A global organization in 15 countries, Endeavor supports 632 High-Impact Entrepreneurs (selected from 29,000 candidates), connecting them to a network of 2,400 top local and international business leaders who volunteer their time to provide pro-bono mentorship, advice, connections, and supports. In 2010, these executives spent over 25,000 hours mentoring entrepreneurs.
One of the popular services that Endeavor Global provides to Endeavor Entrepreneurs is access to special “Immersion Tours.” On November 9-10, 27 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from emerging markets in Latin America and the Middle East gathered in New York City for a Digital Media Tour, meeting with numerous senior executives in the digital media and advertising space from companies like Facebook, News Corporation, Huffington Post / AOL, IAC, R/GA, Edelman, Gilt Groupe, and Barclays Capital. These executives delivered presentations and offered pro-bono mentoring and support. A list of participating Endeavor companies can be found at the bottom; many of these firms are generating between $2M and $10M+ and are working with multinational clients such as Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Citi, Nike, IBM, and Sony.
The tour kicked off on Wednesday morning at Barclays Capital, a sponsor of the Tour, with a fireside chat with Endeavor Global Board member Reid Hoffman, Co-founder and Chairman of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock. Reid shared his personal entrepreneurial story and offered his assessment of the current technology landscape, including new areas for innovation.
At Barclays, Entrepreneurs also attended a panel “Investing in Online Media and Advertising Start-Ups,” which shed light on recent IPOs, future trends, and tips for entrepreneurs interested in fundraising. The panel, introduced by Paul Parker (Global Head of M&A, Barclays Capital), was moderated by David Shrier (Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ernst & Young), and featured Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Suárez Battán (Co-founder, Three Melons), Greg Dalvito (Co-Head, Technology M&A, Barclays Capital), Howard Morgan (Managing Partner, First Round Capital), and Dave Morgan (Founder & CEO, Simulmedia [backed by Union Square Ventures] and angel investor). At one point, Mariano summarized many Endeavor Entrepreneurs’ view on the economic downtown: “We were ‘born’ in a crisis: Argentina in 2001. So, in 2008, when my friends in the US said that there was a crisis, I said ‘whaaaat?’ For us, a crisis is a feature, not a bug.”
Later, at Endeavor Global’s offices in Union Square, Sunny Bates (CEO, Sunny Bates Associates) moderated a panel on building a fast-growth media company, which addressed challenges surrounding building an effective team and scaling successfully. Panelists were Kirsten Nevill-Manning (International HR and Staffing, Facebook; formerly at Google) and Melanie Hughes, COO, Gilt Groupe.
Then PR expert Brian Reich (SVP and Global Editor, Edelman), drawing on lessons from his new book Shift & Reset, discussed macro issues for cultivating engagement beyond traditional strategies.
Continuing their busy day in New York, Entrepreneurs then visited R/GA, a full service advertising agency that was named Adweek‘s “Digital Agency of the Decade” as well as Adweek’s “Digital/Interactive Agency of the Year.” William Charnock (Chief Strategy Officer, R/GA) discussed some of R/GA’s most successful campaigns, and offered advice for taking advantage of various areas of advertising — from mobile and social media to visual design and digital productions — to create compelling campaigns.
On Wednesday evening, Entrepreneurs convened at the iconic Frank Gehry building that is home to IAC (InterActiveCorp), an Internet company with over 50 brands across 40 countries led by Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Diller, previously head of Paramount Pictures, Fox Broadcasting, and USA Broadcasting. A “Founders’ Panel” highlighted the experiences of founders from some of IAC’s most popular sites, in addition to David Kidder, Co-founder and CEO of Clickable. Then, at a cocktail reception at IAC, Entrepreneurs had the chance to network with IAC executives and employees, as well as various Endeavor network and board members.
The second day of the media tour (November 10) kicked off with 1:1 mentoring sessions between Endeavor Entrepreneurs and industry and subject matter experts, customized to the Entrepreneurs’ industries and specific business needs. “The mentoring sessions, like the Tour itself, were relevant, well-organized, and highly valuable,” said Endeavor Entrepreneur Ramzi Halaby (The Online Project). “We have already started implementing a number of the tips and recommendations.”
“They were amazing connections,” said Endeavor Entrepreneur David Basulto of Plataforma Networks. “Even if [some of the mentors] were from companies in different industries, they’ve gone through some of the same issues so the experience was very valuable. They were very open to collaborate with us, tell us about their insights, and connect us with people, so it’s a huge benefit for us. They’re already connecting us with the right people we’re looking for (for instance, people in advertising sales in New York).”
Jesse Dwyer (Senior Sales Development Lead, Facebook) then delivered a lively presentation on social media marketing, discussing how best to utilize Facebook as a platform and medium for building businesses and marketing to key audiences.
