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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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Endeavor Entrepreneur Companies Cited for Innovation: Jorge Soto’s Data4 Named Technology Pioneer by WEF China; Facebook Gives an Innovation Award to SocialWire

Endeavor Entrepreneur Jorge Soto‘s company Data4 (previously known as CitiVox) joined the 2014 Class of Technology Pioneers, an award organized by the World Economic Forum in China.  This is the first time a Mexican company […]

October 29th, 2013 — by admin

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Bing Gordon: “CEO 2.0: Lessons from Bezos and Pincus” [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation 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: Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers spoke about why being a web 2.0 CEO is different than being a traditional chief executive. In his presentation, drawing from the experiences of Jeff Bezos, founder, president and CEO of Amazon.com and Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, he articulated how the new kind of CEO must be visionary, customer focused, a coach rather than a dictator, and committed to a fast pace. He also included other tips on the best ways a web 2.0-era CEO can build a support system and adopt specific strategies to be especially effective.

Bio: Bing Gordon joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner in 2008. He leads on the sFund, the investment initiative to fund and build applications and services that deliver on the promise of the social web. The sFund, launched in 2010 with strategic partners Amazon.com, Facebook, Zynga, Comcast, Liberty Media and Allen & Co., has made 16 investments to date, including four seeds. Bing serves on the board of directors of sFund companies Klout and Lockerz; sFund strategics Amazon and Zynga; as well as MEVIO and Zazzle. He was also a founding director at Katango (acquired by Google 2011), ngmoco (acquired by DeNA 2010) and Audible (acquired by Amazon in 2008).

Before joining KPCB, Bing had been a long-time executive at Electronic Arts, beginning with EA’s founding in 1982 with initial funding from Kleiner Perkins. He was chief creative officer at EA from 1998 to 2008 and previously headed EA marketing and product development. Bing drove EA’s branding strategy with EA Sports, developed EA’s pricing strategy for package goods and online games, created EA’s studio organization, and contributed to the design and marketing of many EA franchises, including John Madden Football, The Sims, Sim City, Need for Speed, Tiger Woods Golf, Club Pogo and Command and Conquer.

Bing was awarded the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and he held the game industry’s first endowed chair in game design at The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University and his B.A. degree from Yale University, where he serves on the President’s Council. Bing’s favorite games of all time are World of Warcraft, the Sims, Diablo, Pogo, Civilization, Columns, Freecell, Farmville and Cityville.

Full transcript:

I want to talk to you today and share what I’ve learned about how to be a CEO in the era of consumer Internet. I’m on the boards of Zynga and Amazon and there are two great CEOs.

I’ve done lecturing for universities and what I’ve learned for motivated students and what I’ve learned from game designers (I’ve been making video games since 1982—video games) is no matter how long I spend with them, they can only take away one and a half actionable ideas unless they take notes. So if your ambition is to have more than one and a half ideas out of the next 20 minutes, take notes [Editor’s note: done!] or have a really smart friend next to you. (more…)

What makes an entrepreneur successful?

Reprinted from growvc.com. See original post here.

By Isaac Bullen

Growing up in Austin, Texas, I have encountered numerous brilliant minded businessmen who have gone on to create successful companies on their own. Michael Dell is the most notorious; he founded one of the largest computer manufacturing companies in the world. One of my contemporary college graduates went on to form Hey Cupcake, which started as nothing more than a food trailer, and has since grown to several locations. So, the question is, what makes these businesses successful?

Here are a few things I’ve learned from talking to other entrepreneurs, developing my own business ideas and listening to guest lectures:

1) The most important thing behind any successful entrepreneurial idea is a good concept. However broad that term may be, what is known is that the idea must feasible and money needs to be accounted for; pardon the pun. Know how much everything will cost to set up, use accurate figures to estimate returns and search for investors that will likely give the amount of money you need to begin. Keep this in mind before you start your actual business.

2) Often times, many guest lecturers are extremely vague in their wording. This just happens to be the nature of the business; again, no pun intended. Whether they are trying to protect their idea or they have nothing to say but broad generalizations, many lecturers tend to speak in ways that really do not contribute anything when speaking to a large audience. I find the best thing to do when attending a guest lecture with very vague information is to ask for specifics at the end. Make sure your question demands thought and could not be answered by just anyone, rather, specifically requires the knowledge of the person talking. They should be lecturing because they are experts; make them show their expertise.

