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Endeavor Jordan Hosts Second Annual “Catalyzing Conversations” Event with Top Members of the Global Network

Endeavor Jordan hosted the second annual ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ event in collaboration with the 59th Endeavor International Selection Panel in Amman. ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ is a multi-tiered event featuring a series of interactive and motivational discussions with business leaders, entrepreneurs […]

June 30th, 2015 — by admin

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In Memory of Endeavor Mexico Board Member Bernardo Minkow

Bernardo Minkow, Endeavor Mexico Board Member and active contributor to the network, passed away earlier this month. Below, Endeavor Mexico’s Managing Director Pilar Aguilar shares her thoughts and memories of Bernardo’s support of Endeavor through the […]

September 19th, 2014 — by admin

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eMBA field report: promoting health in the Mexican sun

Maria Fernanda Brockman at Alivio Capital

Maria Fernanda Brockman is an MBA Candidate, class of 2013 at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. She is interning with Alivio Capital, a sister company of Imagen Dental, through the Endeavor eMBA Program.

I have been in Monterrey, Mexico for three weeks. The city is beautiful, surrounded by mountains, and there are a lot of things to do. If you want to feel the summer sun, this is the place to visit. It’s 40°C every day.

I am working with Endeavor Entrepreneur Patricio Villarreal at Alivio Capital, a financial Institution that grants credit for healthcare services. The company is in a stage where it has enormous potential for growth and expansion. I was brought in to create a commercial strategy and position the brand nationally.

My first step was to get to know the company, the culture and the customers. Alivio Capital is in the service industry, so having a satisfied, happy customer is the number one priority. I started by studying the customer, understanding the characteristics and preferences that define our clients. After that, I started speaking with the management team to understand the company’s culture, products and day-to-day operations.

Now, I know what the customer wants, the company’s potential for growth and where to focus its efforts to position the Alivio Capital as the #1 option for healthcare financing. Working here has been a great experience, so far, and I believe every day will get better.

eMBA field report: financial savvy and pisco sours in Santiago

eMBAs Suzanne Schumer & Mariana Torres at Cajon de Maipo

Suzanne Schumer graduated The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2012 with an MBA focused on finance and marketing strategy. She is working as an intern for ForexChile in Chile as a part of the Endeavor eMBA Program.

It was early on a Sunday morning in the middle of holiday weekend when I arrived in Santiago. To me, it seemed like all of Las Condes had left for the weekend to celebrate Día de las Glorias Navales. As I explored the city on that first day, I was struck by Santiago’s quiet beauty.

The peacefulness of my walk was a stark contrast to the energy within my office. In Santiago, an excited team of financial analysts and sales executives kept the pulse of an ‘off-Wall Street’ Wall Street throughout the workday. This New York replica made me feel almost like I was back at home.

This summer, I was hired as the Executive Director of International Expansion for ForexChile, an online brokerage firm that enables customers to transact a variety of securities (including stocks, commodities, foreign currency pairs, etc.) without the need for an investment professional. The operation is run by ambitious executives who are looking to expand rapidly throughout Latin America. My job is to design the business plan, focusing on sales and marketing, for ForexChile’s entrance into Peru. I am currently three weeks into my internship and deep into analytics.

For me, one of the best aspects of the job has been the multi-country experience. I have already visited both the Santiago and Lima offices, and plan to make a few more trips back and forth in the coming months. These trips are not only exciting but essential to my understanding of the different markets and key success drivers for the business.

In addition, I have made the most of my weekends outside of work. Not yet fluent in Spanish, I have had a few adventures navigating the cities’ bus and subway systems, venturing into neighboring towns and nature preserves, joining with kind strangers on bike tours of vineyards, attending music performances at museums, and trying at least one pisco sour in both cities. (The jury is still out on whether pisco is better in Chile or Peru.) Looking ahead, I can’t imagine returning to the US without my all-too-frequent empanada pino (from Santiago) or my “What cuisine should I try today?” mentality (from Lima).

