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Fifth Annual Endeavor Colombia Conference Brings Together Top Latin American Network Members in Bogotá

The 5th annual Endeavor Colombia Conference took place in Bogotá this month with the theme “A Day to Think Big”, aiming to inspire entrepreneurs and audiences with the high-impact stories of Endeavor’s network and provide a top forum for networking. The […]

October 21st, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor and Arvento Win People’s Choice Stevie® Awards

On the heels of its Bronze Stevie® Award, Endeavor was named the People’s Choice Award winner for Favorite Company- Non-Profit or Government Organizations Category- in the 10th Annual International Business Awards. Endeavor Turkey Company Arvento […]

September 27th, 2013 — by admin

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When financings fall apart

Reprinted from Ask the VC. See the original post here, by Brad Feld.

Rand Fishkin, the CEO & co-founder of SEOmoz, has an long, thorough, and incredibly detailed blog post up about The $24 Million Moz Almost Raised. Rand does an awesome job of providing extensive details while maintaining confidentiality of the participants.

The story covers the full lifecycle of the VC fundraising process, beginning with Rand and his teams’ discussion about whether or not to raise money. He documents the fundraising dance, including providing lots of juicy email correspondence to underscore his points. He lays out the numbers for his company, the terms for the deal, and his view of when he was negotiating effectively vs. stumbling around.

Ultimately he gets to a signed LOI and that’s where the fun begins (in the section titled “Then Things Got a Little Weird”). The deal ultimately falls apart and Rand does a nice postmortem where he speculates on what happened. He then wraps it up with how his team responded and what’s next for SEOMoz.

If you are an entrepreneur, go read this post now. It’s probably the best and most detailed description of the VC fundraising process that I’ve read. Well done Rand – on many levels. Even though this particular deal didn’t close, I love your statement at the end:

“What I can say is that this experience makes me and the rest of the Moz team even more inspired and motivated to build an amazing company. We can’t help but feel passion for proving doubters and naysayers wrong. The greatest revenge is to execute like hell, bootstrap all the way, and do what we said we’d do – become Seattle’s next billion-dollar startup, and make the world of marketing a better place.

I know we can do it.”

5 Endeavor companies to present at 2011 Americas Venture Capital Conference

On November 16-17, cutting-edge ventures from Latin America and South Florida will vie for more than $50,000 in awards and recognition from leading investors, at Florida International University’s 2011 Americas Venture Capital Conference (AVCC). Of the 12 companies invited to make presentations and compete in this year’s conference, “Latin America: Building on Success,” five were started by Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

The AVCC bills itself as the premier forum for creative and innovative Latin American ventures to engage established firms and investors of South Florida. As many South Florida companies are looking to benefit from emerging talent in the oft overlooked region of Latin America, the conference allows the two to create strategic alliances so that both may better compete and thrive in today’s global marketplace.

Endeavor congratulates all nominees for the 2011 Top Global Innovative Ventures, including the following five Endeavor-supported companies:

APPI Tecnologia APPI of Brazil provides software solutions that make it easy to use point of sale (POS) devices (such as cash registers, terminals, or other types of hardware) for a variety of functions. Today almost half of all POS merchant devices in Brazil are equipped with APPI’s platform.

Buscalibre is fast becoming a best-seller in the Spanish-speaking world. The Chilean e-commerce website for books manages a comprehensive collection of titles by unifying Latin America’s segmented book markets through a network of local publishers.

Business News Americas of Chile is a subscription-based service that provides elite industry-specific information in English and Spanish to Latin America’s business leaders and decision-makers via a daily, real-time Internet news service.

Cinemagic builds and manages high-tech, modern movie complexes in small size Mexican cities taking advantage of the gap in the Mexican movie market where the national cinema industry is valued at US$575 million, and yet more than 200 small cities do not have a movie theater.

Conexia has become the industry benchmark in Argentina, providing the great benefit of real-time adjudication, which enables healthcare practitioners and insurance companies to share information and validate medical procedures with the simple swipe of a patient’s health card.

More information on this year’s conference can be found here.

