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Mexico’s Ver De Verdad Launches First Mobile Eyecare Network in Mexico

Ver de Verdad, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Hugo Moreno González, is a retailer of  affordable, high- quality and stylish eyeglasses and accessories primarily serving low-income Mexican consumers. The retailer recently announced that it is introducing […]

October 31st, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Affiliates Show Support for Global Entrepreneurship Week Around the World

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) kicked off last Monday, November 18th with a slew of activities in celebration of the innovators and leaders who are transforming economies and promoting ecosystems of entrepreneurship worldwide. Taking place each […]

November 25th, 2013 — by admin

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Company press release: Smowtion celebrates its third anniversary

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Just three years ago this month, Smowtion (www.smowtion.com), a technology company focused on providing products and support for advertising networks, was a startup in the burgeoning Latin American high-tech sector. Today as an established Sell Side Platform (SSP) with more than 150,000 long tail publishers in 130 countries, the company has achieved all of its early goals and more.

The numbers speak loudly of Smowtion’s success in a highly competitive industry:

– 250 million unique users worldwide
– 5 billion monthly impressions
– 5,000 ads served per second
– $3 million paid to publishers

“From the beginning, providing extraordinary customer service has been our number one priority,” said Andres Alterini, Smowtion’s CEO. “Our success is based on helping advertisers reach the right audience and ensuring that publishers always have ads to run. It’s a balance that has served us well.”

To meet the demanding requirements of a world-class customer service operation, Smowtion has increased its workforce tenfold since 2008, added U.S. offices in Palo Alto and Miami and fortified its high-performance, geographically distributed technology. The results have been impressive:

– 200 million rows of revenue data, impressions, clicks and conversions are processed every hour
– 30,000 sites are automatically reviewed and audited for content compliance every day
automated fraud prevention mechanisms constantly audit advertising traffic

“Another factor that has contributed to our growth is the excellent relationship we enjoy with partners like Yahoo, RightMedia AppNexus, OpenX, TrustE, ComScore, Quantcast and Facebook,” said Alterini. “As the world economy improves, Smowtion’s prospects for the coming years seem brighter than ever.”

Part of the process of evolving from a startup to a fully-realized member of the Internet publishing community is the acceptance of corporate responsibility. To this end, Smowtion, as a member of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), has joined with many of the industry’s largest players to take part in an effort to protect online privacy by accepting the industry’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA).

About Smowtion

Smowtion is a technology company specializing in developing products and solutions that help target quality audiences for the online advertising industry. Its proprietary technology helps more than 150,000 publishers—including Web sites, blogs and social networking sites that reach over 250 million users worldwide—through display ads and customized solutions. In 2010, Smowtion was included on Endeavor’s List of High-Impact Entrepreneurs at the 36th International Selection Committee.

Stanford launches Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies

Thanks to a generous gift of $150 million to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies has been established to work towards alleviating poverty through entrepreneurship and innovation. The donation, from alum Robert King (’60) and his wife Dorothy, was given out of compassion for the world’s 2 billion people that live on less than $1.25 a day, and a belief that entrepreneurs in these developing economies are the engines of growth. The institute is dedicated to research, education, and support for organizations on the ground.

The institute whose acronym is “SIIDE”, but is pronounced and known as “SEED” to signify possibility and growth, will partner with Endeavor in order to amplify their impact on mentoring and scaling high impact entrepreneurs. Garth Saloner, the Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business said, “This initiative is an enormous opportunity for Stanford students, faculty, and on-the-ground entrepreneurs to collaborate on the design and incubation of new enterprises and solutions.” As an example of an organization achieving global impact, he cited MercadoLibre, an enterprise launched with support from Endeavor which is now Latin America’s leading e-commerce business, employing some 1,500 people.

SEED’s first research forum will be held March 5-6, 2012 to explore research opportunities in developing economies.

The press release for SEED’s launching can be found here.

And to read economist Jared Bernstein’s recent op-ed in the New York Times on the importance of new businesses and growing small businesses into larger operations click here.


Endeavor November 2011 newsletter

To view Endeavor’s November newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

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Under 30 CEO: Top 50 events for young entrepreneurs

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

By Matt Wilson

Introducing the Top 50 Events for Young Entrepreneurs…

1). CEO National–Imagine what happens when over 1,000 college entrepreneurs get together in one giant convention center for a weekend full of keynotes, workshops and lots of “networking”. The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization holds a soft spot in our heart as Under30CEO was launched in Chicago at this very conference, where we keynoted and threw quite the after party.

2.) SXSW–If you can only get to one conference each year or are launching a startup, you may want to consider SXSW. Austin hosts one the most serious interactive, film and music festivals in the world, but it’s getting a little oversold these days. Be sure to find a place to stay months in advance to guarantee a place to stay.

3.) Big Omaha–This is what SXSW was before the hype. Silicon Prairie is a great location for a conference because unlike swanky events in Miami or LA, people actually come for the conference. Last year we completed the experience by sleeping in an RV in Iowa.