Endeavor Entrepreneurs at ForexChile:

Erwin Andia

Cristóbal Forno

Nicolás Gallardo

Andrés Rojas

Suzanne Schumer at a Chilean vineyard with a fellow bike tourist

Reid Hoffman delivers commencement remarks about entrepreneurship at Babson College [transcript and video]

The following transcript is reprinted from Babson College, where Endeavor Board member Reid Hoffman, co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, delivered a commencement address for the Class of 2012. In it, he discusses the importance of entrepreneurship in today’s society and the merit of “build[ing] your network and always think[ing] in networks.”


I recently co-authored a book called The Start-up of You. I know that you all know this, because in honor and respect of your achievement of graduating today, I have gifted a copy to each of you. In it, I began with a quote from Mohammed Yunus. I will begin today with the same quotation:

“All Humans were born entrepreneurs. In the caves, we were all self-employed. Finding food, feeding ourselves. That is how human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became “labor” because they stamped us “You are labor.”

I begin with this quotation because entrepreneurs are important. Here in the U.S., we have always known this because we have an entrepreneurial nation.


Endeavor June 2012 newsletter

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

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27 participants join Endeavor eMBA program, supported by Barclays

Each year, Endeavor recruits MBA students from leading US business schools to spend 10 weeks during the summer working with our entrepreneurs on-site as “eMBAs.” The program is generously supported by Barclays.

This summer, 27 eMBAs have been placed with 23 Endeavor Entrepreneurs in South Africa, Lebanon, Mexico, Chile, Turkey, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Egypt. Stay tuned to this blog throughout the summer, as they will be posting updates from the field. (You can read posts from last year’s eMBAs here.)

One new program improvement this year was the introduction of the online Jobscience platform, which has allowed entrepreneurs to hand pick eMBAs according to their backgrounds and skill sets from the large pool of applicants. Also, while most placements occur over the summer, the new online job board also advertises available positions throughout the year.

In total, 660 eMBA applications were submitted this year from 286 unique applicants – with the most coming from Harvard, Columbia, Babson, London Business School, and IESE. The eMBAs will be working with Endeavor Entrepreneur companies Stoned Cherrie, Nada Debs, Alto, Vistek, Innovex, Pozitron, Ciceksepeti.com, Salado Media, Sirve, iCarros, Evolution Group, EMAN, Arizona, PedidosYa.com, RobTec, Vialux, Naranya, Neve Gelato, Aranda Software, Refinancia, ForexChile, Imagen Dental, and Hindawi.

Welcome, 2012 eMBAs!

John Jantsch: The three most important factors of business success

This article was written by John Jantsch and published at Duct Tape Marketing. You can find the original article here.

While there are many factors that come into play when building a business, I believe that most important ones have nothing to do with innovation, balance sheets, finance or marketing. The most important over arching variable to your success in business is you.

Success, however you choose to define it, is a continual work in progress. Ask anyone who’s made lots of money if they are “there.” Even though we’ve been sold on the idea of making it big, most often you’ll find there is no there for truly successful people – it’s not when I make my first million, it’s not when I get my fiftieth employee, it’s not when I land on the cover of the industry publication. Success is simply a road to travel in an attempt to create a more compelling and enriching future. But, as with all roads, there is a direction you must travel to keep moving towards your destination even if, like the far off horizon, that destination keeps moving away no matter how quickly you move towards it.

In my own journey I can tell you there are three factors that have both led me and, at times, held me from advancing towards my picture of success. Some of the most fruitful work I can do is centered on improving in these three areas.

1) Who I am

This a pretty big one and I won’t propose any prescriptions here, but I have found that when I commit to working on my core beliefs about what’s possible, what I’m driven to give to the world, how I want that world to experience my gifts, I have very little trouble taking action that’s in line with who I am. The really beautiful thing about working on things like internal passion and purpose is that your progress comes out so authentically in all manner of external interaction. When people can genuinely feel that you care about what you are engaged in you are an incredibly convincing salesperson – without actually trying to sell anything.