7 common sales mistakes, and how to avoid them

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

By Neil Patel

Do you want to get good at sales? Because if you do, there is a lot of money to be made. But before I can teach you how to sell, I need to first teach you what not to do.

If you want to make money through selling, you don’t have to be a great sales person, you just need to avoid these common mistakes:

Don’t forget to qualify

Before you can sell, you have to find someone to sell to, right? Whether it’s someone coming to you or whether you are finding someone to sell to, the first thing you have to do is qualify your potential customer.

If you forget to do the qualifying step a large percentage of your time will be wasted on potential customers who don’t really need your offering, or can’t afford it.

Every opportunity isn’t equal. Through qualifying you’ll get a better understanding of what each customer wants, when they want it by, their budget, and most importantly you’ll be able to figure out if you are talking to the person who can actually make the decision.

If you aren’t sure how to qualify people, all you have to do is ask them simple questions such as:

What are you looking for specifically?
What’s your budget?
When are you looking to start?

Don’t be a “yes” man

Do you know what the biggest sales mistake you can make? It’s not forgetting to qualify. It’s saying “yes”.

When a potential customer makes a request, you’re naturally going to want to say “yes.” And once you say yes a few times, you’ll realize that you’re walking on a slippery slope because the customer will keep on making requests and each one will not only cost you money, but it will let the customer know that they can be demanding and walk all over you.

If you can do what a customer wants and it is profitable for you, say yes. If the request is unreasonable, say no. By setting this precedent early on, you’ll have more happy customers.

When I first started selling years ago, I had a tendency to constantly say yes even when I couldn’t deliver. This caused us to have unhappy customers and it added unnecessary stress to the business. So don’t do what I did.

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Tips for “intrapreneurs” — being a visionary in the corporate world

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

By Jeff Certain

Two years ago I was afforded the opportunity to work at a mid-size company as a full-time marketing manager. After ten years of as my own boss, the prospect of working with a group of intelligent marketers with actual resources, a steady salary, and a 401K was too much to turn down.

It was here, in the corporate environment, where I learned the true meaning of an intrapreneur, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “a person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk taking and innovation.”

The business landscape is changing and the recent downturn in the economy has forced companies to do more with less people. That means that employers are hiring innovative thinkers to solve age-old business problems in new ways. I asked my department head to elaborate: “An entrepreneur can bring a tremendous amount of value to a larger organization. Entrepreneurs, almost by definition, gain a variety of skills and learn to think on their feet and operate with limited resources. An entrepreneur is also someone who has developed a ritual of self reliance and accountability, and understands that to get something accomplished they will need to push the initiative.”

While my time in the corporate environment has been enjoyable, and for the most part successful, I have made a few missteps along the way. And so I humbly offer a few tips from my journey as an intrapreneur. Whether you are just entering the corporate fray or and an old entrepreneur at heart, these tips can help clear obstacles from your path. They are as follows:

1) No One is an Island

Know this: you will have to give up some independence in your transition from an entrepreneur to intrapreneur.

In your role as intrapreneur, you must depend on other people and internal processes to get your job done. The sooner you accept this truth, the happier and more productive you will be. Things are going to move slower than you are used to and that’s okay. Push the initiative forward, but follow the organization’s standardized business process. There’s nothing wrong with fighting for your ideas. In fact, this is probably why they hired you in the first place. Just keep in mind you are part of a system now, so take a deep breath and remember what it was like when you couldn’t afford printer ink because your client hadn’t sent the check yet.

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Combating the innovators dilemna – HubSpot’s experiments framework

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

The following is a guest post by Brad Coffey, an early employee at HubSpot. You can follow Brad on twitter @BradfordCoffey

Recently HubSpot was lucky enough to be included in the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies. It’s a great honor, we’re really excited (and humbled) to be listed next to so many great companies. In an adjoinging article in Inc. Magazine, our CEO Brian Halligan discusses a key part of our success. He talks about our approach to experimentation and our methodology for incubating new ideas. What Brian describes is three tiered approach to promoting and funding unconventional projects. It’s a methodology that served us well thus far and helped create an innovation pipeline that offsets our traditional disciplined focus on the core business.