Entrepreneurs then divided into groups and visited companies relevant to their businesses:
- At Gilt Groupe, one of the fastest growing e-commerce sites in the U.S., Alexis Maybank (Founder & President, Premium Products and Services) and Susan Lyne (Chairman) offered advice on driving user adoption through game mechanics, leveraging online marketing and social media to build brands, and differentiating products from the competition.
- At News Corporation, a global and vertically integrated company with brands including 20th Century Fox, HarperCollins, and Sky, Entrepreneurs gained advice from Jorge Espinel (EVP, Strategy and Corporate Development – News Digital Media) and Gil Fuchsberg (SVP – News Digital Media).
- At The Huffington Post, a top news website and content aggregating blog launched in 2005 and acquired by AOL in 2011, Entrepreneurs gained advice from Jimmy Soni (Chief of Staff), Tim O’Brien (Executive Editor), and Nico Pitney (Managing Editor), among other senior staff members.
- MediaVest is a division of Starcom MediaVest Group and one of the leading, full-service media specialist companies offering brand-building results and business solutions for marketing partners. Entrepreneurs spoke with Guillermo Abud, VP & Digital Director at Forty-Two Degrees at MediaVest (MV42), a leading multicultural media agency with clients such as Kraft, P&G, The Coca-Cola Company and Wal-Mart.
- At Kickstarter, the largest online funding platform for creative projects, Entrepreneurs gained valuable insights from Perry Chen, Co-founder and CEO. Specifically, Chen recounted his unique road to becoming an entrepreneur and discussed the value of finding and focusing on a niche market.
Entrepreneurs then reconvened for a visit to Google‘s New York office, before joining 600 New York and global CEOs and business leaders at Endeavor’s annual Gala, which has raised $2m and will honor Reid Hoffman and Fadi Ghandour—an event hosted by Endeavor Board chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (Chairman, Warner Music Group).
Endeavor’s previous Immersion Tours have taken Endeavor Entrepreneurs to such places as Silicon Valley, Boston, India, and Israel. At the October 2010 Silicon Valley Tour, entrepreneurs met with executives at Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and eBay. December 2010’s Fashion and Design Spotlight in New York featured presentations, conversations, and panels with top fashion executives, as well as several “Behind the Seams” tours. In 2012, Endeavor plans to offer a tour in Austin and another tour in the San Francisco area.
Endeavor Entrepreneur companies that participated in the Digital Media Tour
MARKETING / SOCIAL MEDIA
• Social Metrix (Argentina) – a leading social media analytics company in LatAm; just received investment from A&N Media
• Modern Media (The Online Project) (Jordan) – launched Jordan’s #1 hit music station; now the leading Arabic social media management firm; untraditional marketing/events
• SocialWire (Turkey) – online social recommendation engine (for int’l retailers who want “recommended items” on homepage à la Amazon)
• Pozitron (Turkey) – a leading mobile software developer for large companies in MENA; clients include 30 Turkey Fortune 500 companies
• T.A. Telecom (Egypt) – a top mobile platform in Egypt; early pioneer in mobile value-added services (VAS) industry
• Akhtaboot (Jordan) – “Monster.com of the Middle East” (region that needs to create 100 million jobs by 2020)
• Jeeran (Jordan) – “Yelp of the Arab world”; user-generated reviews for 8+ cities across MENA
• Clandescuento (Chile) – daily discount site acquired by Groupon in June 2010 to build out Groupon Latin America
• Yemeksepeti.com (Turkey) – the “Seamless/GrubHub of Turkey” (top online food delivery site); expanding internationally
• Plataforma Networks (Chile) – publisher of the world’s most visited architecture website, ArchDaily (over 2M monthly visits / 18M monthly impressions; 400k Facebook fans)
• Hindawi (Egypt) – Publishes 300+ open access, peer-reviewed academic journals; innovation in traditional industry; 20k editors; 400+ employees
IT / PRODUCTION
• Globant (Argentina) – top LatAm IT outsourcer; poised for U.S. public launch in 2012; Google’s first outsourcing partner; 2k employees
• Three Melons (Argentina) – pioneered Argentine video game industry; acquired by Playdom in March 2010 (July 2010: Playdom acquired by Disney)
• Think Arabia (Jordan) – creative production / tech firm for new media platforms; includes Kharabeesh, offbeat animation studio
• Ollin Studio (Mexico) – a leading LatAm movie studio (post-production / visual effects); 2009 Oscar for visual effects in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Dynamo (Colombia) – only PE fund for film financing in LatAm; also a leading production studio
• Oruga (Colombia) – “Pixar of Colombia”; digital animation studio
• Subway Link (Brazil) – pioneered closed-circuit “business TV” in Brazil (55M viewers each month)