This is an area that most everyone must practice. You must develop habits that force you be conscious of who you’re being. For me, writing my thoughts on paper each morning, spending time meditating and revisiting simple passages that serve to remind me of the version of my best self keep me focused on this practice.

I’ve also developed a series of questions that I can roll through before anything I do in an attempt to bring the right intention to every situation. Simply stopping and asking yourself why your are doing something, why it’s important and what a great outcome would look like is a great way to center yourself prior to making a large presentation to a group or meeting to discuss a new project with a staff member.

2) Where I’ve been

This doesn’t have anything to do with travel, although I suppose it could. For me this is all about leveraging what I’ve experienced, what I’ve learned, skills I’ve acquired, and what I intentionally expose myself to in an effort to learn more. We’ve all been exposed to a life time of lessons, some serve us well and some hold us back, but it’s how you use this mixture and enhance this mixture and overcome elements of this mixture that defines success in many areas of business and life.

I didn’t do particularly well in school, but my brain is kind of wired to learn new things, dig into new subjects and explore topics seemingly unrelated to my field of work. I read some portion of about twenty books a month, subscribe to at least one hundred blogs and still get seven or either magazines delivered in my mail box.

Lifelong learning, exploring and simply tuning your brain to pay attention to everything that’s going on around you is another key factor in moving towards success.

3) Who I hang out with

There are many studies that offer validity to the notion that what you believe, how you act and even how much earning potential you have has a great deal to do with the people you surround yourself with. Now, this can work for you or against you. Parents, school friends and social setting initially influence most people. As you venture into business you soon realize that customers, vendors, mentors and even competitors can play a big role in the success of your business.

When you’re first getting started you may attract customers that mirror your sense of self worth or doubt, but as you begin to grow you’ll soon learn that you must raise you own expectations to the level where you insist on working only with people you respect and admire. I belong to two mastermind groups and I get to hang out for full days with people that have already achieved many things in business that I aspire to achieve. In addition to developing a network of people that can help me succeed in tangible ways this experience also opens me up to accepting that I can indeed think much bigger.

In order to move towards this ideal many people have chosen to immerse themselves in the study of people they admire through memoirs or even a mentor relationship. Pick three or four people that you view as successful, dead or alive, and learn everything you can about how they think act and grow. Study and seek out a team of like minded strategic partners and focus a great deal of time and energy on building deep and meaningful working relationships with this group and you’ll quickly find that your own personal network will begin to fill up with people that can help you grow and thrive. Find and join a mastermind group that pushes you to stretch and think bigger.

There are so many things we can get caught up in trying to accomplish, but experience tells me that if we go to work everyday on the internal, the external success we so crave will show up as mileposts along the road.

Spotlight: Endeavor and Ernst & Young’s Intrapreneurship program

This article was reprinted from Ernst & Young’s Exceptional Magazine.

Unlocking potential: Intrapreneurship can spark innovation and idea sharing in large organizations, helping employees to solve problems in creative ways

Entrepreneurs make a difference. They not only have great ideas, they also have the drive to make them a reality. The challenge for large organizations is to maintain that entrepreneurial spirit even once the rapid-growth phase is over. This is where intrapreneurialism — which enables individuals or groups within a company to unleash their creative potential — comes into its own.

Global not-for-profit organization Endeavor promotes exactly this kind of innovative approach to doing business. By selecting, mentoring and accelerating the progress of the most promising entrepreneurs in emerging markets, it supports long-term economic growth on a worldwide scale.

Keen to play a part in this growth and build an entrepreneurial culture within the business, Ernst & Young Financial Services has joined forces with Endeavor to launch an Intrapreneur Program that encourages consultants and entrepreneurs to share ideas and learn from one another’s experience.

The Program enables Ernst & Young’s top-performing managers to carry out six-week placements at entrepreneurial companies based in emerging markets such as South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Participants work with the leaders of these companies to help them tackle critical business challenges, including international expansion, financial management and operational efficiency.

