High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Endeavor Investor Network Convenes Over 120 Entrepreneurs and Investors in NYC

On May 5th, the Endeavor Investor Network convened growth market leaders in New York City for a day of networking and learning. The invitation-only event gathered over 120 participants including Endeavor Entrepreneurs and leading investors […]

May 13th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor eMERGE California Event Spotlights Growing Tech Markets Worldwide

From June 17th – 19th, Endeavor held its inaugural eMERGE California event, sponsored by Gigaom, Zynga and Co.Lab, which brought together top entrepreneurs, investors and mentors to highlight fast-growing tech markets outside of Silicon Valley. As […]

June 25th, 2014 — by admin

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Fuel Economics: 10 tips for being the flip (not the flop)

Reprinted from Forbes.com. See the original article here.

By Adriana Galue

I have the good fortune of living in Boulder, Colorado – home of TechStars.

For those not familiar with it, TechStars is the largest US accelerator focusing on technology companies. They fund an average of 50 companies per year. Each selected company receives $100K of seed money in exchange of common stock. I like the fact that they actually take common and not preferred stock. The TechStars model has been replicated in several other cities in the U.S. In addition, they just launched a Global Accelerator Network.

How easy is it to get in with TechStars? Well, 1% of the applicants are funded. The accelerator receives an average of 4,000 applications per year. The good news is that TechStars co-founder David Cohen has recently set up a $28M fund. 50% of this capital will be devoted to fund companies that go through the TechStars program.

With startups appearing on a daily basis, how do investors differentiate between a flip and a flop?

Here are some tips that might help entrepreneurs be in the flip side of the equation.

1. Build something that people want. In other words, know your target market.

2. Team + Team + Team + Traction + Revenue. The quality and experience of the team is key. With the well-known fact of “developer hopping” the investor wants to know how your team was formed. Have you known each other for quite sometime? Is your team diverse enough? Do you have the domain expertise required? What is your passion level? What is your vision?

3. Traction: Does your product or service has enough traction in the marketplace? In other words, are you viral? For a typical consumer Internet company, investors might expect a 5% growth/week. This number should be sustained over months.

4. Bootstrap: Your minimum viable product should be bootstrapped. The days of asking for $500K to build a prototype are gone (unless, of course, you have wealthy friends and family).

5. Be realistic about your valuation. A pre-revenue startup sits typically in the range of $1M-$4M pre-money valuation. Your positioning on this range depends on the quality of the team, the vision and the demo traction.

6. When hiring, consider waiting a year before you actually give equity away. Those who are truly passionate about your product will show commitment before expecting stock.

7. Be attached to the problem you are solving, not to the solution you are providing. This is the best advice I have ever received.

8. Pay more attention to your data and less attention to your ego. In this regard, read the story of StepOut (fka Ignighter). It is the perfect case study about the importance of paying attention to the data your customers provide everyday.

9. Study trends. It is essential to be strategic from day one.

10. Understand opportunity. We are moving towards a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) model. Ideas navigating in this space might have tremendous funding potential. Funding opportunities are also available for API-driven companies who establish a utility model for improving a method.

Last but not least, the data-utilization space is very underdeveloped. Figure out how to use data pass just storing it. We currently store massive amounts of data that sleep in some server completely unutilized.

Always remember that investors continuously think in fuel economics. How much fuel do I put in and how much output do I get? At almost $4.00/gallon, passion, performance and efficiency are key.

Adriana Galue is a co-founder at Mint Consulting. She is a scientist, techie, entrepreneur, lover of nature and immigrant whose genes trace back to the Middle East, Africa and Spain. She was born in Colombia and educated in Canada. Adriana writes about her perception of the world, education and startups. She holds a MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business. Follow her on Twitter at @AdrianaGalue.

Endeavor’s game changing entrepreneurs from Brazil, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa to speak at Milken Global Conference

The following press release can also be accessed on BusinessWire.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Endeavor, the leader in catalyzing high impact entrepreneurship worldwide, will be taking center stage at this year’s annual Milken Institute Global Conference today. Five Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Brazil, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa will be featured on a panel entitled “Game-Changing Global Entrepreneurs” that will explore the important role that entrepreneurs play in generating the jobs and wealth needed to transform emerging markets into growth economies.

