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The Istanbul-based Iyzico, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Barbaros Özbugutu and Tahsin Isın, raised a $6.2 million Series B round of funding led by IFC, 212 and Speedinvest, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst. The payments company provides a platform to […]
May 28th, 2015 — by adminRead more
In the news
Endeavor Entrepreneur Guibert Englebienne, co-founder of Globant, was recently named chairman of Endeavor Argentina‘s board. The news was covered in La Nacion, a top Argentine newspaper, recognizing the work of Endeavor in the region and […]
June 16th, 2014 — by adminRead more
Latest Video(video) Endeavor Greece Celebrates Two Years and 3,500+ Jobs Created By Its Entrepreneurs
December 18th, 2014
Prominent entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin was in Istanbul last week, and graciously visited the Endeavor Turkey office on February 23 to meet with numerous Endeavor Entrepreneurs and other members of the local Endeavor network. Check out video clips below.
In a speech, Godin had this to say about Endeavor’s model:
What’s exciting to me about Endeavor’s mission is Endeavor surrounds entrepreneurs with people who are probably thinking about the opportunity differently. When you add this perspective to the entrepreneurs’ ideas, then you have a chance to create a new norm. But since the entrepreneur is leading an initiative that’s never been done before, the road map of where he wants to go and how he’s going to get there becomes imperative; yet, nobody can tell him exactly how to embark on this unknown adventure step-by-step. Local knowledge is essential but more essential than that is Endeavor’s role as a compass providing a sense of direction to help entrepreneurs figure out where they are and where they want to go.
More generally, Godin discussed the common mindset of pursuing careers that are safe, valuing complacency over risk. This, he says, is where entrepreneurs come in. “Any time you find yourself doing a routine ‘job,'” he says, “you need to fire yourself. An entrepreneur’s job is to think.”
He also offered specific tips for running a business — for instance, the importance of “think[ing] of solutions where you would reduce the risk of the person to whom you are selling your product.”
Referring to Endeavor’s goal of helping entrepreneurs scale their business, Godin also discussed limiting forces that keep entrepreneurs from growing infinitely big, and answered common questions from Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Overall, the Entrepreneurs found Godin’s advice to be extremely valuable, and appreciated the chance to participate in this special event.
Thank you to Büke Çuhadar from Endeavor Turkey for contributing to this article.
During the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona this week, Felipe, Prince of Asturias recognized a group of entrepreneurs, including Endeavor Entrepreneur Arturo Galvan, Founder & CEO of Naranya, for their innovation in the mobile arena of the Spanish speaking world. Arturo, selected by Endeavor last December, was the only Latin American in the group. Naranya develops interactive media products and specializes in the mobile entertainment and mobile marketing world.
Edgar Bronfman, Jr., outgoing Chairman of Warner Music Group and Chairman of Endeavor Global, gave a wide-ranging interview on the “D: Dive Into Media” stage, offering insights on the future of digital and mobile music among other topics.
Endeavor supports a large number of innovative entrepreneurs in the mobile space. In addition to Arturo, the following Endeavor Entrepreneurs are participating in this week’s conference:
Felipe Valdes (Tiaxa) – Chile
Provides the mobile telecom market with infrastructure, clearinghouse and revenue enhancement services, increasing revenues for major operators around the world
Labib Shalak (Mobinets) – Lebanon
Provides Next Generation OSS systems that enable operators to design, build and operate current and future networks, especially to overcome challenges on the transmission side
Bahadir Kuru and Başar Akpınar (PI Works) – Turkey
Provides network optimization products used by voice or data wireless operators to increase the capacity and decrease the operating and capital expenditures
Fatih Isbecer (Pozitron) – Turkey
A top mobile software developer that has partnered with such firms as Apple, IBM, and Microsoft
Endeavor Entrepreneur Zafer Younis (The Online Project) shares his tips on carving a social media presence for small and growing businesses.
Reprinted from www.wamda.com.
Two years ago, The Online Project began offering social media utilization services to companies in the Middle East. As one of the region’s first social media agencies, we serviced clients from a variety of industries and budgets. With unique differentiators, one constant was observed from the start: every enterprise we dealt with had the opportunity to benefit from social media.
Today, our experience has grown deeper across multiple disciplines and this constant still remains true so long as companies begin their exploration on social media outlets with a strategy and direction of where they aim to be.
