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Brazil’s Bebê Store Announces Acquisition of Competitor Baby.com.br; Receives Investment From Endeavor Catalyst

Bebê Store, a leading online baby goods retailer in Brazil co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Leonardo Simão, recently announced the acquisition of Baby.com.br, one of its main competitors in the region. In addition, the company successfully raised a $12.3 million […]

July 24th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Entrepreneur and Global Board Member Wences Casares highlighted in Marketplace segment titled “Latinos making inroads in Silicon Valley”

In a segment entitled, “Latinos making inroads in Silicon Valley,” American Public Media’s Marketplace discusses how the Latin American population has been making inroads in Silicon Valley. “Latinos have long been the largest immigrant group in […]

September 18th, 2013 — by admin

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Wharton professor’s advice: “Fatten up” your customers

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See the original post here.

by Peter Fader

I often use the metaphor of fishing as a way to explain new customer acquisition. From the firm’s perspective, there is a great big ocean out there full of prospective customers of all different shapes and sizes. First we have to decide how we want to catch them: do we want to cast our nets far and wide (a broad acquisition strategy), or throw spears at individual fish that we believe to be particularly juicy and plump (a targeted acquisition strategy)? That’s a tough decision and worthy of two full lectures in my MBA elective course, “Managing the Value of Customer Relationships”

But let’s focus on what happens after we catch the fish: once we have acquired our newest batch of customers, how do we fatten them up as much as possible, i.e., enhance their long-term value to the firm?

Customer development – along with acquisition and retention — is one of the primary firm activities that drive customer value. It describes the tactics that a firm employs to create the maximum value for its existing customers over the lifetime of their relationship. My students can now recite by heart what I casually label the Great American Question: “Would you like fries with that?” It’s a classic example of cross-selling, one of a range of activities at the heart of customer development.

For companies considering adopting a customer-centric strategy, customer development is often one of the most visible and alluring selling points: if a firm knows its individual customers better, it can better tailor its product/service offerings to their needs — and thus capture a greater share of their total dollars. Indeed, a recent study from Forrester Research suggests that nearly 90% of managers in large North American financial services firms identified increased cross-selling as “very important” or “critical.”

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10 ways young entrepreneurs fail

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See original post here.

By Jared O’Toole

I had a conversation awhile back with a young entrepreneur that frustrated me beyond belief. It went something like this…

“I’m looking for some advice on this amazing idea I have but I can’t tell you anything about it. All I can say is we will be competing with sites like eBay and when this idea gets out everybody is going to try and take it. I mean seriously its amazing and there is nothing like it out there where it’s a win, win, win for everyone involved. We’re projected to do about a quarter of eBay’s business in 2 years and eventually make them irrelevant. We will be launching in 6 months and I mean it will be a no brainer for people to use it. I just can’t tell you anything about it.” – Extremely excited young entrepreneur

Now I’m not saying this kid doesn’t have a brilliant idea or he isn’t the next Mark Zuckerberg but a conversation like this sets off a million alerts in my head. I’ve seen it all before and while it’s passionate, it’s a mindset that sets you up to fall off a cliff. Here are 10 things that go off in my head when I have a conversation like that.

1. Being super secret

You may think you have the greatest idea in the world and if you even give a single hint at what it is everyone is going to steal it. The reality is that no one cares about your idea until it makes a million dollars. Odds are most people won’t have you vision or understand why your solution is that much better than what’s already out there.

Now there may be certain parts of your idea that make it special but that doesn’t mean you have to give it all away. You have to be able to get feedback, advice and thoughts from your potential customers but that doesn’t mean showing them the nuts & bolts of your algorithms. You will do a lot more good than harm by letting people in rather than blocking the entire world out.

2. All knowing

Every young business owner makes the mistake that they have all the answers and knows more than mentors or even their customers. No one else has this great idea or has done it before so how can they be able to help?

The best thing you can do when starting out is seek all the advice possible. Even if its not directly about your business you need to learn about the industry, the leaders and everything you can about the business world. You have to be learning everyday to succeed in business.

3. Dreaming of a billion before $1

Who doesn’t have a billion dollar idea? Ask any group of first time business owners and you will have multiple people proclaim their company will do just a billion dollars or so in the near future. Many of them will make claims of being the next Facebook, eBay, Amazon and so on.

Now it’s important to dream big because its those dreams that get you through those long nights and days of work before you ever see a dime. Just understand you have a long way to go before a billion, million or even a salary that supports you should be mentioned. Where, when, and how is that first dollar being made?

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Entrepreneurs – the best ways to show confidence without being cocky

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See original post here.