“Investors need to realize that the next great company could come out of Rio, Cairo or Jakarta just as easily as Silicon Valley.”
“Whether in Latin America, the Middle East, South Africa or Indonesia, entrepreneurs face unique challenges and obstacles,” says Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg who will moderate the panel. “In addition to having few role models and a lack of support networks, they struggle with finding access to smart capital. We’re hoping to address the latter issue by exposing the audience at Milken to some amazing stories of innovation and success coming out of countries that may not yet have caught their attention.”

Entrepreneurs speaking on the panel are:

Nevzat Aydin, Co-Founder and CEO, Yemeksepeti.com, Turkey’s answer to seamless web has pioneered online ordering and home delivery of food in Turkey, Russia and the UAE.

Mario Chady, CEO and Co-Founder, Grupo Trigo, Brazil’s leading casual dining chain manager with over 250 branches.

Vinny Lingham, CEO of Gyft.com, a South African entrepreneur whose previous company Yola has its website building software featured on all new HP computers. Vinny now resides in Silicon Valley.

Amr Shady, Founder and CEO, T.A. Telecom, an Egyptian leader in mobile platforms whose signature Buzz! technology powers content sharing via SMS.

Leila Velez, Co-Founder and CEO, Beleza Natural, a $70 million chain of beauty salons catering to the Afro-Brazilian market.

In addition to moderating the “Game-Changing Global Entrepreneurs” panel on Monday afternoon, Rottenberg will be a panelist during a Monday morning session on “Investing in Emerging Markets.” She will be speaking about Endeavor Catalyst, a recently launched donor fund that is a passive co-investor in professional funding rounds of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Initial supporters of Endeavor Catalyst, which has raised over $13 million so far and made two investments, include Endeavor Board Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr., LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman (also an Endeavor board member), eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Pershing Square Capital Management founder and CEO Bill Ackman.

“I’m gratified that the investment community is finally recognizing that entrepreneurs are creating huge opportunity and value all over the world,” says Rottenberg. “Investors need to realize that the next great company could come out of Rio, Cairo or Jakarta just as easily as Silicon Valley.”

Endeavor PiLA field report: A gringa’s perspective on entrepreneurship in Chile

By Laura Marrin, Princeton in Latin America fellow

From day one in Chile, I was directly immersed in Endeavor’s work and this hands-on learning is what enabled me to really understand Endeavor’s work and become even more passionate about it. So what exactly do I do at Endeavor Chile? Through my PiLA position I have worked primarily in the Search & Selection department, searching for, interviewing and supporting local high-impact entrepreneurs as potential Endeavor candidates.

Through working for Endeavor Chile I have learned a number of important things about entrepreneurs, businesses, and economic growth and development in Latin America. With my Search & Selection work I have had the opportunity to visit two of our regional offices in Antofagasta and Puerta Varas in order to interview potential candidates. Through these trips, not only have I discovered other fascinating parts of Chile, but I have also learned about the different types of challenges that entrepreneurs face in the regions versus in Santiago. Some of the different challenges that entrepreneurs in Chile face involve: raising capital, getting loans, developing a concrete business pitch, creating a shareholders agreement, receiving legal advice as they expand their companies internationally, and how to conceptualize short and long term strategic growth plans. However, only supporting entrepreneurs in the capital will have a limited effect in helping Chile’s economic growth and development as a nation, which is why Endeavor Chile is committed to finding and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs in others regions, as seen by its four regional offices.

Additionally, I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of Endeavor’s famous International Selection Panels (ISP), where Endeavor candidates undergo a series of intense interviews to decide if they will be accepted into this global high-impact network. I attended the ISP in Punta del Este, Uruguay this past December. This is when I finally truly understood the entirety of the Endeavor model and what an amazing impact it has.

As part of the preparation for these international selection panels, I write detailed 14 page business profiles on our candidate companies, which has also been an eye opening experience. I now understand much better how entrepreneurial ventures are often formed and how a company designs its business model, thinks of its client base, decides on its value proposition, thinks about growing its internal team and plans for the short term and long term success of the organization.

