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Endeavor Investor Network’s Latin American Venture Forum Gathers 160+ Entrepreneurs and Investors in Bogotá

Last week, Endeavor Global and Endeavor Colombia hosted the inaugural Latin American Venture Forum in partnership with Bancoldex. This event gathered over 30 of the most active regional funds in Colombia for a day of content, discussion […]

September 16th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Entrepreneurs Featured in Drucker Institute’s Monthly Radio Program

The Drucker Institute, a think tank based at Claremont Graduate University, traveled to the Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco to speak with nine Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Latin America, Africa, and Europe. The interviews highlight […]

September 25th, 2013 — by admin

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Bodytech enters into strategic alliance with Sportlife, becomes the largest chain of gyms in Latin America

Bodytech, a chain of medical, health, and fitness gyms lead by Colombian Endeavor Entrepreneurs Nicolás Loaiza and Gigliola Aycardi, has announced a new strategic alliance with Sportlife, a line of Chilean gyms. With this partnership, the gyms will constitute the largest chain of gyms in Latin America.

Today Bodytech has 40 gyms in Colombia and 5 in Peru, while its Chilean counterpart, started in 1993 by Julio Berazategui and Mauricio Musiet, currently operates 37 gyms within Chile. With the signing of a MOU between the two companies, Bodytech and Sportlife will share over 150,000 members, 2,500 employees, and USD$125 million in sales annually. “This would allow our chain to establish itself as the regional leader in terms of size, profitability, number of members, and coverage, and as well as continue to fulfill the dream of a better quality of life for the communities of these three countries,” describes Bodytech President Nicolás Loiaza.

According to the leadership of both companies, this partnership will strengthen job stability for their employees, offer new opportunities for the development and growth of professionals in the industries of health and fitness, increase the value of both companies, and contribute to the economic development of all three countries. Gym members at both chains will benefit, as they will be allowed to attend any gym within the alliance without any additional cost. This partnership comes especially well-timed, as it follows the establishment of the Integrated Latin American Market (known by its Spanish acronym Mila), which merged the stock markets of Colombia, Peru, and Chile last May.

Even though they are still working out the exact details of their alliance, both companies are adamant that Bodytech and Sportlife will continue to operate independently under their current names in order to take advantage of the strong brand recognition that each has cultivated locally. Future plans include bringing the Sportlife brand to Colombia and the Bodytech line to Chile, and eventually, to enter the Brazilian and Mexican markets as part of an aggressive international expansion plan.

During the next five years, the companies plan to invest USD$250 million in order to double the number of gyms in their lines by 2015. Bodytech itself intends to invest USD$70 million solely in the next year to open 10 more sites in Colombia, 5 in Peru, and 5 in Chile, to end 2012 with 62 total gyms.

According to Loaiza, the way to obtain the necessary financial resources for this aggressive international expansion is an IPO in the Colombia stock market sometime in 2012 or 2013. “We have wanted to enter the stock market for the last four years, but now is the right time given the Integrated Latin American Market.”

Activating enterprise innovation: open data

Reprinted from informationarbitrage.com.  See original post here.

By Roger Ehrenberg

In my role as a venture investor, I find myself spending lots of time speaking to “the enterprise”: Media companies, financial services companies, technology companies, retailers, Government agencies, etc., often assuming the role of “venture therapist.” “How can we engage with the start-up community?” “How can we structure ourselves to work better with small companies?” “What can we offer start-ups that can demonstrate real needle-moving value for us without killing them in the process?” These are simply a few of the questions I get in this vein every week from enterprises ranging from mid-sized to massive. What they are really asking is how can we access pockets of innovation to move our business forward that we either (1) lack the expertise to develop in-house or (2) can’t tap into from other areas of the firm because of politics and bureaucracy.

Regardless of the reason, many enterprises are trapped by legacy structures while fully knowing that they are in the midst of massive disruption that threatens their businesses to the core. Many also perceive an opportunity to re-invent they way they do business, less in response to a competitive threat but rather as a vehicle for delivering a non-linear improvement in the customer experience – product features, user experience, customer service, etc. So given these competitive threats and business opportunities, how can enterprises activate this need for innovation?

My answer generally involves a cultural shift that focuses on one salient point: creating an environment for opening up their data. So much innovation today stems from analyzing and monetizing a firm’s data assets, yet there is billions (and perhaps trillions when you consider health outcomes data and issues of national security) of value trapped inside of today’s enterprise due to myriad storage formats and locations, mis-allocated technology budgets and privacy concerns. And given the petabytes (and even great volumes) of data involved, the sheer amount of time involved spooling up the data from old systems and spooling down the data into a distributed, flexible storage architecture is a heroic undertaking. It is a big honking problem that even in the best of cases takes gobs of time and money to solve.