The foundation of this framework is based heavily on Clay Christensen’s work in The Innovators Dilemma. We’re huge Clay Christensen fans at HubSpot (even have a conference room named after him) and have been life-long students of his work. In his work Clay asks a very straightforward question without an obvious solution – specifically: Why do well managed, successful companies repeatedly fail to create new disruptive innovations?

This framework was developed fundamentally to combat that challenge and create a lasting culture of entrepreneurial exploration.

HubSpot’s Experimentation Framework

The framework has 3 stages, each with a distinct goal and approach.

Alpha – Lowering barriers to experimentation

No bureaucracy, no red tape, full access to information. This stage is simply focused on enabling anyone with energy and an idea to try a new solution. Tests are run by everyone and anyone – but are generally done in spare time (nights and weekends) and with few resources. You don’t need to ask permission to run these tests – and by design no one ever knows all the alpha stage experiments actively being pursued. It’s open and distributed.

Beta – Determining proper funding

When an experiment reaches Beta stage the ‘founders’ are fired from their day job and work on the experiment full time. While founders determine their own goals and metrics – these leaders are encouraged to be patient for growth but impatient for profitable economics. Like many founders these people also report to a ‘board’ regularly and are subject to evaluation on future funding. At its core this stage is about providing access to funding for entreprenurial folks with new ideas and transparency/accountability into the success of those early tests.

v1 – Scaling successful experiments

v1 projects have proven economics and now are looking to scale the success. Often this requires growing the team beyond the founders, building dedicated systems and developing regular tracking of core metrics. Founders with experiments graduated to v1 are now considered ‘mini-CEO’s’ and are tasked with running their project as a start-up within HubSpot.

We established this framework in the hope of driving innovation and empowering the entrepreneurial edges of our organization to create change. It seems to be working – we’ve had several successful founders graduate from the program (Pete Caputa with VAR programJordyne Wu with the Services Marketplace) and we created a culture to be proud of. It’s enabled us to focus on the core business without foregoing the entreprenurial engery and creativity of our team.

2011 Endeavor Gala musical guest announced

It was announced today that Lianne La Havas will perform at the upcoming Endeavor Gala on November 10th in New York City. The new British sensation is known for her ability to control a room with just her guitar and souful voice. Just one more reason to look forward to this year’s event!

To learn more about attending this year’s Gala (seating limited), please email gala@endeavor.org.

Tips for managing a multigenerational workplace

Reprinted from Under30CEO.com. See the original post here.

By Dianne Durkin

With competition for talent on the rise, developing a corporate culture of employee engagement and commitment has become a foundational imperative for most organizations. Creating and maintaining a high-performing workforce is at the core of nearly every business strategy, and the rewards for doing it right include increasing employee satisfaction, reducing turnover, optimizing productivity and positioning the organization for growth.

The stakes are even higher for organizations that face immediate challenges such as a merger or acquisition, volatile market conditions, new competitive threats or any serious need to influence internal change in response to external forces.

There’s another element compounding the pressure and raising the stakes on employee commitment: Never before has there been such a diversity of generations in the workforce. Four distinct, age-based cohorts coexist in the workplace. Each has different values, attitudes, expectations, needs, and motivations, all of which can make it more challenging to manage and integrate into a corporate culture.

Currently, Generation X and Nexters make up about 45 percent of the workforce. Together, these 18-to-41-yearold individuals equal the same percentage of the workforce the Baby Boomers compose. The Veteran generation makes up the final 10 percent. To ensure long-term employee loyalty, enterprises need to learn about each of these generational groups, their needs and motivations. Although there is danger in generalizing, a quick review of each group’s typical traits reveals a glimpse of what individuals in each group might be looking for from an organization.

Veterans (1922–1944): Born before World War II, their values were shaped by the Great Depression, the New Deal, WWII and the Korean War and emphasize civic pride, loyalty, respect for authority, dedication, sacrifice, conformity, honor and discipline. This generation is driven by duty before pleasure.

In the workforce, they are stable, loyal, hard-working and employed with their company for 30 years or more. To them, work is a privilege: They respect the institutions they work for and its leaders, believing that work and sacrifice pay off in the long term. As a result Veterans seek a directive leadership style, with clearly defined goals, directions and measurements designated by the leader.