In January I also had the chance to accompany some of our Endeavor entrepreneurs and candidates to the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America (ECLA) program that is hosted at Columbia University’s Business School. This two-week course was the first part of the ECLA program in which we all received a crash course in the foundations of international business which included classes on: accounting, problem definition, pricing, operations strategy, data analysis, sustainable enterprises, and information technology. Participating in this part of the ECLA program not only enhanced my knowledge of business principles, but also provided me with the opportunity to meet high impact Endeavor entrepreneurs from all over Latin America.

When I look back on my last 9 months with Endeavor Chile, the first thing that comes to my mind is how grateful I am for receiving a PiLA fellowship and having the opportunity to spend my first year after graduating from college working in Latin America with an amazing non-profit like Endeavor. The people that I have had the pleasure to meet and work with are what have had the greatest influence on my wonderful experience here in Chile. From day one, my colleagues at Endeavor Chile welcomed me into the team, not just as some new intern fresh out of college, but as a team member with important ideas to share.

At Endeavor Chile we celebrate birthdays, weddings, and going aways together, which has made my Endeavor Chile colleagues my family away from home. I have developed a deep respect and appreciation for both the caring and amazing people that I have met in Chile as well as the awe-inspiring diversity and beauty of this country which spans deserts in the North, to valleys in lakes in the metropolitan area, to glaciers in southern Patagonia. No matter what adventure awaits me after my PiLA year with Endeavor, I know that my time with Endeavor Chile will always be one of the highlights of my life.

As I reflect on my amazing Endeavor Chile PiLA experience to date here is a list of my most memorable moments.

– Learning to dance the cueca (the national folkloric dance of Chile) and engaging in crazy relay race antics with my Endeavor coworkers to celebrate Chilean Independence Day
– Stargazing in the San Pedro de Atacama desert
– Attending an International Selection Panel in Uruguay and becoming even more passionate about the Endeavor model for economic growth and development
– Ziplining in the mountains of Mendoza, Argentina
– Attending the ECLA program and learning basic business principles
– Trekking through Patagonia to see breathtaking glaciers

Young people in the Middle East are ready to innovate: Interview with Habib Haddad

This post originally appeared in Wamda. You can find the original post here.

Lebanese entrepreneur Habib Haddad is one of the Middle East’s biggest cheerleaders for the creation of a vibrant startup culture. As founder and CEO of Yamli.com, a search engine allowing users to type in Arabic without an Arabic keyboard, he has illustrated the region’s vast potential.

Haddad, 30, has been at the center of the Arab world’s rising ecosystem almost from the start. In 2005, he co-founded INLET, International Network of Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Technologists, which supports Arab-inspired entrepreneurship. He also formed Relief Lebanon, a grassroots campaign that aided Lebanese during and after the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Haddad has a bachelor’s degree in computer and communication engineering from the American University in Beirut and a master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. In his latest enterprise, Haddad has turned his attention to budding mentorship programs in the Middle East and North Africa. In July, he took over Wamda, an Arab company aimed at fostering early stage entrepreneurship in the region by inspiring, empowering and investing in local entrepreneurs. It is supported by Abraaj Capital — the powerhouse private equity group in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

Six questions to ask a potential angel investor

Reprinted from growvc.com. See the original article here.

By Daniela Baker

Many entrepreneurs wonder if they may vet investors just as they are to be evaluated in turn. The answer is yes! These are people who may be investing in your company so not only do you have a right but a duty to find out as much about them and their investment strategy as you can. Doing so will save you significant time and energy.

The best strategy is to ask the following six questions before you reveal the details of your business concept. If any investor is hesitant to answer, move on to the next.

Have they invested in other companies over the past 6 months, year, two years? Before revealing too much about your business concept you want to first determine whether this person is a genuine angel investor. A serious angel will have invested in at least one company over the time period noted above. If the angel has not made many (or any) investments during any one of these periods, ask for a realistic assessment of your chances to obtain funding. If you receive a vague response, such as “I’m currently reviewing several proposals” it may be that this person is not a genuine investor but only seeking to hear about new ideas. A common method for an investor to get out of a deal after they have obtained all the information about your concept is to attach unacceptable terms, such as significant input into business operations or unrealistic expectations of performance.

What are their specific criteria for investing in company? This question is one of the first you should ask. You want to know at what stage of the business they fund (i.e. concept, beta, product launch, first customer contract). If your needs don’t mesh with their funding strategy you can cross this investor off your list early in the process.

