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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 Insight joins the Kauffman Foundation and the World Bank in founding the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network

In the last few years, many policymakers and business leaders have recognized that high-impact entrepreneurship is critical for job creation, economic growth and innovation. While the increased focus on entrepreneurship is great news, it is […]

October 16th, 2013 — by admin

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Endeavor participates in Kauffman Fellows Program, focused on venture capital

The following is a reprint of a Business Wire press release available in full here.

SAN FRANCISCO — Two Endeavor directors, Allen Taylor (Director, Global Networks, Endeavor Global) and Carmen Saad (Managing Director, Endeavor Jordan), have been admitted to the Kauffman Fellowship – a highly competitive two-year program dedicated to the world of venture capital and the cultivation of new high-tech, high-impact companies. They are the third and fourth members of the program from Endeavor.

“Endeavor is strongly committed to promoting investment in emerging markets and catalyzing local investor communities,” said Endeavor President Fernando Fabre who recently completed the Fellowship along with Rodrigo Teles, Managing Director of Endeavor Brazil. “Endeavor’s strong presence at Kauffman Fellows is an important way to introduce the US venture capital community to the exciting opportunities in developing countries.”

“Endeavor was the first organization to grasp the importance of our mission to bring smart, connected values-driven innovation capital to all entrepreneurs who need it, regardless of region or stage of growth,” says Phil Wickham, President and CEO of the Center for Venture Education (which administers the Kauffman Fellows Program). “While their impact on our success in Latin America in just two years has been remarkable, we think we are just scratching the surface in terms of how we can work together to empower entrepreneurs globally.”

Only thirty Kauffman Fellowships are offered each year. They take the form of “practical apprenticeships” which include professional coaching, mentoring by senior partners, and quarterly sessions of industry and leadership curricula conducted in Palo Alto, California. As lifetime members of the Society of Kauffman Fellows, Taylor and Saad – along with Endeavor itself – join a network that links together hundreds of investment firms collectively deploying $50B in venture capital.

Phil Wickham participated in the recent Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit, speaking on a panel on the “State of Venture Capital.” The Summit also featured a Silicon Valley Trek (Emerging Market Venture Day), hosted by Endeavor’s Investor Network, which brought together investors with over a dozen fast-growing Endeavor companies. The Summit and Silicon Valley Trek marked a milestone for Endeavor’s California office; since opening in 2009, the office has strengthened ties between emerging market entrepreneurs and the Silicon Valley VC community.

“Both Kauffman Fellows and Endeavor Entrepreneurs are now critical human components to the innovation and entrepreneurial engines of the global economy,” asserts Jason Green, a founder of Emergence Capital Partners, who serves on Endeavor’s Global Board and is a member of the Charter Class of Kauffman Fellows. “Seeing them come together is an extremely powerful concept with multiplicative impact for both organizations and the world. I’m most proud to see the give back mentality inherent in both organizations’ values and am incredibly excited to see their impact together for decades to come.”

About The Kauffman Fellows Program

The Kauffman Fellows Program is administered by the Center for Venture Education, a 501(c)(3) post-graduate educational institution dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship throughout society. The mission of the Kauffman Fellows Program is to identify, develop, and network emerging global leaders in venture capital. Success means that entrepreneurs are building stronger, more enduring companies and, correspondingly, venture investors are realizing enhanced returns. To date, Kauffman Fellows have made $6 billion in venture capital investments, sparking growth in hundreds of new enterprises, $15 billion in annually recurring revenues, and the creation of 5

Experience is everything: a field report from Experiencia Argentina (Part 2 of 3)

By Mark Horoszowski (reprinted from his blog, Aspen to Nepal)

The Experiencia Endeavor event in Buenos Aires was full of passionate entrepreneurs making an extraordinary difference in their countries: creating jobs, developing environmental solutions, and spreading wealth and health to more people – fast. In Argentina alone, 98 Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created jobs for 45,000 people and an addition taxable income of US $1.3 million.

Exciting companies include:

Moverse, a nonprofit which pushes on businesses to incorporate CSR, improve education, and provide nutrition education to improve conditions for their workers and their communities.

Conexia, a technology company using digital media as a way to improve communication between different players in the healthcare system.