4.) Startup Weekend–Want to launch a company in 54 hours? Find a Startup Weekend in your region of the globe, pitch your idea and build a team around it. Go from idea to a hacked together business in a single weekend. “No Talk. All Action.”

5.) Summit Series–While most of the events on this list will be open to the public, this event is invite only. Are you scheming to change the world? Then this is the place for you. Richard Branson and NFL Linebacker/Bow-tie entrepreneur Dhani Jones were some of the last in attendance to this laid back environment of people who are truly making it happen.
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Happy Halloween from Endeavor Global!

Keeping your business ahead of the curve: articles worth reading

Reprinted with permission from smallbiztrends.com. See the original post here.

Keeping your small business ahead of the curve in a competitive economy is no easy task. It requires a lot of attention to detail, for example, carefully examining your small business and looking for any areas where efficiency or productivity can be improved. There are lots of ways to stay competitive. Read our roundup for tips and other important news for your small business.

Operations

How to stay ahead of the curve and be successful. To truly stay ahead of the curve, you must do better and be more thorough than everybody else. This usually means putting in more worthwhile effort than your competitors. To accomplish this, you must set your own standards, ones that surpass the norm, find the need that isn’t being met and pursue it, do things better than everybody else and go the extra mile. Finally, do the new and unexpected and do it well. Following these suggestions will help you dominate the field. Open Forum

Why content marketing is still king. Surveys show that content marketing now surpasses all other types of marketing. Content marketing has gained popularity due to its ability to economically bring in meaningful leads in a controlled environment. Entrepreneur

Strategy

Take a close look at your website. Is it designed around one product or service or is it designed to attract customers who will take a look at you and want to be associated with you over a long period of time? The problem with the former is that you will have to find new customers all the time. Instead, help your customers look at how using your product or service will help them expand their business. Small Business Brief

10 secrets of successful leaders. The author quotes Eleanor Roosevelt, “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” You have a great idea for a new product. You develope it, set up your small business, line up your financing, market your product and started selling. But how will your organization operate? How will you lead and develop your employees? The article discusses ten ideas gathered from successful leaders that you should consider. Entrepreneur

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Managing stress, achieving success: A great list of recent articles for entrepreneurs

Reprinted with permission from Smallbiztrends.com. See the original post here.

Managing stress in small business is a part of the territory. How stressful is the work environment in your company? And how do you make a difference? What if you ran a small business in need of improvement?Where would you begin to make the necessary changes? Here is a list of resources to get you started.

Management

5 tips to manage your relationship with your boss. Believe it or not, bosses are human beings just like you. Some of them are more difficult to work for than others. You must remember that many of them are under extreme work stress which may affect their disposition. However, being able to establish a good working relationship with your boss will result in increasing your happiness and success at work. The article presents suggestions on how to develop this relationship. Main ST

Stress management key to keeping business (and owner) alive. Owning a small business is bound to create more stress than if you worked for someone else. You work more hours, get less rest, and have many more and different responsibilities. Finding the right balance between work and life is crucial both for you business and for you personally. The article lists suggestions on reducing and controlling stress in your life. To reduce work stress, an effective management structure and finding qualified help are probably the two most effective solutions. Business News Daily

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9 common mistakes tech startups make according to investors at Arabnet

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

By Omar Aysha

Some of the region’s top investors, during their panel discussion at Arabnet Cairo, shared their experiences of the most common mistakes tech startups make:

- Not thinking through the practicalities of executing an idea. Giving even a little thought to possible implementation challenges will save a lot of headaches later on.

- Thinking of the investment process as money only. Founders need to discover what value possible investors will add to the project, as this is at least as important as a cash injection.

- Overlooking the chemistry of the team. How the team, including the investment partners, works together is most important, so make sure visions are shared and everyone involved is a team-player.

- Having a bad or non-existent employee ownership scheme. Greedy founders only shoot themselves in the foot if they’re not willing to share possible future wealth, as employee ownership is a fundamental motivation tool.

- Not having a business plan. Financial plans are always wrong, but that’s no reason not to have them. Writing a financial plan teaches the founders the key financial concepts they will need to know to make their company successful.

- Lacking knowledge about revenue and cost streams. Bad cash flow is the biggest killer of startups, so founders must always be clear where the money is coming in and going out.

- Having founders who are not well-rounded. It’s true that founders’ skill-sets should complement each other, but each founder should have a reasonable working knowledge of all of the core facets of running a business.

- Simply copying an idea that works abroad. The environments are structurally different, so something that works well abroad may not work well in this target market, and vice versa.

- Not thinking big enough. Too often local founders, especially Egyptians, limit their thinking and target market. If a local startup idea works globally, then it must plan to target a global audience at some stage.

The VCs were Ziad Mokhtar,a principal at Ideavelopers; Karim El-Sahy, founder and CEO of Genius Ventures; Gideon Simeloff, head of twofour54 Ibtikar; Feroz Sanaulla, regional director at Intel Capital; and Ahmed El-Alfi, founder and CEO of Sawari Ventures.