Do you have to pay them to present your pitch? In a survey conducted by the Angel Capital Association (ACA) in 2008, 62.2 percent of angle investors reported they do not charge fees to listen to presentations. Of the remaining 37.8 percent who do charge fees, the average amount was $580. For full details regarding presentation fees visit here.

How involved do they wish to be in the business? This runs the gamut from completely passive (“call me when you sell”) to active participation in day-to-day operations–complete with desk and phone—to everything in between. There is no right or wrong answer here just ensure that you are comfortable with the level of involvement (or noninvolvement) the investor desires to have.

Will they fund additional rounds, if needed? Most angels are focused on the short-term and seek to exit within 5 years or less. As a result, they don’t anticipate funding beyond the first round. However, many times additional funding is needed down the line and, while you can apply for a credit card to obtain needed funding, it pays to also explore just how deep each investor’s pocket is.

What is their exit strategy? As noted, most angel investors seek to exit within 5, perhaps 6 years. There are also investors who subscribe to the “early exit” model and seek to be out of the business with two or three.. The other end of the range has investors staying in for at least 10 years (these are the investors who may be willing to fund additional rounds). Again, no right or wrong answers here but just make sure that you and your investor are in agreement regarding exit strategy. Good luck!

Daniela Baker is a small business blogger at the credit card review website, CreditDonkey.com.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Ezequiel Farca presents second book, Path

Endeavor Entrepreneur Ezequiel Farca is the creative director and CEO of the design firm EZEQUIELFARCA, located in Mexico City. One of the most important designers in Mexico, Ezequiel Farca is known for his clean, modern, and sophisticated aesthetic. On Friday, April 27th, Farca will launch his second book, Path, with a cocktail party at the Hotel Americano from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at 518 West 27th Street, NYC.

“Path” compiles 18 years of work and shows the design process, drawings, sketches, and models of his most important projects, from architecture, interior architecture, furniture design, and product design in Mexico and abroad.

Farca’s story begins in Mexico City and has grown to inhabit great design cities all over the world:

Born in Mexico in 1967, Farca began his career at the Universidad Iberoamericana in the same city, with an Industrial Design Degree (1980-1991). He got a scholarship by the Western Washington University inWashington State, to continue his studies of Specialization in Industrial Design (1991- 1992). He completed his studies in design with a Master in Big Scale Architecture and Other Environments at the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain. He is now finishing an MBA at UCLA.

In 1995, Ezequiel opened his first design studio, and later on opened a furniture showroom in the heart of Polanco, a prestigious commercial and residential area in Mexico City. Ezequiel Farca was the first furniture designer to combine the talents of fashion designers, jewelers, and lifestyle designers of international renown.

Along the years, the more than 40 national and international distinctions and design awards that Ezequiel has won include the Quorum Award for the best designer in Mexico, the award for the Best Design for his famous lounger Zihua, the Best Product Design of the Year from the magazine Interior Design and the International Award of Design in 2008 and 2010, and the Red Dot and Design Preis in 2010. IDA 2011 competition, the silver award for the kitchen furniture category.Ezequiel Farca was named Best Designer of the Year 2007 by the magazine Ambientes, was the winner of the Icons of Design award of Architectural Record, and has been published in architecture and design magazines all over the world.

Ezequiel Farca is also well-known for design collaborations with the famous Mexican architects. Enrique Norten put him in charge of the furniture design of the exteriors of the famous Habita Hotel. Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon put him in charge of the furniture of Reforma 222 in Mexico City and for the hotel El Encanto in Acapulco, Gro. Other prestigious projects include the Hotel Ventanas del Paraiso in Los Cabos and the architectural development Los Veneros with Icon Group in Puerto Vallarta and Fairmont in Acapulco. Commercially, Farca’s firm EZEQUIELFARCA has designed products and ambiances of high profile for industrial customers such as José Cuervo, Stanza, Vitromex, Corian, Comex, Nouvel Studio, Aeromexico and Kartell, among others.

In 2007 and 2011, RM along with Arquine published the books EzequielFarca and Trayectoria distributed by the editorial house R.A.M. in the United States and Canada, and by Actar D in the European Union. The books can be found in the best architecture, design and art libraries around the world, including the library of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City, USA.  Check out “Path” on April 27th!

