Miami, FL – December 11, 2014 – Endeavor selected 40 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 22 companies in 13 countries at its 56th International Selection Panel.
Endeavor now supports 1,030 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 651 companies across 22 countries. The first International Selection Panel (ISP) in Miami, FL since the affiliate was launched in 2013, the entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from December 8 – 10th.
The ISP is the conclusion of a rigorous multi-step selection process that is at the core of the Endeavor model. At the Miami ISP, top global business and industry leaders interviewed candidates about their businesses and potential for high-impact growth, and then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. This panel was a milestone for Endeavor as the organization officially marked the selection of its thousandth entrepreneur. In addition, Endeavor Peru, which launched in 2014, welcomed its first two entrepreneur companies – Disfruta and Pulso Salud – into the network.
“As we officially cross the mark of a thousand entrepreneurs selected, Endeavor’s network has become an unparalleled force of inspiration and support,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “It was especially amazing to see the passion, professionalism and early impact of Endeavor Miami’s network since its launch.”
After their selection into the Endeavor network, the entrepreneurs are given access to customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created nearly 400,000 jobs, generated and built sustainable growth models in their home countries, transformed local economies and become role models for future generations of leaders.
“This Endeavor event was a celebration of all of the amazing entrepreneurial talent around the world,” said Endeavor Miami Board Co-Chair Adriana Cisneros. “It was exciting to showcase the great progress of Endeavor Miami over the past year and the region’s high-impact potential.”
To celebrate the incoming entrepreneurs, Endeavor Miami hosted an event at the New World Center on the final night of the ISP, bringing together all ISP participants, entrepreneurs, board members, mentors and top leaders from the Miami community. The event was generously sponsored by The Knight Foundation, Cisneros Group, Grupo Arcano, Univision and The Wolfington Companies.
Endeavor will host six International Selection Panels in 2015. Locations will be in Singapore; Santiago, Chile; Amman, Jordan; San Francisco, CA; Marrakech, Morroco; and Mexico City, Mexico.
Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and companies follow.
Entrepreneurs: Martin Añazco & Diego Meller
Jampp is amplifying the global mobile application market. Mobile app-driven businesses have a challenging time navigating the changing mobile marketing industry. Jampp helps these companies drive large volumes of high-quality mobile users to their apps in a simple and cost-effective way. The company manages the entire process of marketing apps, from planning to tracking and optimization.
Entrepreneurs: Eduardo Lima & Sivio Melo Jr
Avantia is the first security system in Brazil to package cutting-edge technologies from ten different global suppliers into one integrated platform. Avantia has focused its efforts in the city of Recife, one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Since installing its security system four years ago, the city has seen a reduction in the number of murders by 60.8%—spurring the company’s growth by a CAGR of 40% per year. With such success in Recife, the entrepreneurs are expanding Avantia’s scope into Sao Paolo and aim to be a global benchmark in the security market. Currently employing over 450 people, Avantia is not only keeping the city safe but also creating significant jobs for the community.
Entrepreneurs: Albert Deweik & Roy Nasser
NeoAssist provides peace of mind to companies and their customers through its automated customer service software. This cloud-based platform allows clients to automate personal responses to customer inquiries and easily track a customer’s social media engagement with the company, among other capabilities. This software allows companies to improve customer satisfaction by 35%, while also reducing the cost of customer service by 30% to 70%. According to the Reclame Aqui, the authoritative agency for customer service ranking in Brazil, three out of the top five Brazilian companies in customer service – and 15 of the top 30 – are NeoAssist clients.
Entrepreneurs: Mate Pencz & Florian Hagenbuch
Printi makes it easy for small businesses in Brazil to design and procure printed promotional materials. It is the first in Brazil to serve SMEs and individuals with low-or-medium volume needs. The local printing market is highly fragmented and informal, characterized by a few major graphic printers who only work with high-volume clients, printer brokers that set arbitrary and prohibitive prices, and low-quality corner mom-and-pop shops. Printi’s convenient ecommerce site provides the most cost effective printing option in the market. Its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has resulted in consistent satisfaction scores of over 65% across more than 35,000 clients.
Dinner at Wynwood Kitchen after a day of interviews
Entrepreneurs: Alan Schoihet, Jack Schoihet, Paul Kisiliuk & Uri Cohen
NiuSushi is an innovative restaurant chain that maximizes its number of satisfied customers by meticulously tracking every metric, from each store’s inventory of rice to the number of minutes it takes for each chef to make a sushi roll in real-time. Customers can choose from more than 80 different rolls of sushi, including fresh Patagonia salmon, octopus, ahi tuna, shrimp and vegetarian options. Every year, NiuSushi updates its menu with new combinations mined from customer preferences and global market studies. With eight locations in Santiago alone, NiuSushi now intends to expand throughout Chile and the region to bring its premium product to a larger audience.