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Can entrepreneurship be taught?

Reprinted from CompanyFounder.com. See original post here.

By Paul Morin

A question I get quite frequently is, “Can entrepreneurship be taught”? It’s a tough question and the answer is highly dependent on how you define “entrepreneurship,” so let’s start there. If you look in Webster’s dictionary online (http://www.merriam-webster.com), there is no separate definition forentrepreneurship, but here’s the definition you find for entrepreneur:

One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.

Frankly, I find that definition a bit lacking, as it’s very dry and does not embody any of the spirit or mindset it takes to be an entrepreneur.

If you take a look at first the definition of entrepreneur on thefreedictionary.com it’s similarly unexciting and dry, but a bit further down there is another definition that is more in line with the way I think about entrepreneurship.  That definition is:

The owner or manager of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits.

This one appeals to me a bit more, because entrepreneurship is all about taking initiative, and the motivation for taking that initiative and assuming the related risks, is usually to make profits.

We could wordsmith the definitions of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship all day long, but the definition above should be sufficient to allow us to think more about the question at hand: Can entrepreneurship be taught?

The short preview of my opinion is that I believe certain aspects of running a business can be taught very well; however, the “entrepreneurial mindset” is difficult to teach and correspondingly tough to learn, but for the most part, it is possible. In order to look at this aspect of the mindset a bit further, let’s review my list of the 5 Key Character Traits To Be Successful As An Entrepreneur. Though I acknowledge that this is not an exhaustive list, in my opinion, the five key traits are as follows:

1. Perseverance

Having been in the entrepreneurship game for more than 30 years now, I have learned that, without a doubt, if you don’t have perseverance, you are highly unlikely to achieve any meaningful level of success as an entrepreneur. Although you may plan and do your best to predict the future, I haven’t met anyone who can do that with 100% accuracy. Therefore, there are going to be unforeseen challenges and you will need to persevere in order to overcome them. The good news is that, like many of the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, this one can be learned — you don’t need to be born with it.

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25 tweetable entrepreneur tips from Steve Jobs

Reprinted from Wamda.com. Original post here. Twitter: @endeavor_global.

Remembering Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

1. Create a product with soul. Jobs proved that to create a product that customers would not just use, but love, you have to marry science with art.

2. Start small but think big. “I want to put a ding in the universe,” Jobs famously said.

3. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t build the life that someone else wants you to- Jobs’s life is a lesson in making original decisions.

4. Stick to your guns. Interviewers often said that Jobs was a tough interview- he didn’t answer their questions, but rather always said exactly what he wanted to say.

5. Find real solutions to real problems. Jobs made the claim early on that 99-cent mp3s would save the music industry. Indeed- since April 2008, the Apple iTunes Store has been the number one music vendor in the U.S., and by October 4, 2011, the iTunes store sold its 16 billionth song.

6. Become a market leader. Own and control the technology that you create and use, to reduce the ability for others to successfully imitate to your standards.

7. Make a product that can sell itself. Apple’s advertisements were famous for simply showcasing their products. They didn’t work overtime to convince you- their elegant user interface did, all on its own, by being head and shoulders above the competition.

8. Don’t listen to your customers too much. Jobs was famous for his assertion that listening to customers too much is a waste of time. You have to think on their behalf but ignore their skepticism if you’re going to create something that no one has ever seen before.

9. Live every day as though you have nothing to lose. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose,” said Jobs. “There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

10. Look at the silver lining in failure. When Jobs was fired from Apple, he said, “I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me.” But, he realized, it was the best thing that ever happened to him, because it freed him to enter one of the most creative periods of his life, he said in his Stanford commencement speech.

11. If you love what you do, you will find a way. Jobs said that when he was fired from Apple, he thought about running away from the valley. But then he realized that he loved what he did, and the events at Apple couldn’t change that.

12. Have faith in your journey. Jobs described you can’t connect all of the dots when you look forward in time, but you can, in retrospect, see the way that pieces fall into place to bring you lessons.

13. Trust your inner voice. “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice,” he said- following his inner voice allowed Jobs to both pivot into different projects and to innovate.