Farca collaborates with Endeavor staff members. L to R: Peter Olivier, Rebecca Plofker, Sasha Sadrai, Gerardo Cervantes, Maria Jose Cervantes

Gilt Groupe entrepreneurs tell their story: By Invitation Only

Gilt Groupe is an e-commerce website that provides instant insider access to today’s top designer labels, at up to 60% off retail. Founders Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson are active members of Endeavor’s global network, and were honored as High-Impact Entrepreneurs of the Year at our 2010 gala in New York City.

Now, Alexis and Alexandra have co-authored a book, By Invitation Only, that tells the story of Gilt Groupe’s establishment and its eventual rise to success as the #1 luxury flash sale website in the United States.

(To purchase the book, which hits stores on April 19th, click here and use the code “endeavor”.)

For further insights, Endeavor interviewed the successful duo. Here’s what they had to say…

What was your ‘AH-HA’ moment that lead to founding Gilt?

We loved shopping the bins of New York sample sales, and we knew that millions of people would respond if we could transfer to the Web the excitement of competing for top brand bargains.

Alexandra, with your experience in retail and Alexis, yours in e-commerce- how did this experience help shape the vision of Gilt?

Some of the core elements that define Gilt’s vision were influenced by our prior work experiences. These include well managed growth, a strong level of trust from customers, word of mouth marketing. When Alexis was at eBay it was the fastest growing company in history, so her expertise on how to manage explosive growth was invaluable when Gilt got on its own growth fast track. Alexis also learned plenty from e-Bay about e-commerce and the power of grassroots, word-of-mouth marketing. Not only did Alexis get the chance in her twenties to run a company within a company (eBay Canada) and help launch eBay Motors, she also drank the Kool-Aid of startup optimism and inspiration that would prove irresistible when she later launched her own startup with her cofounders.

Alexandra’s jobs at Louis Vuitton and Bulgari prepared her for tough sales meetings and gave her insights about customers by working with them face to face. She learned at these jobs that she would establish the trust of customers if she refused to sell them something that wouldn’t look right on them. Much of Gilt’s success is due to the insights Alexandra learned about earning the trust of customers and curating selections shrewdly to help customers look their best and get the best value. Plus, Alexandra knew firsthand that most brands had overstock that they literally burned, and that this was a problem waiting for an entrepreneurial solution.

Many Endeavor Entrepreneurs own family businesses. Were you friends before you started Gilt? Can you comment on maintaining your friendship as partners? Any advice?

We became friends when we met at Harvard University as undergrads and then became best friends at Harvard Business School. Being close friends who complemented each other well was an essential ingredient to Gilt’s success. The secret to staying friends when you’re in business together is to always make sure your professional relationship doesn’t busnify your friendship—your friendship should take priority and the time you spend together shouldn’t be just about business.

Was there an instance at the beginning where you had to veer from your path and change direction? What happened and how did you implement this change?

Our original business model had been designed to purchase brands’ leftovers. But if we stuck to this model, we would be left vulnerable to the booms and busts of the marketplace or be left dry in months like August when there is little excess inventory to buy. So we started reaching out to brands to try to buy into their current-season merchandise—in other words, place our order at the same time as department stores and full-price retailers. We figured that this would help brands drive their costs down (because manufacturers typically charge less per unit for larger orders). We were right: many brands were eager to work with us as more of a partner, instead of just giving us their excess inventory. We promised not to sell their merchandise at deep markdowns until it had been put on sale on the department store floors. But buying at the beginning of the season was not the same as buying leftovers. For one thing, we were not able to secure nearly as big a discount off the wholesale price. Merchandise produced specifically for us, rather than products taken off designers’ hands at the end of the season (at which point they were essentially sunk costs), was just never going to be as cheap.

We knew we were making ourselves slightly vulnerable because placing our orders six or nine months in advance didn’t exactly allow us to be nimble or to anticipate changes in fashion trends or in our membership growth. We’d even start having leftovers of our own to liquidate, in “final” sales, at even steeper discounts (luckily, our members loved these sales).

We also began discussions with certain brands about the possibility of producing capsule collections exclusively for Gilt. This would guarantee our brand partners more orders, allowing them to meet factory minimums, drive down their costs and increase their margins.

Gilt has an all star senior management team. Can you talk about the process of bringing in more people and scaling? How did you develop a senior management team and decide to bring in an outside CEO?