By Matt Wilson

There is nothing worse in the world of business than classic egotistical arrogance. Everyone know’s that guy who just can’t help but tell everyone how awesome he is. But the truth is–if he was really that cool, why would he have to tell everyone?

The real trick is mastering the confidence that comes with humility. Emotional intelligence is not something that everyone is blessed with, and it’s something everyone can work on.

We’ve all recognized the kind of people that others want to rally behind and listen to. The man or woman who walks into the room and commands everyone’s attention, but didn’t have to raise his or her voice one bit. You know they’re confident, but they’d never say it. This is the art of quiet confidence.

Confidence is not something that comes from what you drive, how much attention you draw to yourself or how much money you’ve made in the past. Confidence is about what you truly think you can produce in the present. It’s your true feeling of self worth. Entrepreneurs usually have too much or too little and finding the right amount and how to show it, is a delicate balance.

Here are 8 ways to boost your confidence while remaining humble…

1. Learn the Art of the Humble Brag– Urban dictionary says a humble brag is “a form of self promotion where the promoter thinks he is, almost subliminally, bragging about himself in the context of a humble statement or complaint. Everyone listening thinks he is a jackass.” Read: This is not what we’re going for.

In the case of our humble brag, you’ll want to speak confidently about yourself without boasting. During the course of a conversation, you’ll inevitably have the opportunity to talk about yourself. Most people who don’t like to talk about themselves, simply aren’t confident, even if they are super successful. They think by being close-lipped about themselves, they are being humble, but what they are really doing is selling themselves short. Everyone needs to know how to sell themselves, while keeping in mind, the best products sell themselves once the consumer understands what the product is. You really don’t need to brag or sell at all if you…

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Endeavor Entrepreneur Jorge Soto selected as one of 30 Global Shapers by World Economic Forum

Endeavor Entrepreneur since 2011 and co-founder of CitiVox Jorge Soto has been selected to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos as one of 30 Global Shapers from around the world.

Acknowledging that half of the world’s population is below the age of 27, the World Economic Forum created their new Global Shapers Community to supplement their existing network of Young Global Leaders in an effort to “provide youth with a global platform to shape the future.” Defined as up-and-coming global leaders between the ages of 20 and 30, Global Shapers must demonstrate a deep passion for entrepreneurship for the global public interest and a commitment to develop their leadership potential towards serving their communities.

Jorge, along with his partner Oscar Salazar, founded CitiVox in 2010 with the hope of enhancing the relationship between citizens and their governments. Through the use of crowd-sourcing and cloud-based technologies, CitiVox provides real-time report management to local governments based on compiled data received from local citizens. CitiVox services not only provide vital information to municipal authorities, but also increase civic engagement and government accountability. Jorge’s vision of utilizing emerging technologies as a tool for creating tangible social change has been rapidly reaching fruition as CitiVox continues to expand, with hopes of reaching 15 million citizens in 15 countries by 2013.

Jorge undoubtedly exhibits the best of these qualities; we congratulate him on his selection and wish him all the best at Davos!

Endeavor mourns the loss of an invaluable mentor

Alexis with wife Marcela

Endeavor pays its respects to Alexis Rovzar, a member of the Endeavor Mexico board who passed away this month. In his work as a committed philanthropist both in Mexico and the United States, Alexis amassed a loyal following of international peers and colleagues who have described him as a wonderful friend. Endeavor Mexico received pro bono help during its formative years by Alexis through White & Case, the law firm to which Alexis dedicated his services for most of his professional career.

Along with serving on the Boards of numerous other academic and philanthropic institutions, Alexis served as Secretary of the Board of Endeavor Mexico for 10 years, actively engaging as a mentor and counselor throughout that time. With 100% of its Entrepreneurs participating in the Give-Back Program in 2011, and a new program to promote small- and medium-sized enterprise listings on the Mexican Stock Exchange, Endeavor Mexico makes a promising bid to continue Alexis’s legacy of generosity and humanitarian enterprise. Alexis will be truly missed.

Endeavor company Aorta acquired by .Mobi


Translated from the announcement on Valor.com.br.

.Mobi, a company controlled by the RBS Group (one of the largest media groups in Brazil), has acquired Endeavor-supported firm Aorta, run by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Patrick Lisbona, Antonio Carlos Soares, and Gustavo Ziller.

The acquisition makes .Mobi the largest mobile marketing company in Brazil. The .Mobi group has an increase in revenue of 45% to 50% with the acquisition, reaching a value of up to $35 million reais (~US $17M). The group will also increase the number of employees from 170 to 270 professionals. Aorta has a portfolio of approximately 50 major brands with presence in the country and has produced more than 100 applications, with 2 million downloads in the last year.