3) Practice before you begin your business. I took an entrepreneur class in which we came up with the idea for a double sided peanut butter jar that would allow for access to either side of the container. The project took a lot of work without requiring the investment of any money. I was faced with challenges I could not have conceived of before I started actually doing the work.

Specifically, the question came down to would it be viable to charge extra money for a container with two lids. The cost of the extra lid would have to justify allowing access to all the contents of the jar. This question involved calling peanut butter manufactures as well as jar producers. Much of the information we hoped to get was classified as confidential, but by the end, we were able to conclude that it was not a viable concept.

4) As demonstrated with the previous point, your practice concept does not have to be a good idea. In fact, the idea really does not matter because this is just a test to fine tune your skills. Where you start to learn is how you go about collecting information, mitigating potential problems and estimating how much capital is required from investors in your idea. The key point here is entrepreneurial endeavors requires more work than initially meets the eye, and properly preparing for things that can happen will save you both money and time.

5) One of the most sobering pieces of advice I ever received was the fact of the matter is that most businesses fail. All the preparation in the world combined with a great concept does not guarantee success. Entrepreneurial endeavors are risky by nature. If, at the end of the day, your business fails, do not lie to yourself and pretend that there are feasible options when there clearly are not. Be honest with yourself and know when to cut your losses.

Keep in mind that good preparation, getting the most out of guest lectures by asking hard questions and developing a unique concept are some of the best ways to prepare for a life as an entrepreneur. It’s risky business, but the potential reward certainly can justify the required leap of faith.

Isaac resides in the UK and works in search marketing for companies like AON Hewitt, specialists in Auto Enrolment, fiduciary management and human capital consulting.

Good things come to those who ask

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

By Jack Canfield

Good things come to those who ask!

Asking for what you need is probably the most underutilized tool for people. And yet, amazing requests have been granted to people simply because they’ve asked for it!

Whether its money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true.

They might be afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. More than likely, though, it is the fear of rejection that is holding them back. Even though they are afraid to hear the word no, they’re already saying it to themselves by not asking!

Do you ask for what you want or are you afraid of rejection?

Consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection! You’re not any worse off by hearing no than you were before you asked. You didn’t have what you asked for before you asked and you still don’t, so what did you lose?

Being rejected doesn’t hold you back from anything. Only YOU hold yourself back. When you realize that there’s no merit to rejection, you’ll feel more comfortable asking for things. You may just need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.

How to Ask for What You Want

There’s a specific science to asking for and getting what you want or need in life. And while I recommend you learn more by studying The Aladdin Factor, here are some quick tips to get you started:

1. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation. Ask from the place that you have already been given it. It is a done deal. Ask as if you expect to get a “yes.”

2. Assume you can. Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get it. If you are going to assume, assume you can get an upgrade. Assume you can get a table by the window. Assume that you can return it without a sales slip. Assume that you can get a scholarship, that you can get a raise, that you can get tickets at this late date. Don’t ever assume against yourself.

3. Ask someone who can give it to you. Qualify the person. Who would I have to speak to get… Who is authorized to make a decision about… What would have to happen for me to get…

4. Be clear and specific. In my seminars, I often ask, “Who wants more money in their life?” I’ll pick someone who raised their hand and give them a quarter, asking, “Is that enough for you?” “No? Well, how would I know how much you want? How would anybody know?”

You need to ask for a specific number. Too many people are walking around wanting more of something, but not being specific enough to obtain it.

5. Ask repeatedly. One of the most important Success Principles is the commitment to not give up.

Whenever we’re asking others to participate in the fulfillment of our goals, some people are going to say “no.” They may have other priorities, commitments and reasons not to participate. It’s no reflection on you.

Just get used to the idea that there’s going to be a lot of rejection along the way to the brass ring. The key is to not give up. When someone says “No”— you say “NEXT!” Why?

Because when you keep on asking, even the same person again and again…they might say “yes”…

…on a different day
…when they are in a better mood
…when you have new data to present
…after you’ve proven your commitment to them
…when circumstances have changed
…when you’ve learned how to close better
…when you’ve established better rapport
…when they trust you more
…when you have paid your dues
…when the economy is better
…and so on.

Kids know this Success Principle better than anyone. They will ask the same person over and over again without any hesitation. (can you relate?)