At the same time that Alexis was feeling the need to switch out of the CEO role, Susan Lyne was on our board and was interested enough in Gilt to consider becoming our CEO. We knew having a CEO of her stature would be a golden opportunity. We had to carefully prepare the rest of the company for this change and make sure that the culture would remain intact. One way we did so was by hiring and identifying evangelists that live our company values and can inspire their fellow employees.

Many of our entrepreneurs are looking to expand internationally. How did you decide to tackle the Japanese market? What have been your greatest challenges in growing abroad?

The appeal of launching Gilt in Japan was simple: an untapped market, no competitors, and access to the biggest luxury spenders in the world, not to mention plentiful inventory. By April 2008, with the very strong urging of the board, we’d made the decision to launch our first international business out of Tokyo. The biggest challenge to the Japan launch was learning that what worked to launch Gilt in the U.S. wouldn’t work there for cultural reasons. While the Japanese love the concept of “invite only” and “private” sales, they don’t really find it acceptable to e-mail friends outside their immediate circles with offers, or especially to profit from friends’ purchases. So much for our social and monetary incentives that we had used very effectively to grow Gilt in the U.S. But we learned what would work instead, which included a Tokyo press conference during which both of us spoke in carefully rehearsed Japanese.

The flash sale market has become saturated. How does Gilt continue to stand out among your competitors?

We have by far the strongest relationships with the very best brands and we’re very careful about how we curate our offerings to serve our customers and earn their trust accordingly. We also invest heavily in presentation and photography which makes all the difference in showing our customers the appeal of any item we sell. We also offer one of the fastest ecommerce experiences around.

Equally, how did you decide to go into other markets like home, food and travel? what have been the challenges in this expansion so far?

We’d always known the site would sell much more than women’s and men’s fashion, and in each category—partly because our competition was nipping at our heels—we made it a priority to launch fast and get a foothold in the home, food and travel markets before other companies did.

What inspired you to write a book on your experiences? How much of ‘by invitation only’ offers lessons to inspiring entrepreneurs?

Helping other entrepreneurs or entrepreneurship dreamers is exactly why we wrote this book. We take readers through all of our toughest decisions and share many lessons we learned along the way from how to get funding to scaling, hiring and leading and everything in between. We hope the book will help entrepreneurs start the business of their dreams and grow it to its full potential.

What’s the greatest advice you received when launched Gilt?

To avoid the dire consequences of rapid growth by anticipating what could overwhelm your systems.

What are you most excited about in the next year? Where do you see Gilt five years from now?

We continue to refine our business model according to the changing needs and desires of our customers as we deepen our relationship with them. We hope to improve personalization for our members by creating a shopping environment that feels tailor made to the preferences of each of our members. Many surprises to come, but Gilt will stay true to its core.

Dow Jones VentureWire: Intel Capital and Endeavor Catalyst back Minha Vida, the ‘WebMD of Brazil’

This article is reprinted from Dow Jones VentureWire. The original version can be found here.

Intel Capital has teamed up with Endeavor Catalyst, the equity investing division of nonprofit Endeavor Global Inc., to fund Minha Vida, a health-and-wellness Web portal that one investor described as the “WebMD of Brazil.” Further details about the funding were not provided.

Founded in 2004, Minha Vida offers an all-in-Portuguese Internet portal that connects consumers to a wide range of health information, professionals and social networks related to health, company materials said. The only such service of its kind in Brazil, Minha Vida boasts 8 million visitors per month, 14 million registered users and tens of millions of page views per month.

The investment marks Intel Capital’s first Brazil investment this year, and the second ever for Endeavor Catalyst, still a fairly new part of Endeavor, said Baily Kempner, a director at Endeavor.

Intel Capital, which invests globally, backed five Brazilian companies last year, and has put a total of $75 million into Brazilian companies since it began investing there, the firm said. Intel Capital began investing in Latin America in 1999. An attempt to reach the firm was not immediately successful.

For Endeavor Catalyst, the investment follows a February investment of $2 million in Globant, a software development company headquartered in Argentina. Though part of a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurship worldwide, Endeavor Catalyst makes equity investments, with the understanding that any profits will be plowed back into the organization, which over the years has mentored and helped some 700 entrepreneurs launching new businesses, Kempner said.