So rather than trying to do everything at once (and likely “boiling the ocean” and getting little accomplished except disdain for the project), how about creating a sandbox within which developers can play with anonymized firm data, searching for insights, mashing up the data with data ingested from other sources and building customer-facing applications? In essence, creating an “API culture” where firms start to think about how to open up their data rather than keeping it under wraps. Enterprises can either do this point-to-point by working with a small number of talented and highly motivated start-ups, or by using challenges and other crowd-sourcing techniques such as hackathons to stimulate innovation around their data assets. By getting some quick wins around usage and monetization of the the data, they can then expand their project to encompass even greater amounts of data, essentially creating a self-funding vehicle for solving their legacy data problem. Plus, the firms will be heroes within the start-up and developer communities for being good to work with and forward-looking partners in innovation. There are no half solutions here, however. Management is either all-in or not with this culture shift. Firms that simply dabble will be destined to failure, no different than the carcasses of angel investors past who did a small number of “vanity deals,” got their faces ripped off and decided that angel investing wasn’t so sexy, anyway.

Instituting an open data culture represents a sea change for many enterprises. However, the time is now for disrupting these sclerotic – but valuable – organizations and unleashing a new wave of data-driven innovation in the US and across the world. My sense is that once the enterprise gives open data a shot they’ll find it to be addictive, as there is nothing like getting not dozens, not hundreds but thousands of developers creating applications to help you better serve your customers. This will truly demonstrate the magic of this last leg of the Internet age: distributed storage and compute; crowd-sourcing; and APIs. I can’t wait to see the bold (and enlightened) enterprises that step up to the challenge.

La Cara Oculta, the new face of Colombian films

On January 20, La Cara Oculta, a suspense thriller produced by Dynamo in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox, premiered in Bogotá to eager audiences. Dynamo is the holding company for Dynamo Capital, the only private equity fund for film financing in Latin America, and Dynamo Productions, a screenwriting, production, and distribution business, and is lead by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Andrés Calderón Rodríguez, Rodrigo Guerrero Rojas, Diego Ramírez Schrempp, and Cristian Conti Walli.

A Colombian-Spanish-American production by Colombia director Andi Baiz, La Cara Oculta, or “The Hidden Face,” examines the dangers of obsessive love and explores the limits of jealousy and betrayal. Last weekend, La Cara Oculta was the most-watched film in the country, and has drawn in more than 230,000 Colombian moviegoers since its premier.

Following the success of Satanas and Perro Come Perro, La Cara Oculta proves that Dynamo, in its six short years of existence, continues to raise the standards of Colombian film and lead the country’s growing movie industry. Directed and shot in both Colombia and Spain, the film first premiered last September in Spain, where it grossed over 2.3 million Euros within its first two months.

According to CEO Andrés Calderón, La Cara Oculta is a milestone for the young production company as it represents the first time powerhouse producer Twentieth Century Fox has invested in any Colombian movie. Calderón also credits director Andi Baiz for creating an impeccable suspense film, which manages to keep the public out of breath, even while telling the same story from different angles.

The film features performances by Colombian actress Martina Garcia and Spanish actors Clara Lago and Quim Gutierrez. Enhanced by a soundtrack by Argentine composer Federico Jusid, and the cinematography of Catalonian Joseph M. Civit, La Cara Oculta has been said to set new standards for Colombian moviemakers and represent a new face for Colombian film. La Cara Oculta is currently showing in select movie theaters in the US, and is expected to be screened in 16 countries worldwide.

Endeavor highlighted at Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Istanbul [with video]

Last month, 120 Endeavor Network members participated in the 2nd Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Turkey. CEO Linda Rottenberg was a keynote speaker alongside Vice President Joe Biden, and the work of a number of Endeavor Entrepreneurs was featured. For the full story on the summit click here. Also check out the video below…

Tips to make any business succeed

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See original post here.

By David T. Domzalski

I wanted to share with you a portion of Financial Bin’s recently released book called Entrepreneur Intervention: Triumphs & Failures of Entrepreneurs. The part included below is written by Chris Sonjeow, founder of LoveBook. Chris talks about what he has learned since starting his company and I think it is something we can all benefit from.

Over the past 3 years these are the things I‘ve learned to help make a business successful:

1. Find Smart People.

Always surround yourself with smart, talented people. If you do not know any, join a networking group and find them. Being an entrepreneur is a series of highs and lows. You need to surround yourself with people who understand that when it gets low, it is not the end of the world. It is just an opportunity to grow.

2. Always Have a Plan.

The plan is not set in stone, but you need guidelines and a revenue model. I always get approached by people asking me about a business idea they have. The first thing I ask them is: “Who‘s writing you checks?” If they cannot answer that right away, I know they do not have a revenue model. That is not to say that all business ideas need one at first, but would-be entrepreneurs should not mix “hobbies” with business.

A good plan should take you into multiple years and show growth and revenue generated. This will help you understand how diverse your products or services should be. You will be able to do the rough math to figure out how many products you need to sell or services you need to complete before you hire your first employee. And do not worry if plans change, they always do. They are strictly a guide to keep you from going too far off the original concept.

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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.

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