But more than just being surrounded by amazing entrepreneurs with great business acumen, what I noticed was that the room was filled with PASSIONATE people who wanted to create high-impact solutions through business. It reminded me of a great TED talk by author Isabel Allende, who believes that:

What matters most is the heart. Only a fearless and determined heart [will succeed]. Heart is what drives us and determines our fate. A passionate heart… [What the world needs are] mavericks, dissidents, adventurers, outsiders, and rebels. Who ask questions, bend the rules, and take risks. Nice people with common sense do not make interesting characters.

This couldn’t be more true.

Passion is what drives these entrepreneurs just as it drives the world’s best athletes, artists, and teachers. It drives me, and it drives you. About a month ago, I wrote about passion, asking the question “What Are You Passionate About?“. This post is about something else. It is a plea:

Be passionate. Follow your heart. Be a maverick and adventurer. Use your passion to change the world.

Wall Street Journal profiles Endeavor Entrepreneur Amjad Aryan

Jordanian Endeavor Entrepreneur and successful pharmacy chain owner Amjad Aryan (Pharmacy 1) was interviewed for today’s Wall Street Journal on a wide range of topics including his background, his preferred staff motivation methods, and his advice for potential Middle Eastern entrepreneurs. Click here to read the full article (note: requires membership).

As the profile highlights, Amjad realized that he wanted to join the pharmacy industry when he was a 23-year-old Palestinian immigrant working as a carpet cleaner in Chicago. Since those days, he has opened 53 pharmacies in Jordan and two in Saudi Arabia, with more branches on the way throughout the Middle East including a planned branch in Beirut at the end of September.

When asked what advice he would give someone looking to start a chain in the Middle East, Amjad answered as follows:

The most important thing is to get out of the planning phase and start the implementation. And block your ears to the naysayers. You can imagine how many naysayers I had as a carpet cleaner. I surround myself with positive people, and I focus on the outcome rather than the difficulties. I believe that entrepreneurs can use the help of mentors who can scrutinize their decisions, challenge them and give them direction. Having a chance to speak to them has helped me make better decisions.

Speaking about his relationship to Endeavor, Amjad says:

Endeavor approached me in 2009, and they’ve helped open doors for research and networking all over the world through their visibility and expertise. I have three mentors from Endeavor—legal, financial and business—and I get three different perspectives, and they encourage me to keep going.

Company press release: All eyes on Africa as ICT giant emerges from the south

The following press release was issued by Integr8 Group.

Contrary to the experiences and outcomes of many a start-up company within the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, the Endeavor-supported Integr8 Group has grown exponentially since its inception in 2001. The company, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Robert Sussman (pictured) and Lance Fanaroff, has defied the odds and emerged as South Africa’s largest privately owned managed ICT service provider — a strong example of Africa’s ICT and telecommunication capability.

The 550+ employee company serves a growing regional, national and international client base that requires bleeding-edge information communication and telecommunications technology to keep up with the demands of the modern market.

Integr8’s business model is based on the provision of both on-and off-site/remote service delivery. Customers are connected to a central high-tech, fully equipped digital hub called the Integr8 Nerve Centre®, through which they are guaranteed always-available service and support.

Executive management has focused on the quality and quantity of the company’s intellectual property, exposure to next-generation technology, systems and solutions in order to develop and roll-out its service portfolio.

Ongoing training and consistent exposure to international vendor offerings has helped to ensure that the company has the expertise, resources and knowledge to meet requirements.

Integr8 is the preferred service provider to a range of businesses across a variety of sectors and industries. These clients are spread across the company’s South and Southern African network, as well as regional branch network throughout Africa.

The company’s South African coverage is driven from its operations located in Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, East London, George, Nelspruit, Polokwane and Port Elizabeth.

This extensive operation also supports nine key regions in Africa, including Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Integr8’s Endeavor Entrepreneurs believe that a major opportunity lies in addressing requirements within developing business markets, those that stand to benefit from access to previously attainable services.

There is now opportunity for any-sized business to leverage off unified communications, cloud-based services and growth within telecommunications.

Control and application of resources is critical to operations. This is the frontier in which this Endeavour member operates and this is where it aims to make its competitive advantage count.