Amr Shady, founder of Endeavor Egypt and CEO of T.A. Telecom in Egypt, says: “Participants in the Program have a skill set that we — as entrepreneurs in the Middle East — don’t have. Their knowledge and experience can help us navigate the threats and risks we face each day, while enabling us to pursue the growth opportunities that will transform our companies and countries.”

In addition to helping young companies expand more quickly, the Program encourages the growth of intrapreneurship within Ernst & Young’s own business culture by giving participants a first-hand experience of what it takes to be an innovator. Participants also form part of a virtual network of 350 professionals, all of whom are keen to share ideas about creative approaches to problem solving.

One person who has been learning a lot about innovation is Lene Sogaard, who works for Ernst & Young Financial Services in Luxembourg. As part of the Intrapreneur Program, Sogaard has been spending time at the South Africa-based social enterprise Shonaquip, which aims to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities through mobility and seating solutions, support services, policy change and research, and awareness-raising activities.

In helping Shonaquip to implement more efficient processes, Sogaard says that she has learned to be more flexible and to think more creatively. “In order to implement a project in the best possible way, without having the time and resources needed, I’m having to improvise,” she says. “I’m trying to create a simple operational structure and process that can work for both these projects. At the same time, I want to pass on as much of my project management knowledge to the employees before I leave so that they can continue to sustain this in the long run.”

Sogaard’s experience illustrates the benefits of learning and cultivating intrapreneurial skills within a business.

When employees go outside their comfort zone, they are more likely to bring a fresh perspective to a business challenge and come up with innovative ideas. This approach is key to maintaining an entrepreneurial approach at even the largest of organizations.

New York Times: Sequoia Capital turns to South America for entrepreneurial investments, including Endeavor Entrepreneur firm Scanntech

By Sam Weyrauch, Endeavor summer intern

According to a report in the New York Times, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital is now joining other U.S. corporations by extending its influence into South America. Led by partner David Velez, who will start up a regional office in Brazil this July, Sequoia Capital has been planning to create a South American presence for over a year, and started with a $10 million offering to Scanntech, co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Raúl Polakof. Scanntech “makes technology to connect independent grocers and retailers with supplies.”

After Sequoia partner Doug Leone traveled to Brazil in late 2010 to scout out new entrepreneurial investment opportunities, the firm brought aboard Mr. Velez, who previously worked in the financial sponsors group of Morgan Stanley doing investment banking, last year. And though Sequoia has yet to invest in technology entrepreneurs in Brazil, the firm made two investments last year: Scanntech and Despegar, “an online travel company for the region.”

According to the piece, Scanntech has worked with Kraft, Coca-Cola, Scotiabank, and Visa in the past, and is projected to double last year’s $18 million revenue total in 2012. Although the company is based in Uruguay, it plans to expand into both Brazil and Asia in the upcoming years; Raúl Polakof said he wants “Scanntech to become a global company.”

The story behind ArchDaily, a top architecture website

Reprinted (in condensed form) from archdaily.com. See original article here.

By Karen Cliento

Last night, dozens packed into the Center for Architecture to join the conversation among some of the most influential in our field.  Panelists included Endeavor Entrepreneurs and ArchDaily founders David Basulto and David Assael, who closed the Going Viral event with their tale of the creation and future expectations for their architecture websites.  While ArchDaily receives millions of views per month, many may not know the story behind ArchDaily and the truly remarkable accomplishments this media empire has surpassed in a mere few years.

ArchDaily has grown to become the most widely read architecture website in the world, a feat largely accomplished by the founders’ clear goals in creating a large platform to expand opportunities available to all architects, and their understanding of the power social media has in influencing those in our profession.

During the 2000s, Basulto recognized a “circle of opportunity” that was forming for several architects who continually graced the glossy spreads of traditional architectural magazines.  As a kind of critique of this exclusive network, and after noticing the talent of lesser known architects making great architecture, Basulto and Assael launched their first architecture website –  Plataforma Arquitectura – as a way to expand the existing traditional network to provide opportunities to all architects.

And, it worked!