14. Be a perfectionist. We’ve all heard the stories of Jobs being an unapologetic taskmaster, to the point that he alienated some co-workers. And yet, his passion created products that speak for themselves.

15. Keep your eye on the endgame. “I don’t really care about being right, you know, I just care about success,” Jobs famously said, after he was fired by Apple. Borrow ideas if you have to, but focus on the implementation, and on improving rather than the politics of business.

16. Surround yourself with talent. Although Steve stands out as the leader who made Apple what it is today, it’s a myth that he alone is responsible for Apple’s success. A team of talented leaders- Phil Schiller, Jony Ive, Peter Oppenheimer, Tim Cook, and Ron Johnson- work overtime at Apple to build Apple.

17. Let simplicity reign. Jobs was famous for talking about the power of saying “no” when it came to adding bells and whistles to his products. It’s been said that choosing what not to do was more important to him than choosing what to do.

18. Create a unified team. Under Jobs, the executive team at Apple held weekly meetings to review every single product under development, and handed responsibility for all expenses to its Chief Financial Officer alone. Jobs thought that Sony, for example, had too many divisions to create a viable iPod, iPad or iPhone competitor. “It’s not synergy that makes [Apple] work,” he said, “it’s that we’re a unified team.”

19. Teach your company your vision. Apple hired an academic from Yale Management School to create an “Apple University” inside the company, so that his knowledge could be passed on and the structure and vision of Apple could be taught to future employees.

20. Create buzz. Apple creates a lot of hype by keeping its new products a secret until the very last minute. Although the policies of its tight ship are occasionally controversial, it seems to have incidents in which employees leave prototypes in bars fueling even more speculation on the web about the next iPhone.

21. Keep a Beginner’s Mind. “There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind.’ It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind,” Jobs once said. Keep a sense of exploration and wonder in the world.

22. Be a yardstick of quality. “Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected,” said Jobs.

23. Think differently. Although the Apple stores were considered a huge risk, Jobs pushed ahead with the idea, pointing out that “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Apple now has over 357 stores worldwide, and in 2010 the stores earned over $3.2 billion, about 13% of total Apple sales.

24. Defy expectations- visually. At his 2008 Keynote speech, Jobs showed how the MacBook air fit into a standard office envelope, creating an image that no on could forget.

25. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. This was a phrase that Jobs saw on an issue of The Whole Earth Catalogue, a magazine he loved when he was growing up. They printed it on the back cover of their final issue, he described in his in his 2005 speech at Stanford. “I have always wished that for myself,” he said.

The 4Ps of a fully alive business

Reprinted from Ducttapemarketing.com. See original post here.

By John Jantsch

Back in the early 1960’s the American Marketing Association coined the term the “Four ‘P’s” as a way to describe the essential elements of the marketing mix. Since that time every first year marketing student has been taught to think in terms of product, price, place and promotion as they analyze case studies of companies real and imagined.

Much has changed in the last 50 years, including what product really is, what place entails, how package plays a role and, well, pretty much everything about what promotion looks like.

In fact, the very definition of marketing has changed dramatically enough to render the original Four P’s somewhat useless as a foundational marketing and business strategy concept.

Today’s most important business and marketing directive is one of building trust. Engagement, connection and story are the new forms of promotional art. Price is a function of value and place has become bytes and ether more often than a shelf or an office.

There is a home for the Four P’s in today’s business but it’s in the very mortar of the business and the story of its people rather than in a department on an org chart.

The Four P’s are now more about how a business is experienced than what it sells. They reside in the expression of human characteristics that turn commitment into culture and culture into customer.

The following elements make up a redefinition of the Four P’s for the fully alive business and further make the case that marketing is everything you do and every business is really a marketing business.

Passion

The first element of the Four P’s in a fully alive business is the passion for living that the owner of the business brings. When the founder of a business can serve their own personal passion and purpose by growing the business, good things can evolve.

The leader of a business must have a great sense of passion for the business, but they also must be able to connect that passion with purpose in order to bring out the desire to commit in others. Leading with passion is how you put yourself out there and do what you were meant to do.

“A ship in port is safe but that’s not what ships are built for.” ~ Grace Murray Hopper

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