About the Integr8 Group

The Integr8 Group is an established and dynamic provider of Managed Information, Communication and Telecommunication services.

Founded in 2001, Integr8 (www.integr8group.com) has organically grown into the largest privately owned BEE ICT company on the African continent.

The company employs in excess of 550 full time ICT professionals across its multiple offices. With 100% of the company being management owned and operated, Integr8’s customers benefit from a healthy balance of entrepreneurial innovation and a well corporatized culture.

Integr8 own and operate the only South African based Nerve Centre® (www.nervecentre.co.za). This hub of customised technology, skilled personnel and ITIL processes, manage the complete ICT environment of many of the country’s leading organisations.

Integr8 is vendor agnostic, choosing the very best solution for each client and can deliver managed ICT services through the cloud to customers of any size and in any location.

The company supports multiple charitable organisations. In fact, the Integr8 Group found itself sponsoring so many initiatives it has created the Integr8 Foundation, which will act as a central facilitator for all CSI in future. It is supported both by the company and by the directors in their personal capacity.

PR contact:

Gloria Malan
MicroZone Public Relations
Fax: 086 630 8809
Mobile: 082-340-2876
gloria@micro-zone.co.za

Integr8 IT contact:

Tami Sussman
Marketing & HR Director
Integr8 Group
Cell: +27 083 301 7012
Fax: 0865 200 002
E-mail: tamis@integr8it.com

eMBA Field Report: From Hong Kong to Uruguay

Rufino de la Rosa is an MBA student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and spent the summer as an eMBA in Uruguay.

It feels like we arrived in Montevideo only yesterday. Before we came here, we knew we were going to work for todotvmedia, a magazine for professionals in the media industry that is currently working to create a new online service for this market. Previous to our arrival to Uruguay, we had several conversations with the staff to become more familiar with this new service; however we were impressed with how the initial idea had evolved to the creation of a unique platform for the media industry.

Our first day in the office was amazing; the staff received us with a big smile and with the most popular drink in Uruguay: mate. We felt comfortable and supported from the very first minute, and immediately started to work on the new project. We had some information about the company to start, but did not know what kind of work atmosphere or culture to expect. We were pleased to find that they are amazingly creative people who work with passion and commitment in a wonderfully contagious way.

Through the weeks, we have conducted a deep analysis of this complex industry, completed a competitor analysis, and another study about data providers for South America. Currently, we are in the phase of interviewing professionals in the industry to clearly define their needs. It has been great to interview people with such in-depth experience in the TV/media industry. Looking back, we cannot believe how much we have learned in the few short weeks we have been here.

Apart from work, we have enjoyed the experience of living in Uruguay. It is winter here, but it doesn’t affect the warm Uruguayan people, always ready smile and meet for an “Asado” (barbecue). And as an added bonus, we had the opportunity to celebrate the victory of Uruguay in the Copa America, and we discovered how passionate Uruguayans are about soccer and their national team. We’ll never forget the awesome celebration in the streets and at the stadium!

I cannot be more enthusiastic about the company, the project and the country. It is great to be part of this project, and it has been an invaluable personal experience for both of us. Thanks to Endeavor, todotvmedia, and the people in Uruguay that have helped us so much to have a wonderful stay in South America.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Carlos Mier y Teran to open restaurant in NYC

Endeavor Entrepreneur Carlos Mier y Teran’s company, Grupo MYT, is opening a new restaurant in New York City this fall. The restaurant will be called Taka Taka and will serve a unique fusion of Mexican and Japanese cuisine which will include such tempting abnormalities as tempura shrimp tacos, sushi caliente, and litchi margaritas.

The restaurant will be located in SOHO and will be Grupo MYT’s second venture into the New York market following the opening of their creperie La Crepe in 2009. The firm also owns 200 restaurants in Mexico, and will include in Taka Taka an engineering concept for which they have grown famous in the south: serving food via a conveyer belt.

Check out the coverage from New York Magazine, which includes menus.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Martin Migoya wins BRAVO Business Award

Latin Trade has announced that Endeavor Entrepreneur and CEO of Globant Martin Migoya has won the Emerging CEO of the Year award in their seventeenth annual BRAVO Business Awards. Award winners are first nominated by Latin Trade readers, and then chosen by the editorial staff based on their contributions to leadership and progress in Latin America. The award ceremony will be a black-tie affair in Miami this October.