“The group’s intention is to become the largest segment in Latin America,” said Gustavo, Aorta’s managing director and partner. According to Gustavo, the Brazilian market for mobile marketing is growing rapidly and is already attracting major international companies operating in the sector. The acquisition of Aorta will allow .Mobi to be more competitive. It is estimated that the market for mobile marketing will double in 2012 from R $1.8 billion to R $3.6 billion.

Antonio, CEO and partner of Aorta, said the deal was made in the last seven months. The company’s board and members will stay; he and Patrick will leave to invest in other companies.

.Mobi was founded in 2007 and since 2008 has joined the RBS Group’s multimedia platform. In addition to .Mobi and Aorta, other companies in the group include fingertips, MonsterJuice, Minucom, DP7, Redemobi, Finggers, and Mobile Hands. The Group .Mobi has offices in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Recife, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte and London.

Attention MBA students: become an eMBA intern this summer!

The 2012 eMBA job board is now open! If you are an MBA student interested in working with an Endeavor Entrepreneur this summer, please CLICK HERE browse our first batch of project offerings, and apply to the ones that interest you.

We advise you to first register and upload your resume (no cover letter needed) and then apply to projects (no need to upload your resume again, but please do include a cover letter).

==

About the eMBA Program

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 three primary areas of focus for the eMBA projects are strategy, operations, and financing. Typically 30 – 35 MBAs are placed on the ground each summer.

Thus far, over 300 MBA students have been placed with entrepreneurs in all of Endeavor’s country locations after a highly competitive application process. Endeavor ranks among the top 2% of recruiters at Harvard Business School & Stanford, and recruits from other leading schools including MIT-Sloan, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg, Yale SOM, and INSEAD.

Click here to see an Endeavor Entrepreneur describing the impact of an eMBA on his company in South Africa.

You may also browse a selection of eMBA blog posts written by last year’s alumni on our Voices from the Field page.

To learn more about the eMBA Program, please contact us at emba@endeavor.org.

Seth Godin: The trap of social media noise

Reprinted from sethgodin.typepad.com. See the original post here.

If we put a number on it, people will try to make the number go up.

Now that everyone is a marketer, many people are looking for a louder megaphone, a chance to talk about their work, their career, their product… and social media looks like the ideal soapbox, a free opportunity to shout to the masses.

But first, we’re told to make that number go up. Increase the number of fans, friends and followers, so your shouts will be heard. The problem of course is that more noise is not better noise.

In Corey’s words, the conventional, broken wisdom is:

- Follow a ton of people to get people to follow back
- Focus on the # of followers, not the interests of followers or your relationship with them.
- Pump links through the social platform (take your pick, or do them all!)
- Offer nothing of value, and no context. This is a megaphone, not a telephone.
- Think you’re winning, because you’re playing video games (highest follower count wins!)

This looks like winning (the numbers are going up!), but it’s actually a double-edged form of losing. First, you’re polluting a powerful space, turning signals into noise and bringing down the level of discourse for everyone. And second, you’re wasting your time when you could be building a tribe instead, could be earning permission, could be creating a channel where your voice is actually welcomed.

Leadership (even idea leadership) scares many people, because it requires you to own your words, to do work that matters. The alternative is to be a junk dealer.

The game theory pushes us into one of two directions: either be better at pump and dump than anyone else, get your numbers into the millions, outmass those that choose to use mass and always dance at the edge of spam (in which the number of those you offend or turn off forever keep increasing), or

Relentlessly focus. Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares.

Only one of these strategies builds an asset of value.

8 tips for successful online marketing

Reprinted from www.wamda.com. See the original post here.

By Esraa Haidar

The online world can be tough to navigate sometimes, especially if you are trying to sell or market a product or service. There are so many websites, tools and strategies out there that promise you customers and sales contracts. Sometimes they work, but the truth is, there’s more to online marketing than simply having a Facebook page and creating some Google Ads.

Online marketing at its core is about creating great brand recognition, so that even if a customer doesn’t make a purchase in a given moment, they are well aware that your products exist. For a marketer, that is often more than enough. To build brand awareness, here are a few tips:

- Online = Offline. Just because it is online does not mean we forget the basics of marketing. We still have to know who our target audience is, where are they located ( in this case which websites are they on), what their preferences are, and so on.

- Your website is your hub. With the burst of social media sites, some startups might find it satisfactory to have a Facebook page alone. But how much information can you really put on a Facebook page? Be sure to invest in creating a useful website that clearly showcases your products and services and your portfolio of clients as you grow.

- Create your image. Make sure you have a consistent image online and the way to do that is to make sure what you have on your website is consistent with your Facebook page. And keep your information current, both on your company page and personal pages. You don’t want people searching for you online and thinking that you are still employed for your ex-employer just because you forgot to update your LinkedIn account.