As Plataforma began to grow and show different architects’ work, soon, those architects were being contacted not only traditional publications, but also by clients and even other architects inquring about the projects.  In essence, Basulto and Assael crafted a system that showed what could happen outside the traditional network, because now, architects, clients, readers, etc. could interact with one another and form a hub of opportunities.

From Plataforma, the Davids realized the magnitude of their influence when the website was ranked the fourth most widely read architecture website– a remarkable accomplishment as the site was all in Spanish and actually out ranked many major English websites.  The success marked a turning point for our founders as the Davids now realized that to reach more of the world, the website would have to appeal to English speakers.  And, so, ArchDaily was created.

In a time of so many architecture websites and publications, it is hard to stand out. But, what separates ArchDaily and gives us our identity is our mission to educate and inspire readers by showing the range of the profession.  For the ArchDaily team, it is not just about bringing the most well known projects to you, but it is about sharing the local projects and introducing new firms to you, and projects  with interesting clients, or programs, or constraints.  And, as widely read as ArchDaily is (thanks to all of you!), the Davids focused on a huge mission the site must accomplish in the years ahead during their talk.

By 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in cities – that’s about 6.6 billion people!  But, the cities experiencing such growth will not be New York or London or Madrid, but rather cities in developing countries where the percentage of architects are low, and the number who will need housing and infrastructure are high.  ArchDaily will need to function as the source of inspiration, knowledge and opportunity to reach architects in all these countries, and to show what can be done or what has been done in similar situations as a way to help people have better lives.


Delusional economics: the four principles

Reprinted from Rohit Bhargava’s Influential Marketing Blog. See original article here.

Rohit’s new book Likeonomics officially launches this week.  You can see special offers for the book at www.likeonomics.com/special-offers and purchase on Amazon.

When it comes to economic theories, there is plenty of fascination in the business world around how to explain what drives business and purchasing activities. Behavioural economics, the field of economics concerned with examining why people behave the way they do when it comes to their purchasing behaviour, is hot right now.  Bestselling books like Freakonomics andPredictably Irrational dig deep into the psyche of people to try and explain seemingly illogical actions.

My own upcoming book called Likeonomics, to some degree, looks at a similar theme of why we do business with people and businesses we like and what impact likeability has on building a trusted business. As part of the research for that book, I have come across a disturbing number of examples of a new type of economic philosophy which is becoming sadly common, and which cannot be explained by modern economic theory.

I have started referring to this philosophy as Delusional Economics – a new economic principle which explains the growing number of businesses who expect some type of unreasonable behaviour change or act of altruism among their consumers in order to help their business succeed. This is not a strategy for success, even though sadly many businesses fall prey to it. Here are what I believe the four key principles of Delusional Economics are, and how you might avoid applying them to your own small business:

1. Change a customer’s worldview. A worldview is generally how a person sees the world around them, and it is usually the toughest element of perception to change. It is why people vote the way they do, why they sometimes blindly believe something or someone, and why they approach life in the manner that they do.  To attempt to change how they see the world as part of your business strategy is usually a waste of time and effort.

2. Getting people to pay for something that is currently free. When a customer has become used to getting something for free, you really need to offer a compelling reason about why they should pay for something similar. Is it better, faster, more complete or more premium? Whatever the benefit, you need to make sure it is truly compelling to move people past the hurdle of being free.

3. Basing a business model on revenue from nonexistent advertisers or customers. More than one tech startup has been launched over the last several years with an extremely naive view of what advertisers will pay for.  They have a revenue model based on advertising, but no pipeline or ability to get those customers.  The end result is that their entire business success hinges on being able to connect with a key audience that doesn’t even really exist.

4. Overestimating a customer’s ability to appreciate value worth paying a premium for. A common problem with products or services targeted to the higher end of the market is that people in general are not that good at being able to detect what value is worth paying for. If I told you a bottle of wine was $100, you would assume it was great wine. If a wine bottle cost less than $5, it probably wasn’t. This is fine when it comes to wine, but in your business and industry it is probably much harder for a customer to discern the real value that they get and understand that it may be worth paying more for.

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