The opportunity for SMEs to benefit from social media utilization has not dwindled. However, like any marketing or outreach exercise, the beginning can be daunting, so we have prepared this basic guideline for how to approach your endeavors on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media platform you wish to pursue.
Step 1: Identify your goals
Clearly articulating your goals before getting started will guide your strategy, allow you to track your progress and end results. By understanding the objectives you want to achieve first, you and your team will be able to ask yourselves if your actions support achieving that end goal.
Once you identify your goals, it’s important to determine how you will measure them. The online world is full of factors to be measured; identify the metrics that will let you know if you’re getting closer or further from the end picture.
Companies that are using social media to drive sales will have to look at very different metrics than companies who are using it for solving customer care issues or for marketing.
Step 2: Identify your audience and your platforms
Once you know what you want to do and how you will measure your success, you need to articulate who you plan to reach.
Knowing your target audience will allow you to develop a relevant communication plan, and most importantly it will guide you in what platforms to use. Not all social media opportunities are created equally and no two popular social networking platforms cater to the exact kind of audience. Know who you want to reach and then decide where to go to find them.
Step 3: Write down your timeline and milestones
Before we began working with some of the most recognized brands in the region, we experimented on social media with our own brands – the first being a Jordanian based radio station that caters to a young audience.
We knew we wanted to be on Facebook because that is where our audience was, so we broke down our plan to “conquer” Facebook into smaller phases. Each phase had a milestone related to our overall goal, which allowed us to track our progress in smaller steps.
Step 4: Prepare your content
Each brand and community has its own unique personality, which you articulate through content. Preparing content beforehand will give enough time to plan things ahead, like testing variant content, times to post and study the results, it will also help reduce the amount of time the community manager will spend on this task. Instead of doing it daily, it will be done on weekly bases resulting in higher efficiency.
Step 5: Find your most passionate users
The first movers into your community are the ones that set the tone and direction more than you will, which is why it’s important to bring in your brand advocates to start.
Brand advocates are like key players in sports, not only will they strengthen your community from the inside but they will also help spread your brand to wider and more variable audience; they sometimes even spread it into different platforms.
Identify your advocates and invite them to your shared space.
Step 6: Engage, engage, engage
A social media strategy has to revolve around one main element: being social. Let people take advantage of communicating with you to develop a true community around your organization or brand and that is when you’ll begin to see the benefits of going social.
This 6-step process is essential to get you started on social media. Once you’re there and you begin building your community, it’s important to listen to the conversation and see where your community takes you. User generated conversations and content will open up a world of possibilities to grow your brand and improve your services and products.
Zafer Younis is a marketing specialist who is paving new ways for companies to connect with their consumers in the digital space. He is the co-founder and CEO of The Online Project where his team develops and executes social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and high profile organizations operating in the Middle East and North Africa.
By Donna Gunter
I discovered a few years ago that I had accidentally stumbled upon the new wave of marketing, now referred to as content marketing, as I went about my regular marketing activities. As a card carrying introvert, it’s just always been so much easier to share my knowledge with others rather than trying to sell myself or my products. Ironically enough, that strategy has proven insanely successful for me. At the time, I never looked upon it as a strategy or a system — I just did what naturally came to me. Who knew that I was on the cusp of the newest marketing system about to be adopted by all sorts of companies around the globe?
Today, there is a huge focus on content marketing, and it’s become an entire industry, ironically enough. In a nutshell, content marketing has been defined as a way of communicating with your customers and your prospect without selling. Instead, you deliver valuable information to them that helps them solve their day-to-day problems, rather than constantly pitching your products and services to them.
Why does it work so well? Consumers have become numb from marketing overwhelm between the television, radio, and magazine advertising, as well as online banner ads. They have learned to tune out everything that doesn’t relate to their current issue at hand, but will pay attention to great sources that help them in their search for relevant information. They then reward that sharing of valuable information with their loyalty by purchasing from you, someone that they like, know and trust.
Here are 5 proven strategies to help you use your content to turn prospects into buyers via content marketing:
1. Provide great information. Great content is not equal to a thinly disguised sales pitch for a product. If you’re going to bother to create content for your target market, make it worthwhile for them to read. Provide at least 2 valuable tips your reader can use to move forward or solve an issue. Please don’t waste their time by focusing your entire piece of content on why they have the problem. They already know that a problem exists — they are coming to you for solutions.