Entrepreneur: Luis Ahumada
Consumers in Latin America want on to access online content on demand, but local media providers still do things the old fashioned way – through TVs and radios. Chilean company Mediastream’s streaming solutions enable companies to keep up with consumer trends and broadcast content through any internet-connected device. Mediastream is a first mover in Latin America, and has built the channels responsible for 60% of content streamed online in Chile. The end-to-end solution for recorded and live-event streaming makes it easy for traditional content providers to build new digital offerings to reach, engage, and monetize audiences.
Entrepreneurs: Camilo Pérez, Juan Sebastián Correa & Ricardo Jaramillo
Agrofuturo is finally enabling Colombia to compete with the other agricultural superpowers in Latin America. Despite the country’s rich terrain, only 14% of arable land is under cultivation due to violence that plagued rural areas, resulting in a lack of knowledge of how to properly invest and use fertile lands. Through information sourcing strategies, such as a world-class industry expo, and end-to-end agricultural services – including Project Design and Asset Management – Camilo Pérez, Juan Sebastián Correa and Ricardo Jaramillo have catalyzed the growth of the Agricultural sector in Colombia and made it more attractive for investors. Already, Agrofuturo has facilitated $200 million in industry transactions and cultivated 30,000 hectares of previously idle land—growing its revenues through events, project design, management, and fees.
Entrepreneur: Sherief Kesseba
Company: Nile Valley Growers
Nile Valley Growers produces and exports top-quality grapes and red onions to supermarkets across continental Europe and the UK. Egypt’s geographic location allows Nile Valley Growers to export produce when the Global supply is typically at its lowest – after the end of the Southern hemisphere’s season but before the Northern hemisphere’s crops ripen. The country’s close proximity to the European, African, and Asian markets enables produce to quickly reach supermarket shelves which equates to a longer shelf-life.
Entrepreneur: Dr. Hisham Haddara
Company: Si-ware Systems
Si-ware Systems is the first company to design semiconductors in Egypt and export to global clients in the USA, Japan, China, Russia, and France. The company designs the smallest and most cost-efficient spectrometer on the market and has plans to release a quartz-less oscillator by 2015. These semiconductor components are the foundation of electrical devices. Si-ware’s components are built to be easily adaptable to various micro-devices.
Entrepreneurs: Charif Mzayek, Alissar Mzayek & Ghassan Mzayek
Business is blooming for the Mzayek family, founders of Alissar, a leading flower producer and retailer in MENA. Transforming Jordan’s arid climate into an oasis, Alissar began as a retail outlet selling floral arrangements and indoor plants to the local market. The company has set its eyes on the commercial flower and plant market in the GCC, maintaining its floriculture core and expanding its product lines to growing its own flowers and distributing planting material. Future growth will be driven by increasing organizational efficiencies and geographic expansion within the GCC and into Asia for Alissar’s hotel floral supply business and planting material wholesale vertical. Alissar will also see expansion through a new partnership with Aramex that connects growers and buyers online.
Entrepreneurs: Nehman Hachem & Samer Hachem
Hintrag’s powdered desserts and drinks offer inexpensive and convenient alternatives to traditionally packaged goods, yet leading global brands in most countries do not cater to local palates. Investing heavily in R&D since 2008, Hintrag provides customers in 24 countries with over 120 locally-specialized varieties of high-quality powdered drinks & desserts – from Lebanese dessert mixes to Asian dumpling mixes. One of two leading players in Lebanon’s powdered food industry, Hintrag successfully secured 30% of the local market in less than six years with strong presence in MENA. Over the next three years, Hintrag plans to nearly double its global footprint and expand its product offering to better serve the African market.
ISP candidates are interviewed by global business leaders
Entrepreneurs: Alejandro Maza, Alberto Tawil & Adolfo Unanue
Company: Open Intelligence [OPI]
Government intelligence just got smarter. OPI offers a customizable, easy to use, cloud-based platform that analyzes and visualizes the relationship between thousands of variables. Aside from using their own data, clients can access the information in OPI’s database, which warehouses all of the non-classified data that previous clients have uploaded. If clients want to generate more topic-specific data, OPI’s associated mobile apps facilitate on the ground data collection. When the Ministry of Interior used Arquimedes to understand neighborhood crime rates, it analyzed the relationship between education, single parent families, and over one thousand other variables. Later that year, the ministry started redesigning its policy and resource allocation strategies based on OPI’s contributions. The impact of OPI’s software soon garnered national and international media attention.
Entrepreneurs: Manuel Gonzalez, Ricardo Arteaga & Leonardo Randolph
Anyone who’s tried searching for some tejocote (a fruit native to Mexico) or other Mexican specialties in their local grocery market knows how hard it can be find. Finding frozen tejocote that also bursts with the same fresh, authentic taste is even harder. Agroin is changing that with its frozen produce and its ready-to-eat frozen Mexican delicacies, like cheese-stuffed peppers. Already a key supplier for La Huerta, Mexico’s largest frozen vegetable brand, Agroin now seeks to expand under its own distinct brands.
Entrepreneur: José Antonio Díaz
Provive is reinvigorating foreclosed and abandoned Mexican communities with vida, or life. According Infonavit and Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal, more than two million low-income homes built in Mexico over the past ten years are suffering the effects of abandonment and foreclosure due to poor urban planning and the absence of organized social structures that strengthen communities. Provive’s business buying, refurbishing, and reselling abandoned homes and building community centers and programs regenerate the urban and social fabric of Mexico.