Getting a good perspective on rejection and learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. Practice asking and you’ll get very good at it! You’ll even speed your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.

Make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life, and start asking.

Remember, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE… if you dare to ask!

Jack Canfield is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. His success tips are offered are www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com.

Start-up dilemma: to sell or not to sell

Reprinted from informationarbitrage.com. See original post here.

By Roger Ehrenberg

There is almost nothing more exciting – or debilitating – than the acquisition offer received by an early-stage company. It is generally the single most polarizing event in a start-up’s young life, often pitting acquirer vs. investors, founders vs. investors and founders vs. founders. It is an event that must be handled with great care or else the process can leave lasting scars on an organization, its founder dynamics and its morale.

The investor perspective is heavily informed by the types of investors in the syndicate. If, for example, a company has only taken angel financing, the economics of an early exit can often be compelling for both founders and investors. For a company that has taken in $1.5 million at a $5 million post-money valuation (angels hold 30% of the company via the seed round) and receives a $20 million offer, the angels get a quick 4x return while the founders collect $14 million pre-tax dollars. Not too shabby. While more professional angels might balk at such a quick sale, others will likely chalk up the win and recycle the gains into new investments. The founders, meanwhile, just pocketed a nice chunk of cash. For the first-time entrepreneur, this is surely a life-changing event and one which lays the foundation for a career of less stressful risk-taking now that the house is paid for and the college fund is overflowing. Even if the founders started the company with the goal of building a massive enterprise, a real offer with real cash and real wealth creation is enough to flip more than a few founders from idealist to pragmatist. And the founders have to be honest about this and the investors need to be ok.
(more…)

Diego Piacentini (SVP, Int’l Retail, Amazon) on designing an e-commerce strategy [Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript from a presentation 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: In part 1 Diego Piacentini discusses the strategies and future of e-commerce and how it can change your business. In part 2 Mr. Piacentini discusses the challenges if e-commerce, and how to best use it to your advantage.

Bio: Diego Piacentini has served as Senior Vice President International at Amazon since joining the company in February 2000, and is a member of the Amazon executive team. He is responsible for all International retail operations: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.cn and Amazon.it. Prior to joining Amazon.com, Diego was Vice President and General Manager of Apple Computer Europe. He joined Apple Computer in 1987 and was promoted to the post of general manager for Apple Europe in 1997. Before joining Apple Computer, he held a financial management position at Fiatimpresit in Italy. Diego serves on the advisory boards of the Foster School of Business at theUniversity of Washington and of Endeavor, a global non-profit organization helping entrepreneurs in developing countries. Diego is also on the board of the Maasai Association (www.maasai-association.org) supporting their education and health initiatives in Kenya. Diego holds a degree in economics from Bocconi University of Milan. An Italian national, he has traveled and worked across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Full Transcript:

Part 1:

If you have a product, you love the product, you will sell it online. One of the first recommendations is always consider having multiple channels. Make your website as good as you can, but also put your product in existing marketplaces if they do exist. There are many marketplaces in the world that are global. One is Amazon.

One of the great things about Amazon is that we are investing a lot in technology that allows sellers from one country to list on Amazon and display the product in all the 8 countries on Amazon.

What does that mean? If you want, we can manage logistics. We can have your company focus at what they’re good at, which is designing, selling, manufacturing your products, and then Amazon can focus on what it is good at, which is how to bring in commerce, customer relations, shipping products, and receiving products. (more…)

After all, what is an angel investor?

Reprinted from Endeavor Brazil’s Endeavor Mag. See original post here.

By Cássio Spina

Translated by Jack Connor

The term Angel Investor, or Business Angel, was coined in the U.S. in the early twentieth century to describe investors who bankrolled the production costs of Broadway plays, taking risks and providing implementation assistance in order to take part in the financial rewards. The concept evolved into investments made by individuals, usually professionals or successful entrepreneurs in start-ups, providing not only financial capital but also intellectual support for an entrepreneur through their experience and knowledge. This is how it ended up being known as Smart Money.

For their investment, the Angel-Investor receives a minority equity share and has no executive position in the company, rather acting as an advisor guiding entrepreneurs and participating in strategic decisions, greatly increasing their chances of success as well as accelerating development.