2. Mix it up. I just read that today’s teens and 20-somethings rely less and less on web sites as way to get the solutions to their problems, and their use of email is practically non-existent. So, take your content and package it in a variety of formats and reach out to your prospects where they are or where they hang out, like an audio podcast on iTunes, a screencast video on YouTube, a slide show on Slideshare, quick tips on Twitter and Facebook, or in app for their iPhone or iPad.
3. Boring makes them leave. Just because you’re providing some educational tidbits to your target market doesn’t mean you have to go about it in a boring manner. Put on your copywriting hat and create compelling headlines that make them want to read, view or listen to what you have created. Share your personality and your sense of humor — let you authenticity shine through. Tell entertaining stories that illustrate what you’re talking about,
4. Start with your web site. Even though more and more consumers are getting their information from user-generated sites like iTunes or You Tube, your web site is still your home base and your primary repository for your content. However, you need to educate your visitors on all pages of your site, rather than trying to sell them. Start with your home page and let visitors clearly picture who you are and how you help them solve their problems. Get your prospects to resonate with you by sharing your personal story on your About page. Continue to educate your prospects about what you do and how you do it via your FAQ page.
5. Don’t stop at the sale. Your best customers are those who have already purchased from you. Don’t drop your customers off a cliff once you’ve sold them something. Keep the love alive by continuing to educate them about other issues to which you have solutions, and that will help you build more sales.
Take Action Strategy
If you’re not yet in the business of educating your prospects, there’s no time like today to start that process. You’ll find educating your customers via content marketing a much more rewarding way of marketing your business.
Internet Marketing Coach Donna Gunter helps professional service businesses stop the client chase and create online businesses that drive clients to them. She invites readers to download her free ebook, Turbocharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at http://www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com
The following press release was issued by Endeavor company The Integr8 Group. Founded in 2001 by Lance Faranoff and Robert Sussman, Integr8 is the largest privately held ICT company on the African continent, providing a complete range of sophisticated IT outsourcing services.
The Integr8 Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned ICT managed services provider, is the number one Managed Service Provider (MSP) in South Africa for the second consecutive year, the third best in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) and the only South African company amongst the top thirty five worldwide.
This is according to the latest MSPmentor 100 Report brought out by the global guide to managed services produced by Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media. The annual report is a culmination of analysis and expert review by international industry specialists. It is based on calculated index measurement metrics that include overall managed services revenue, overall managed services revenue growth and number of devices managed, as well as global standards. This is the second year in a row Integr8 has been listed as the top MSP in SA and also the second year running it has achieved listing amongst the top fifty companies globally, with a ranking of 33rd.
Robert Sussman, joint CEO at Integr8, is immensely proud of the company’s proven position in the way it delivers its leading edge services. He believes this success is down to a combination of over a decade’s worth of experience in building the technology, educating the best minds in the industry and instilling a culture of relentless winners. The core aggregation of this comes together in the company’s client centric entrenched Nerve Centre® operation and leveraged platform.
“The Nerve Centre® has once again been recognized as a leading core offering where we differentiate ourselves by not only the innovative services provided, but the way in which these are provisioned. An independent rating from MSPmentor, solidifies our roadmap, whereby we are comfortable that we remain 18 to 24 months ahead of the closest global competitor,” says Sussman.
“We have the critical mass the publically traded companies maintain, yet we have coupled entrepreneurial innovation that is core to our value system as we are one hundred percent privately owned by people that work in the company. Our Nerve Centre® is a cohesive, tight unit and we are able to deliver a proactive, instantaneous service as a result of this operation and the established platform that we have developed. This incorporates our technology insight, infrastructure, expertise, intelligence and ability to pro-act on change, not react to it. This is what the market demands and this is the level of agility we have to continue to instill,” he adds.
The Fifth Annual MSPmentor 100 Report, incorporating a list of the world’s top 100 MSPs was unveiled in a live webcast on 15 February.
Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a panel at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.
Overview: This panel of leading US venture capitalist explores the role of US venture investment in emerging markets and discusses both the challenges and opportunities of investing in entrepreneurs abroad.