Entrepreneur: Edgar Cory Crespo
Mexican marketing and media agency COLOüRS helps companies brighten up their branding. COLOüRS starts with a simple truth: consumers find advertising boring. Mass-marketing might reach many, but they engage few. COLOüRS creates memorable experiences to connect brands and celebrities with consumers who share a passion for fashion, art, music, entertainment, and sports. In order to be the gateway between premium brands, top talent, and elite consumers, COLOüRS operates three vertically integrated subsidiaries specializing in marketing and talent management. One of these is CMX Talent, the first formal talent management agency in Mexico. COLOüRS produces 150 events and festivals annually, including the biannual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Mexico and the Coca-Cola Fifa World Cup Trophy Tour.
Entrepreneur: Anabel Perez
The payments ecosystem in Latin America is faced with anemic technologies that are unable to meet the demands of an ever-changing payments landscape. This imbalance leads to an underdeveloped prepaid value chain, where banks are unable to reach lower income “unbanked” customers, enterprises lack a system to incentivize their employees, and retailers are forced to rely on costly cash payments. NovoPayment helps companies reach a broader base of customers and increase their revenues by providing them with the infrastructure to build their own prepaid and mobile wallet programs. The market for cash conversion to digital means, such as prepaid account services, is estimated to reach US$16 billion in 2015. NovoPayment facilitates 70 million transactions annually through a portfolio of 9,000 clients that spans Fortune 500 companies and Latino micro-businesses.
Entrepreneur: Brian Brackeen
Kairos’ facial recognition API captures the depths and contours of a 2D facial image through 85 points of interest and renders the image as a 3D model to ensure 99% identification accuracy. Even if people change their appearance – by growing a beard or putting on glasses – Kairo’s software will recognize them. The software’s pricing model allows clients to use it for free (for up to 50,000 identifications), and scale the service to meet their specific use requirements and budget.
Entrepreneurs: Azucena Gutierrez & Eduardo Gutierrez
The juice industry in Peru is ripe for innovation. Peru leads Latin America in its vast diversity of exotic fruits, and although juice has always been a staple of the Peruvian diet, production has remained informal, with most juice makers blending ingredients from small roadside carts. Disfruta is modernizing the juice industry in Peru by pioneering a chain of juice bars designed to appeal to sophisticated, health-conscious consumers. Peruvians drink one million liters of juice every year, with juice consumption skyrocketing at annual growth rates of 43%: two times the rate of their Latin American counterparts. Over the course of six years, Disfruta has taken advantage of this opportunity to launch 30 locations and aims to double its revenues by 2017.
Entrepreneurs: Alvaro Diaz & Martin Olano
Company: Pulso Salud
Pulso Salud is breathing new life into the healthcare industry. Occupational health laws are a growing trend in Latin America that are mandating employers to protect their workers from hazards to safety and health, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, or unsanitary conditions. In Peru, these legal mandates impose a particular challenge because of the inadequate state of the healthcare infrastructure. Pulso Salud tackles this healthcare deficit by providing medical exams to workers that ensure companies are in compliance with legal requirements. With four million individuals working in the formal economy, the market for Pulso Salud’s services is $400 million in Peru alone. Having already established two medical centers in Arequipa and one in Lima, Pulso Salud seeks to use its existing traction to expand its footprint domestically.
Entrepreneur: Sira Perez de la Coba
Company: Shot & Shop
Shot & Shop founder and CEO Sira Pérez de la Coba has invented the first image recognition and retrieval technology able to identify accurate visual matches in real-time, without having previously seen the image, pattern, or verbal tag. Shot & Shop’s proprietary technology has a host of commercial applications. In its first application, retail brands and digital advertisers are using Shot & Shop to better understand consumer preferences and improve the relevance and efficacy of targeted marketing, which drives online sales. The technology is especially equipped for real-time digital ad bidding, and is the only visual search technology able to make real-time digital ad recommendations based on a publisher’s visual content.
Entrepreneur: Cenk Soyak
For AloTech customers, the days of the phone operator are numbered. When Cenk Soyak founded the company in Turkey, local contact center solutions were extremely expensive and international players had not yet entered the market. Cenk built AloTech not only as a local and affordable contact center solution but also one that was technologically forward thinking, providing its services via the cloud. AloTech offers cloud-based and “pay-as-you-go” call center solutions, as opposed to traditional, on-premise, high cap-ex call center solutions. By eliminating hardware, software, and maintenance costs and offering flexibility and ease of use, AloTech offers significant advantages over its competitors.
Entrepreneur: Rafael Atijas
Company: Loog Guitars
Loog Guitars designs and sells three-string guitars for children that simplify the playing process without losing the quality experience. Loog’s customers assemble their own customized guitars. The experience of building the guitar instills in the child a sense of accomplishment and ownership, while allowing parents to share their appreciation for music and create memories with their kids.
Endeavor Miami’s final night celebration featured top members of the network