The angel investment in a company is usually done by a group 2-5 investors, both for dilution risk as well as to share the commitment. It is worth noting that the current trend for performing the most efficient angel investment is by designating an investor-leader (Lead Investor or, sometimes just as a Deal Leader) that makes the pre-project evaluation and negotiates with the entrepreneur, which is then presented to other angel investors (in this case called followers). With this investment method the process is faster and more effective, as accomplishing the whole process as a group can be exorbitantly slow, since it can be a challenge to reconcile investors’ schedules for even a simple meeting, not to mention that consensus can take months to reach.

Of course, the lead investor must receive additional compensation for his added dedication, not necessarily in money, but by having a different percentage share of the business, as they must make more time available to accomplish this whole investment process. Nothing prevents a single angel investor from acting as a business leader for one company and a follower for another, it actually allows them to increase productivity and opportunities. On the other hand, if the main activity of the angel investor is with another company, and they have little willingness to engage in the entire investment process, it is recommended that they become a follower.

Salim Ismail on Singularity University [Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript from a presentation 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: Salim Ismail, successful angel investor and entrepreneur, former vice president of Yahoo! and current executive director of Singularity University discusses what Singularity University is and does and how technology will radically change the future.

Bio: Salim is a successful angel investor and entrepreneur – his last company, Angstro, was acquired by Google in August 2010. He has operated seven early-stage companies and is a frequent speaker on internet technologies, private equity and entrepreneurship. For the last two years, Salim has been the Executive Director of Singularity University, which is training a new cadre of leaders to manage exponentially growing technologies. Prior to that, Salim was a Vice President at Yahoo! and the Head of Brickhouse, Yahoo!’s internal ‘ideas factory’ where game-changing ideas were brought in, built and launched. The unit analyzed thousands of ideas and launched four products during that year, the latest being Fire Eagle. He also serves as co-founder and Chairman of Confabb.com, co-founded PubSub Concepts and is also on the board of Breakthrough (www.breakthrough.tv), a global human rights organization focused on violence against women, racial justice, and immigrant rights. He Twitters his thoughts at @salimismail.

From the full remarks:

Salim: Singularity University is a nonprofit organization in Silicon Valley. We are a nonprofit and educational university founded by Google, Nokia, Kauffman Foundation, etc. And we basically pivot around the idea that computing is going up exponentially. You are familiar with Moore’s law, right? It shows that price performance of computing has been doubling every 18 months for 60 years. And this is driving a lot of the innovation and underpinning a lot of the destruction that is happening in the world today.
(more…)

Hiten Shah on expansion & making data-driven decisions [Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript from a presentation 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: Hiten Shah, CEO at KISSmetrics, discusses the state of data analytics today and the challenges ahead, and offers some advice on how to make good data-driven decisions.

Bio: Hiten started on the Internet by founding a Internet marketing consultancy, ACS. He then went on to create Crazy Egg, an analytics tool that visualizes the user experience on a website. Now with KISSmetrics he is building a data driven solution for to help online businesses make better business decisions. Hiten is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and startup people.

Full Transcript:

Background

Let me begin by giving some background on myself and how I think about metrics. I went to UC Berkeley undergrad and prior to that I only ever had one job which was a summer internship at a medical devices company in Orange County. From early on, I realized that I wanted to start my own company versus working for someone else.

Actually, it started when I was six years old. My dad said then that you shouldn’t work for anyone. He is a physician; he goes to work, he makes money for every hour that he works, and he says if you are an entrepreneur it’s not like that. You can scale your time better. Yes, it’s harder, but it’s usually a better life, and the funny thing he said is you usually use your brain more.

So when I got out of college, my current co-founder was still in high school and he had one customer paying $3,500 a month for SEO. He was very good at it. He knows everyone in the industry. Even before high school, he was trying to build his own website. So he basically got in touch with all the SEO experts at the time. That was when it wasn’t as crowded and there were a lot of good people, and bad people. He hired a lot of them. He’s very entrepreneurial. I actually stayed in college 5 and a half years and made some money while I was there so I decided to convince him that we should start a company. I didn’t know what I was going to do except that I couldn’t do anything like work for someone else. (more…)

Andre Ferreira on Brazil’s economic prospects [Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript from a presentation 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: Andre Ferreira (Ernst & Young, Brazil) describes the economic prospects of Brazil in an intimate Q&A session. Andre Ferreira works in strategic growth markets for Ernst and Young in Brazil.