New York-based Endeavor Catalyst is in the process of raising a fund that the group hopes will grow to $50 million over the next several years, and has raised $12 million to date, Kempner said. The fund does not have limited partners, but donors, she added.

Donors in the fund include True North Venture Partners Chairman Michael Ahearn, former Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr., Accretive LLC Managing Partner Michael Cline, Greylock PartnersPartner Reid Hoffman, Abraaj Capital founder Arif Naqvi and Omidyar Network founder Pierre Omidyar, Endeavor Catalyst has said.

Aggreko purchases Endeavor Entrepreneur company Poit Energia for £140 million

The Brazilian temporary infrastructure company Poit Energia, started by Endeavor Entrepreneur Wilson Poit, was recently bought by Scottish temporary power group Aggreko for £140 million GBP ($220 million USD). This marks the largest deal ever done by a Brazilian Endeavor Entrepreneur. The high sales price is also reflective of Poit’s incredible growth in the Brazilian, Chilean, Peruvian, and Argentine markets over the last 13 years. Poit earned £46 million GBP in revenue last year, and has posted a 45% compound annual growth rate over the last 3 years. They also have a fleet of over 1,300 generators, and over 450 employees in their 18 depot locations throughout Latin America, making them the largest temporary energy resource in these markets.

Started in 1999, Poit Energia has been an incredible success for founder Wilson Poit. After getting his degree in Industrial Engineering, he took a look at how to overhaul the ineffective Brazilian Generator industry. Creating a scaleable business of leasing state-of-the-art generators and temporary power equipment, Poit Energia grew quickly to dominate the market. The founder is also deeply passionate about the environment, and has integrated strict recycling and sustainability measures into Poit Energia’s business. For his work, Poit was recognized as one of the “Entrepreneurs of the New Brazil” in 2002, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

However, selling his namesake company doesn’t mean that Poit will be leaving the business he grew from the ground up. As Aggreko expands their operations for the first time into Latin America, they need experts in the local market and have reached a deal to keep Wilson Poit and his management team running Poit for the next year. His expertise will be crucial for Aggreko, as they have a set goal of doubling Poit’s facilities in Latin America in the next few years. This will be the fifth acquisition of a local company which Aggreko has done in the last 4 years, and their stock price surged 1.25% after the announcement of the merger, indicating positive investor opinion of Poit’s Latin American business.

This sale will also mark the largest equity donation of an entrepreneur to Endeavor. Picked in 2002 by Endeavor’s International Selection Panel, Poit has since been a valuable and active member of the Endeavor network. When reached for comment about the sale he stated, “It is just the beginning of a long high-impact journey…I learned to dream big with Endeavor.”

Endeavor Entrepreneur Levent Yilmaz profiled in The National

Newly selected Endeavor Entrepreneur Levent Yilmaz was profiled by The National in an article highlighting the success story behind Baydöner, his restaurant chain in Turkey, which last year added 27 locations and increased revenues by 90 percent.

Much of this success comes from the founder “knowing his numbers”:

To get the biggest bang for each lira, Mr Yilmaz’s chain offers just one main dish and only six sides so that food procurement costs and food wastage are kept to a minimum. His employees are trained to turn around every order in an average of only seven minutes. And each customer is usually out the door within half an hour, with the same chair often being used more than 10 times in rapid succession, “which is providing us lots of efficiency”, said Mr Yilmaz.

At Endeavor’s recent International Selection Panel in Dubai, judges picked a total of 20 entrepreneurs, including Levent. Now he wants to expand further, including outside of Turkey.

“We need a very important thing: an international network,” Mr Yilmaz said at the selection meeting. “In Turkey and here [in Dubai], it was excellent to meet with the members of Endeavor. They gave us very good clues and strategic advice.”

Muwaffa Lahham, ISP panelist and chief executive of E3, a healthcare IT company in the UAE, was quoted as saying networks like Endeavor can help entrepreneurs to speed up the growth process by providing valuable introductions and by lending credibility to relatively unknown ventures.

“It helps a lot when you are part of an ecosystem,” said Mr Lahham, who, as a panellist during Endeavor’s event, spoke about doing business in the Middle East. “You’re just sharing your struggles and your strategies and progress and improvements, so that network is great.”

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