Moderator – Phil Wickham: President and CEO Kauffman Fellows Program – The Center for Venture Education
Matt Cohler; General Partner, Benchmark
Jeff Bussgang; General Partner, Flybridge Capital and author of Mastering the VC Game
Dave McClure; Founding Partner, 500 Startups
Stuart Francis; Vice Chairman, Barclays Capital
Dan Senor; Senior Advisor, Eliot Management and Co-author Startup Nation
Phil: We’re here to talk about venture capital in emerging markets, and we’ve got an expert panel from Silicon with some insights from other parts of the world and want to jump right into their ideas and contents for your benefit.
Phil Introduces panelists:
Dan Senor is with Eliot Management. He’s a co-author of Startup Nation, well immersed in the New York and Israeli dynamic.
Stuart Fancis is the Vice Chairman of Barclay’s Capital. Stu is our authority on capital markets.
Dave McClure from 500 Startups is one of the real pioneers in the angel wave.
Jeff Bussgang, from Flybridge Capital. Jeff is a start-up manager extraordinaire, an author extraordinaire, a teacher extraordinaire—he teaches with us at the Kauffman Fellows Program—and has put together one of the hot young venture brands, carrying the flag for the Boston venture market.
Matthew Cohler, of Benchmark. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Benchmark is not only one of the premier brands in terms of returns but in terms of conduct and entrepreneur eccentricity. Has been characterized as “the most networked person on earth.”
We have a pretty deep relationship with Endeavor. We know a lot of the entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs that come out of this ecosystem are nothing short of spectacular. Not just in terms of performance but in the tough environments in which they work. (more…)
B-Fit, started by serial entrepreneur Bedriye Hülya, joined Endeavor in 2009. B-fit is the first chain of women-only gyms in Turkey, and uses a franchising model which empowers other Turkish women as they are entirely women staffed and managed.
B-fit, the first women-only gym chain in Turkey, which empowers women by selling franchises to women entrepreneurs only, is also attracting investment in overseas franchises as its business grows larger.
It is currently aiming to have a total of 300 branches by the end of 2012.
B-fit is a 100-percent Turkish brand and a workout program designed for women to get slim through 30-minute workout sessions in which the exercise changes every 30 seconds while the women exercising follow the instructor. Women of all ages come to work out at the sessions which professional trainers with college degrees in the field conduct. Also, each participant’s pulse is measured every 10 minutes during the session to make sure everything is going well.
The founder of the business, Bedriye Hülya, told Sunday’s Zaman she attended a similar workout program in the US while studying psychology in New York. She also studied circuit training, after which she decided to start her own business in the field. Hülya said she researched the machines and their functions and talked to almost every single machine producer in the US before she started her business. She had already moved back to Turkey and, after two years of going back and forth between the US and Turkey to develop the right machines for her b-fit program, she finally started her business in 2006 in the western province of İzmir.
Hülya was cited as an example of one of Turkey’s great entrepreneurs by US Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke at the Second Global Entrepreneurship Summit in İstanbul during his visit to Turkey in December. She was also chosen as one of Turkey’s best entrepreneurs by endeavor.org in 2009.
The gym saw a lot of participation from the women of İzmir, which is also Hülya’s hometown. In the course of a year, Hülya had opened two more gyms in İzmir and one in İstanbul. The business got a lot of attention after Hülya gave a newspaper interview, with women demanding a franchise license. B-fit opened another 10 gyms in 2007, another 15 in 2008, another 30 in 2009 and another 52 in 2010 throughout the country, in addition to branches in Northern Cyprus as well as a branch in Germany. Although the numbers for 2011 have not yet been released, Hülya said it should be well over 52 branches. She added that the company’s target is to have open 300 b-fit gyms in total by the end of the year. The main areas where b-fit would like to sell franchises are the Black Sea and central Anatolian regions. The company also plans to increase the number of branches abroad, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East, in the coming years to give women a chance to empower themselves in developing countries.
Hülya noted b-fit is a great opportunity for women to start their own business and calls the company’s policy to only sell franchises to women positive discrimination. She said even though it may be difficult for women to adapt to a work environment since they are not used to it and may be easily de-motivated by the challenges that come with the job, women are very creative, pay attention to small details and understand each other very well. She added that working with only women is the main driver of the company’s success and rapid growth.
Company procedures require that women who plan to open a franchise gym be ambitious and friendly. These women must also be in need — this doesn’t necessarily mean financial need, but they have a need for success, fulfillment or achievement. They must be solution-oriented individuals rather than problem-oriented. A franchise costs TL 60,000, which covers the costs of machines, brand rights and furniture. Hülya says franchisees must give 4 percent of their earnings to b-fit and recommends they implement company rules well in order to be successful in the business. The company requires franchisees to offer a seminar once a month about nutrition and healthy eating, in addition to organizing member activities such as going out to dinners, events, movies and the theater. B-fit sends out inspectors to branches and also checks on them by sending out secret customers.