Martin has helped to develop Globant, formed in 2003 in Argentina, into a significant international player in the IT services industry with a staff of over 1,500 professionals. In a busy 2011 the company has acquired the San Francisco based IT developer Nextive, and announced plans to increase their staff by two hundred engineers over the next year and half. Their strategy is to “proactively invest in initiatives that enable rapid and efficient development of their clients’ projects,” and they have grown faster than any other software business in Latin America.

Prior to co-founding Globant, Martin was the Latin America Regional Business Manager at Origin BV Holland, and Project Manager for REPSOL-YPF, Argentina’s largest oil-and-gas company. He has been an Endeavor Entrepreneur since 2005.

eMBA Field Report: Tying up loose threads in Chile

Cecile Aro is an MBA student at NYU Stern School of Business and spent her summer in Chile with Araucania Yarns.

It’s been over month since I left Santiago, and despite the cold weather there, I miss it terribly. As an eMBA consultant, I worked for Araucania Yarns, the largest yarn exporter in Chile. Araucania’s yarns are hand (not machine) dyed, made from the highest quality and variety of natural materials, and produced in a spectrum of beautiful and sophisticated colors, which only a few players in the global industry can match. Araucania is in fact the only producer in Chile that can export at that scale.

The driving force behind the company is Endeavor Entrepreneur Michelle Boisier, Araucania’s co-founder and CEO. I worked closely with her to develop a competitive analysis on the high-end yarn natural yarns market, and recommended pricing, distribution and marketing strategies. Working with Araucania allowed me to see up close and understand the opportunities and challenges faced by a small company operating in a niche market.

On my last day, I presented my findings to Araucania’s advisory board, comprised of high-caliber professionals: a former CEO of Coca Cola, Latin America, a veteran Endeavor Entrepreneur, and an Araucania local adviser. We spent nearly three hours discussing the data and next steps for the company. Multiply those three hours by the three advisory board members (there are typically four I’m told), then by the 12 meetings in a year (at times they even meet more than once a month). That adds up to over 100 hours of pro-bono time in a year for just one SME!

After leaving Santiago, I continue to work with Michelle on the next stage of my project which focuses on expansion alternatives for her business. My time in Chile was incredible to say the least. I was welcomed warmly by the Santiago Endeavor team, and met several Chilean Endeavor Entrepreneurs, a partner of a venture capital firm, and other eMBAs— all of whom share the same excitement I have for entrepreneurship and emerging markets.

Company culture counts

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

By David Hornik

What a great week I had last week. On Tuesday I attended the Splunk Worldwide User Conference. On Thursday I attended the SAY Media all hands meeting. (On Wednesday I had board meetings for StumbleUpon and Ebates — they’re building awesome companies as well, but that has nothing to do with this blog post). Both events reminded me of what excited me enough to invest in these companies over a half a decade ago. And both events reminded me that company culture really matters.

There is no single culture that assures a winning startup. Splunk and SAY have very different cultures. But I have found that successful companies have distinct cultures that reflect the values of their founders and the focus of the business they’re building. What’s more, successful startups have founders who really care about culture. And that desire to build a purposeful company sets the tone for the business as it grows.

When I invested in Splunk and SAY, each had fewer than half a dozen employees. Today both companies employ several hundred people and are growing rapidly. Yet despite growing by dozens of people a quarter, their company cultures are stronger than ever. This is in no small part due to the fact that both companies prioritize maintaining culture. New employees are not left to discover company culture on their own. Employee “indoctrination” (and I mean that only in the most positive of ways) begins at orientation and is an ongoing effort. As a result, culture is transmitted and propagates from one generation of employees to the next.

Since the early days of Splunk, it has been characterized by a sort of geek hipness (no, that is not an oxymoron) that has proven a fantastic cultural glue for the company. In many ways that hipness is reflected in the name Splunk itself. The company started out its life as Oplicity, then Transaction Engines, but neither name captured the attitude the company was trying to project. Along came the name Splunk — a play on the idea of spelunking your log files — and a culture and attitude were born. Splunk rules the trade shows with their often edgy t-shirts (“Taking the SH out of IT” remains the classic), which are worn with pride by customers, employees and board members alike. As Splunk has grown and delivers increasingly powerful solutions for giant corporate customers, the geek chic attitude continues to permeate the company and provide a unifying identity that will long outlast those of us who witnessed its birth.

