can inspire others to start their own enterprises, creating entrepreneurial ecosystems which act as a catalyst for economic growth and important job creation. This was followed up with a breakout session led by Rebecca, Mark Nager of Startup Weekend, and Nick Seguin of the Kauffman Foundation on how to foster and sustainably grow these entrepreneurial ecosystems.

It’s unsurprising that Endeavor had such an esteemed presence at the GEC, as last year ten Endeavor affiliates acted as host for Global Entrepreneurship Week in their countries. This event has become a cornerstone for Entrepreneurial creation worldwide, and is the globes’ largest celebration of innovators and job creators. Started in 2008, Global Entrepreneurship Week was celebrated last year in nearly 120 countries and directly impacted more than 6 million people worldwide, of more than 1 million of which came from Endeavor affiliate countries. Additionally, Endeavor country Turkey was recognized at the Congress for their GEW campaign, and won “Country of the Year” at the annual Gala. This week-long event has become an important tool for encouraging and inspiring entrepreneurs.

Additionally, it was announced during the Congress that Endeavor Brazil would host next years’ GEC in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil was one of the first Endeavor locations, and the country is often cited as an important example of how entrepreneurship can thrive in emerging markets to positively affect economic growth and create high-skilled jobs. This news marks another important step for Endeavor in becoming a recognized leader in the High-Impact Entrepreneurship movement.


PedidosYa launches in Colombia

PedidosYa.com, the Uruguay-based online food ordering leader in Latin America that allows users to quickly find restaurants and order food from its website, iPhone and Android apps, has launched in Colombia.

PedidosYa.com arrived in Colombia this month, starting in Bogotá with more than 40 restaurants and 290 branches. Included among them are a number of important restaurant chains, such as Presto, PPC, Fruterias Patty y Don Jediondo, and also well-known restaurants such as Casavieja, Palos de Moguer, Tahi Sushi and Arepas DC.

The company was founded in Uruguay by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Ariel Burschtin, Ruben Sosenke and Alvaro Garcia in October of 2009. Currently, it operates in six countries in Latin America: Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Puerto Rico and recently Colombia. PedidosYa already works with more than 2,500 restaurants including brands like Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Denny’s, Presto, PPC, California Burritos, Benihana, Romario and Itamae Sushi.

The opening in Colombia is complemented by the launch of the Android app, which adds to the one already launched in December of 2011 for the iPhone. These apps detect the users’ location through GPS and list a number of restaurants that deliver to the specified location.

Alvaro Garcia, co-CEO at PedidosYa.com, says, “We are really excited with the goals we have been achieving and we are optimistic about our future plans. More and more new customers and restaurants choose our service and enjoy its benefits. Launching in Colombia is another important milestone in our international expansion strategy, helping us remain leaders in the Latin American market.”

PedidosYa.com is supported financially and strategically by Kaszek Ventures, the venture capital firm led by Hernan Kazah (co-founder of MercadoLibre) and Nicolás Szekasy (former CFO of MercadoLibre), and Atomico Ventures, the technology venture capital firm founded by Niklas Zennström (co-founder of Skype).

Endeavor global network member Juan Pablo Cappello named a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader magazine

The press release below can also be viewed here.

MIAMI — Juan Pablo Cappello, a Corporate & Securities shareholder in the Miami office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig has been named a “Top 50 Entrepreneur” by Business Leader magazine. An awards reception was held for honorees on Monday, February 20, 2012. The Top 50 Entrepreneurs issue is scheduled to be published in April 2012.

Started in 1989, Business Leader magazine provides local business intelligence to readers in several Southeast markets, including: Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and Charlotte in North Carolina; Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville in Florida; Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia.

“It is an honor to be selected for this prestigious award and listed among such a well-accomplished list of professionals,” said Cappello. “Working at a law firm with a history rooted in the entrepreneurial efforts of its founding partners, it is a fantastic feeling knowing that through this accomplishment I am not only paying tribute to this tradition of entrepreneurship, but am also contributing to keeping the spirit of innovation alive.”

Cappello has wide-ranging capital markets experience in cross-border corporate finance, private equity and venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. He was previously the general counsel and a director of [Endeavor Entrepreneur Wences Casares' company] Patagon.com, which was sold to Banco Santander for a transaction value of over US$750 million. Cappello also co-founded [along with Endeavor Entrepreneurs] www.idea.me, the first Latin America crowd funding site and Sauber Energy, a green energy company in Chile that resolves the problem of “harmonics” in the electrical grid.

Cappello is highly involved in the business community where he is a Global Advisory Board Member of Endeavor Global, a leading NGO promoting entrepreneurship. He is also on the Legal Advisory Board of the Latin American Venture Capital Association, the Advisory Board of the Pino Entrepreneurship Center at Florida International University and of the Institute of Global International Effectiveness at the Kelly School of Management at Indiana University.

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