Omar Aysha is a former video-game developer, turned IT entrepreneur and writer, who is launching an Egyptian entrepreneurship magazine.

Endeavor Entrepreneur revitalizing film industry in Colombia

The Globe and Mail recently profiled Endeavor Entrepreneur Rodrigo Guerrero Rojas, one of the founders of Dynamo Capital.

In the interview, Rodrigo recalls the moment he was inspired to start his venture, visiting the Cinecitta film studio in Rome as a high school student:

“It was there that it hit me,” he remembers. “I thought, ‘I need to get the gears going to make films in Colombia. I’m going to become a vehicle for this to happen.’ ”

After high school he attended film school in New York, and took jobs in various aspects of filmmaking. Upon returning to Colombia, he found that increased government funding and a new generation of eager filmmakers were set to revitalize the country’s film industry.

“I realized there was an opportunity: to set up a private equity film fund in Colombia, because there was no such thing”, he says.

Along with partners including childhood friend Andi Baiz, Rodrigo found a way to turn films into a viable investment:

Dynamo’s fund is a small part of their investors’ portfolios, but they have positioned themselves as a viable option. They’ve reduced the risk for investors by funding a slate of films, rather than pour investors’ money into one major film production. And, through tax incentive programs, investors get back $40 of every $100 they invest.

“We were coming to [investors] not just with a pitch for a movie, but a business plan for a film in such a way that they could put it against any other investment option they had,” Mr. Guerrero explained.

Today, it remains difficult for Latin American films to gain foreign viewers, but Rodrigo and his partners are determined to find new ways of popularizing their Colombian films at home and abroad:

With film business models and markets constantly undergoing change, he’s embracing the challenge to adapt. Audiences are watching movies more and more via their computers, he notes, while traditional models of distribution for Latin American films are still focused on hitting the theatres. “We are way beyond the big screen,” he said. “I’m more interested in everything else that’s cooking right now, where young people are putting their energy, and where surprises can actually happen.”

The full article can be found here (registration required).

Report from World Economic Forum meeting in Jordan – by Endeavor’s Joanna Harries

By Joanna Harries (International Expansion, Endeavor)

I just returned from the World Economic Forum’s Special Meeting on Economic Growth & Job Creation for the Arab World, held at the Dead Sea, Jordan. I attended thoughtful keynote addresses, and panel debates, but think the jury’s still out on whether the overall tone was one of pessimism or optimism. The topics of Education, Employment, and Entrepreneurship certainly highlighted massive challenges for the region, but will they prove insurmountable?

As the forum title suggests, one looming issue overshadowed all conversations: how will the region create enough jobs to absorb the burgeoning young population entering the labor force each year? Exact statistics vary, but approximately 100 million new jobs are needed by 2020. Or, as one gentleman said to stress the urgency, “two million Egyptians enter Cairo each day looking for work that isn’t there.” When translated into growth, collectively the region must grow annual GDP by 7-8%. Tough, when 15% of FDI is being pulled from the region, and some of the largest economies are in transition (Libya now joins Tunisia & Egypt). Couple this with impatient youth (the Yalla Energy!), who want immediate change, not long term plans. Then acknowledge the skill gap between the unemployed, and their potential employers. Employers in the region aren’t big on training, and prefer to bring in expatriate workers to close the gap. Enter entrepreneurship, which can empower youth to create their own jobs.

Sounds deceptively simple, but despite the strong case for unleashing entrepreneurship, the tactics needed to get there require cooperation from multiple stakeholders. Regional governments must lower the cost of failure (e.g. going to jail if a check bounces), and open borders to allow truly regional businesses to scale. Collectively, 350 million consumers represent a huge market opportunity, but in reality, most entrepreneurs stay local and small. An Arab Small Business Act, and the creation of a Ministry for Entrepreneurs, were both suggested as possible solutions to accelerate regional entrepreneurship.

As we know at Endeavor, resources are especially needed to back those entrepreneurs with the ambition and business capability to scale rapidly. Only a few will grow fast enough to deliver substantial new jobs (but then, you only need a handful). Regional funding is certainly available, but criticized for not being leveraged or channeled correctly. Venture capital is still in infancy, and risk aversion is pervasive. As Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa (founder of The 99 Comics) pointed out, “the first due diligence question is often: how much did your father invest?” What about start ups without self-financing options?

MENA is a region of Haves and Have Not’s, a tension that largely contributed to the Arab Spring. As WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab expressed in his opening remarks, “we may be different, but we are interdependent.” If regional cooperation takes root, and new governments can learn the lessons from the uprisings, then I echo what I heard from a 27-year old Tunisian woman in attendance: “We can’t afford to be pessimistic.”

A few other notable quotes…

“The Libyan youth continued to surprise me. When I was pushed to settle, and make concessions, they would not.” – Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman, National Transition Council of Libya

“How do you get the Arab youth from the street into discussions with multiple stakeholders?” – Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group

“The region needs fewer leaders, and more doers.” – Habib Haddad, CEO, WAMDA

The Special Meeting’s full report can be found here.

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