Transcript:

Andre: Today the objective is to understand what you guys are looking for with Brazil and Latin America. So would you like to know a little about Brazil? The size? The issues?

Question: Issues and culture and how you perceive foreigners.

Andre: Recently we had a great newspaper, a financial newspaper. In the first page we saw that Brazil is issuing visas for foreigners working in Brazil at a higher level than ever before. Nowadays we have few resources in terms of human capital. This has become a challenge nowadays so foreigners are very welcome. In Brazil, one of the challenges is the government. They do not provide enough resources for our population. In the last 8 years, we faced a huge change. More than 40 million people went from the poor to the middle class. And they are looking for health assistance, for education, so those kinds of businesses became very huge businesses. As a result, there are a lot of people we need to prepare to work. This is good for education and in the coming years we will have better prepared people. In the last five years, three or four or five private university companies became listed companies. We have an issue, which is education, but we also have opportunity for the companies that are looking to fill those positions. It is the same in the health field.

This is a picture of Brazil. We have the regulation, but it is not so clear. The rules are references, not to be fully in compliance with. We used to say that we pay taxes as the richest country, but we receive as a poor country. This is why there are a lot of opportunities for private companies that fulfill those needs. Nowadays, Brazil is experiencing a boom due to the transition and change of power. More than that, we have those sporting events in 2014 and 2016 and we need more infrastructure facilities. This is also a challenge because we need some investment from the government. When we look at Brazil 10 years ago and we look at Brazil now, we notice a dramatic change and many opportunities. In the beginning of any company and any business, there are few resources, few management resources, few human resources, but nowadays everyone is looking for ways to invest in Brazil. There are a lot of opportunities. My suggestion depends on your business. You can have different ways to get there. You have to evaluate very well and try to find a reliable company to invest in. (more…)

On being a leader

Reprinted from informationarbitrage.com. See original post here.

By Roger Ehrenberg

I’m a Midwestern guy and I was raised to be polite. And while 18 years in the markets put some dents in the veneer, I will say that being blunt, straight-forward and honest is a quality I appreciate in others. There was a very good post titled On Honesty in Startupland, where this notion of being able to receive tough feedback (hopefully delivered in a respectful way) versus hearing sugarcoated BS is important for growth. I firmly agree. This post was largely written from the perspective of an outsider giving feedback to an insider, e.g., an investor, consumer or another tech entrepreneur offering feedback to a founder. However, equally as important is the dynamic working in the other direction, from the founder out towards investors and others. And this is where I’ve seen some mistakes made that are a direct function of inexperience and/or a latent desire to please rather than to lead.

For instance, there are times when a founder just needs to tell their investors “This is the way I want it done.” It can relate to business strategy, financing dynamics or any other issue that impacts the company and where a clear decision is required. This is not to say that input shouldn’t be solicited and feedback taken: it absolutely should be. But the buck ultimately has to stop with the CEO, and if the CEO cedes effective leadership to the Board it will create both an unhealthy dynamic and an untenable situation as more real-time decisions need to be made. And truth be told, what the CEO thinks is right may not agree with what the Board thinks is right. And this is ok, as long as people are heard and their views are respected. But the CEO needs to lead. Period.

I have found that many first-time entrepreneurs grapple with this issue. They’ve never taken angel or venture money. They have a huge sense of obligation to leverage the syndicate they’ve assembled. They also are somewhat cowed by the amount of experience and force of personality sitting around the table. It requires a high degree of self-confidence and esteem to really lead in the face of people with years more experience than you. However, they invested in you because of your vision and your capacity to drive the business. They want to see you step up and lead. But there are times when they can’t help themselves and become overly controlling (which is in the DNA of many successful people) unless actively managed by the CEO.

They key take-away is as follows: don’t confuse the desire to please with the obligation to listen. A good CEO takes in lots of feedback from smart people, is a keen listener and extracts the best insights from each. But just because feedback was offered doesn’t mean it needs to be taken. Be respectful but be firm. And by all means, be a leader.

Roger Ehrenberg is the founder and Managing Partner of IA Ventures. Roger currently sits on the boards of BankSimple, Kinetic Global Markets, Metamarkets, Recorded Future, and The Trade Desk, and is a Board observer of SavingStar. Formerly, he served on the boards of Alphacet, Buddy Media, Global Bay Mobile Technologies, Magnetic, Selerity and Stocktwits. For his complete bio, click here.

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