SAY Media has always had an equally quirky company culture. From its inception, SAY has encouraged its employees to think creatively about its products, its brand, its attitude. The company’s marketing materials have always featured employees. SAY videos have been produced starring its employees as actors and musicians. Company parties showcase employee bands. Company t-shirts are conceived of and designed by the people, of the people, for the people. The openness of SAY Media’s culture assures that it is molded by the creativity of the employees from the bottom up, rather than by mandate from the top down. The culture that has emerged was clear at last week’s All Hands Meeting, the highlight of which was the awarding of the “Raddies” — a crowd-sourced award for those employees who exemplified the cultural values of SAY Media. The creation of the Raddies, the nomination process, the design of the trophy, and the awarding of the prize, all reflect the very same open and creative culture that they celebrate.

That all sounds like great fun and games, but why am I so high on company culture as an investor in startups? It is because culture matters. Companies with a strong culture inevitably find it easier to recruit like-minded employees. What’s more, a strong culture dramatically decreases attrition. Companies with a shared purpose are more efficient — they work well together in pursuit of a common goal. Employees can appreciate their company’s priorities and focus on the stuff that matters. And, at the end of the day, fun and games matters. People would rather work at a company that they genuinely enjoy and believe in than one that lacks any real sense of purpose.

No two companies in which I have invested have the same corporate culture. Each has its own unique history, priorities, and traditions. But like Splunk and SAY, each of my portfolio companies has found its unique voice and is working hard to promote and protect that culture.

For more than a decade, David Hornik has worked with technology startups throughout the software sector. In 2000, David joined August Capital to invest broadly in information technology companies, with a focus on enterprise application and infrastructure software, as well as consumer facing software and services.

David is currently a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he teaches intellectual property, and the Harvard Law School, where he teaches entrepreneurship and venture capital. Please click here for a complete bio.

Experience is everything: a field report from Experiencia Argentina (Part 1 of 3)

By Mark Horoszowski (reprinted from his blog, Aspen to Nepal)

I am currently at Experiencia Argentina, a conference for high-impact entrepreneurs and their businesses. The tagline for this year’s event is “LIVE THE EXPERIENCE OF CHANGING THE WORLD.”

The concept is simple: high-impact, responsible businesses are the most potent force in creating jobs and leading innovations that drive positive progress. As such, getting entrepreneurs together to share ideas, learn from each other, and expand their networks will surely make a more positive impact, faster. I couldn’t agree more with this theory. But, not everyone can attend these world-changing conferences. So here are four tips on how to grow your own skills to be more effective:

These four tips center around the notion that we can all help drive more positive progress if we have more experience to empower us:

DEMAND IT: Paid or volunteer, if you want to grow, you have to get more experience. An essential trait of all leaders is experience, and it’s also a fundamental component of Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of 10,000 hours on why people succeed and excel.

STUDY IT: Another common trait of the best leaders is an unquenchable desire to learn and innovate. Read, write, and watch as much as possible: Blogs, books, videos, conferences, etc. Using coaches and mentors is essential, too.

VOLUNTEER FOR IT: Everybody should give more than they take simply because it is the right thing to do, but in doing so, you can also experience exponential growth in your core skills. So use your skills in different settings to fuel creativity and grow. (Note: the important thing is to volunteer your desired skills, not just volunteer to volunteer).

TEACH IT: To teach is to learn twice. If you can’t teach on the job, try volunteering at schools, being a mentor, or traveling abroad.
Mark Zuckerberg was successful because he loved programming, loved writing about it, loved working on side projects, and loved telling his friends about it. Starbucks is what it is because Howard Schultz loved telling people about coffee, traveled around the world to experience it in different settings, taught others about it, and demanded new opportunities at his job to get better coffee in the hands of more people.

The bottom line: whether you want to grow your career or make a more positive global impact, experience is everything.

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