- Social media should be social. In order to truly engage in online marketing you need to engage with your customers through social media sites. Ask them how the food was, or what they thought of that sweater they bought. Engaging your customers online requires time, monitoring, and incentives, so make sure you have these three components. There is no use in having 10,000 fans on Facebook if none of them are interacting on the page.

- Create your own content. People love images, interesting information and something that is not copied because they probably saw it somewhere else. Get creative, because in the online world everyone’s attention span is generally far less than in the real world.

- Monitor. Keep your eyes open because you don’t know when someone might decide to say something about your product or service and you’ll need to make sure you are there to respond, whether it’s negative or positive. People like to feel pampered, especially online, so if someone says something nice, about your restaurant for instance, you should at least say thank you. Monitoring also helps you know how successful your campaigns were, so that you can improve them next time.

- Experiment. Marketing is not a quick fix or one-size-fits-all solution. Even if Facebook Ads gave your competitors great results, they might not work for you, so make sure you have researched the marketing tools you are going to use and don’t spend all of your marketing budget in one place at once. What might work today might change tomorrow since the pace of the online world is so fast. Your customers might be all on Facebook today but suddenly decide to have Google + accounts. You want to be ready for this.

- Stay up to date. Online marketing requires that you know what is going on not only in your industry but in other industries as well, such as what the hottest websites are, whether there is a new online phonebook directory in which you should register, or a new social media platform or service you should sign up for.

Generally, online marketing is similar to greeting your customer when they enter your store. You want to give a pleasant smile and introduce yourself, but you do not want to bombard them with questions and follow them around; you want to leave a good impression even if they don’t make a purchase. Marketing has transformed over the years and we as entrepreneurs need to remember that with this online revolution we can no longer rely on brochures and billboards. Word of mouth has become the “ word of the web,” and customers are creating our marketing strategies without us realizing it. We must learn to adapt and accept the fact that online marketing is going to be a new phrase on our yearly budgets.

Esraa currently owns and manages Consult-E Marketing, which provides companies with innovative marketing solutions throughout Lebanon. She is passionate about making change in people’s lives, and established Consult-E because she wanted to help small companies succeed. Esraa is part of various entrepreneurial organizations in Lebanon, including Bader, the MIT Enterprise Forum, and Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Lebanon. She was also a finalist in the MIT Arab Business Plan Competition in 2010, and recently received mentorship from the Mowgli Foundation.

Getting the Arab youth into employment

Reprinted from www.wamda.com. See the original post here.

By Tom Speechley

Throughout 2011, youth from across the Arab world have occupied streets, squares and other public places to protest a lack of inclusion, a lack of dignity and a lack of social justice. The most cited cause uniting the protesters is a desire for inclusion in the process of governance, primarily as a means to address these concerns.

But underlying this cause is the lack of inclusion in the economy. Unemployment is the biggest security threat facing the Arab World today. In some Arab countries, the proportion of those under the age of 26 and out of work is as high as 25%, one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. The economic loss arising from youth unemployment exceeds $40–50 billion annually across the Arab world, equivalent to the GDP of countries such as Tunisia or Lebanon.

Although this may seem bad enough, the real issue facing the region is that the future looks much bleaker. Taking the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) assessment in 2009 that 51 million new jobs must be created by the end of 2020 merely to stand still on unemployment, at face value, we see that the Arab countries must, in effect, increase the number of employment positions in the region by around 50% over the 10 years to 2020.

Looked at another way, from the same UNDP report, we would need to grow our economies at an annual rate of 7.6%, to generate the requisite employment opportunities. This, just for unemployment not to get worse. And indeed our economies are growing at much lower rates these days. For countries without large fiscal surpluses, that is both a massive challenge and an even more massive liability if they fall short. For countries with significant fiscal surpluses there will be no real escape in the final analysis. The cost will inevitably need to be passed on and the cost will be huge. The entire Arab world faces being engulfed by the impact of rapidly rising unemployment.

How to avoid these scenarios and create the necessary economic and employment growth? Investment and related reform is the only solution. Investment is required in infrastructure, in education and directly into private sector enterprise. It is estimated from studies in the U.S. that every billion dollars of investment in infrastructure can create 18,000 direct and downstream jobs. Investment in ports, airports, financial centers and industrial zones are good examples.

Yet faced with the magnitude and urgency of the task, infrastructure investing is but a relatively small part of the solution. Nor is employment by the state going to provide a solution. Put simply, there aren’t any more jobs to give out and what more jobs can be manufactured will not be sustainable in the long term. Employment on a mass scale needs to be delivered by sustainable private sector economic growth and for that we need to invest heavily in the private sector and educate our youth to be able to fill the private sector jobs that are then generated.

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