B-fit chose a clear apple on a green background as its symbol for promoting a healthy lifestyle. So far, the company has 80,000 members who have lost 50 tons of weight. Fifty percent of their members are working women, 30 percent are housewives while 20 percent are students. The monthly fee for membership varies between TL 50 and TL 150, depending on the location of the gym, and it provides an additional 20 percent discount to students.
The following comes from recent Princeton University graduate Julia Kaplan, who is working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs in Mexico as part of the PiLA program.
The Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) is a non-profit organization that has been partnering with non-profits throughout Latin America since 2002 to match them with young, public sector professionals seeking full-year fellowships in development work. The program was co-founded by Endeavor staff member Allen Taylor.
When I told people I was going to live in Mexico City for a year, the most common response I heard was, “Are you crazy?” Let’s just say that most Americans have a very narrow perspective of Mexico, informed by various negative news reports and State Department travel warnings. However, I had done my research, and knew that there was much more to Mexico than security issues, including an exciting, fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem that I was about to join as a Princeton in Latin America fellow at Endeavor Mexico. And in fact, my time in the bustling metropolis of “el DF” has been a truly exciting adventure.
My job at Endeavor Mexico, in the Search & Selection area, involves profiling our entrepreneur candidates so that when mentors come to Local and International Selection Panels, they have a strong understanding of the entrepreneur and their business before interviewing them. This allows Endeavor to make the most of the limited time they have at selection panels to screen and select the most promising high-impact entrepreneurs. The Endeavor profile may seem like a simple report on the surface, but many hours of work go into its creation. I get to know the entrepreneurs’ businesses inside and out as I accompany them to interviews with Endeavor mentors and hold one-on-one sessions to get in-depth insights into their operating model, governance structure, company culture, and personal story. The range of individuals and companies we work with is astounding, and I have come to have a deep understanding of fields as diverse as mobile technology, personal care products, organic agriculture, and software, to name a few.
I have also learned a lot from the people I interact with, including my coworkers — who are not only my colleagues, but also my friends. This is definitely the most fun office I have ever worked in! I also learn so much from the entrepreneurs, and especially our fantastic mentors, who always have something new to teach us about the business world. And this all happens in Spanish! At first I was very conscious of the language barrier, but now it has become second nature to me, which is one of my biggest accomplishments from my time so far in Mexico.
Apart from all that I have learned in the office, there is so much that daily life in Mexico City has taught me, such as:
– How to squeeze onto an unbelievably crowded bus in the morning and live to tell the tale
– When to properly use the ever-present guey and the many other Mexican slang words
– Appreciating quesadillas de huitlacoche—that would be corn fungus, and yes, it’s delicious
– The necessity of greeting everyone with a kiss on the cheek in all circumstances—just shaking hands would be rude!
– How to cook a turkey…
That last one might seem random, but one thing I have noticed is that I have as much to teach my Mexican friends as they do to teach me, and I absolutely had to cook them Thanksgiving dinner! That is one example of the moments I would have never had if I stayed in the US after graduating. I am so glad I came to Endeavor Mexico for this incredible and unique experience!
Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.
Overview: As one of the highlights of the Summit, Linda Rottenberg joined Marc Benioff on the stage to host a conversation and facilitate audience questions. Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, discusses the transformational impact of cloud computing technology and the extraordinary opportunities for entrepreneurs to make an impact today.
Bio: Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. He founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand information management service that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff is regarded as the leader of what he has termed “The End of Software,” the now-proven belief that multitenant, cloud computing applications democratize information by delivering immediate benefits at reduced risks and costs. For the full bio, click here.
Linda: Marc Benioff’s story epitomizes the journey in Silicon Valley from 1980 to today. He started off launching his first company at 15. He then paid his way through college by becoming a programmer at Apple with Steve Jobs working with them in 1984. He then spent 13 years at Oracle working his way up to the inner circles of Oracle, very close to Larry Ellison. And then an unusual decision: at 32, he decided he was a bit burned out and he would go on a sabbatical to India and Hawaii. Then he came back and said he needed a different type of experience. (more…)
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