At Endeavor’s International Selection Panel last month in Amman, Jordan, Osman Ünsal of Turkish investment firm Atlas Corporate Finance describes the Chilean female entrepreneur and the Egyptian family business that impressed him the most, and the biggest mistakes that he saw entrepreneurs making.
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Endeavor Jordan Hosts Second Annual “Catalyzing Conversations” Event with Top Members of the Global Network
Endeavor Jordan hosted the second annual ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ event in collaboration with the 59th Endeavor International Selection Panel in Amman. ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ is a multi-tiered event featuring a series of interactive and motivational discussions with business leaders, entrepreneurs […]
June 30th, 2015 — by adminRead more
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In May, Endeavor Saudia Arabia brought together more than 200 entrepreneurs, business leaders and policymakers in a gala event that celebrated the official launch of the affiliate, which was announced in 2012. The event took […]
May 27th, 2014 — by adminRead more
Latest Video(video) Endeavor Greece Celebrates Two Years and 3,500+ Jobs Created By Its Entrepreneurs
December 18th, 2014
A global organization in 15 countries, Endeavor supports 632 High-Impact Entrepreneurs (selected from 29,000 candidates), connecting them to a network of 2,400 top local and international business leaders who volunteer their time to provide pro-bono mentorship, advice, connections, and supports. In 2010, these executives spent over 25,000 hours mentoring entrepreneurs.
One of the popular services that Endeavor Global provides to Endeavor Entrepreneurs is access to special “Immersion Tours.” On November 9-10, 27 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from emerging markets in Latin America and the Middle East gathered in New York City for a Digital Media Tour, meeting with numerous senior executives in the digital media and advertising space from companies like Facebook, News Corporation, Huffington Post / AOL, IAC, R/GA, Edelman, Gilt Groupe, and Barclays Capital. These executives delivered presentations and offered pro-bono mentoring and support. A list of participating Endeavor companies can be found at the bottom; many of these firms are generating between $2M and $10M+ and are working with multinational clients such as Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Citi, Nike, IBM, and Sony.
The tour kicked off on Wednesday morning at Barclays Capital, a sponsor of the Tour, with a fireside chat with Endeavor Global Board member Reid Hoffman, Co-founder and Chairman of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock. Reid shared his personal entrepreneurial story and offered his assessment of the current technology landscape, including new areas for innovation.
At Barclays, Entrepreneurs also attended a panel “Investing in Online Media and Advertising Start-Ups,” which shed light on recent IPOs, future trends, and tips for entrepreneurs interested in fundraising. The panel, introduced by Paul Parker (Global Head of M&A, Barclays Capital), was moderated by David Shrier (Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ernst & Young), and featured Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Suárez Battán (Co-founder, Three Melons), Greg Dalvito (Co-Head, Technology M&A, Barclays Capital), Howard Morgan (Managing Partner, First Round Capital), and Dave Morgan (Founder & CEO, Simulmedia [backed by Union Square Ventures] and angel investor). At one point, Mariano summarized many Endeavor Entrepreneurs’ view on the economic downtown: “We were ‘born’ in a crisis: Argentina in 2001. So, in 2008, when my friends in the US said that there was a crisis, I said ‘whaaaat?’ For us, a crisis is a feature, not a bug.”
Later, at Endeavor Global’s offices in Union Square, Sunny Bates (CEO, Sunny Bates Associates) moderated a panel on building a fast-growth media company, which addressed challenges surrounding building an effective team and scaling successfully. Panelists were Kirsten Nevill-Manning (International HR and Staffing, Facebook; formerly at Google) and Melanie Hughes, COO, Gilt Groupe.
Then PR expert Brian Reich (SVP and Global Editor, Edelman), drawing on lessons from his new book Shift & Reset, discussed macro issues for cultivating engagement beyond traditional strategies.
Continuing their busy day in New York, Entrepreneurs then visited R/GA, a full service advertising agency that was named Adweek‘s “Digital Agency of the Decade” as well as Adweek’s “Digital/Interactive Agency of the Year.” William Charnock (Chief Strategy Officer, R/GA) discussed some of R/GA’s most successful campaigns, and offered advice for taking advantage of various areas of advertising — from mobile and social media to visual design and digital productions — to create compelling campaigns.
On Wednesday evening, Entrepreneurs convened at the iconic Frank Gehry building that is home to IAC (InterActiveCorp), an Internet company with over 50 brands across 40 countries led by Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Diller, previously head of Paramount Pictures, Fox Broadcasting, and USA Broadcasting. A “Founders’ Panel” highlighted the experiences of founders from some of IAC’s most popular sites, in addition to David Kidder, Co-founder and CEO of Clickable. Then, at a cocktail reception at IAC, Entrepreneurs had the chance to network with IAC executives and employees, as well as various Endeavor network and board members.
The second day of the media tour (November 10) kicked off with 1:1 mentoring sessions between Endeavor Entrepreneurs and industry and subject matter experts, customized to the Entrepreneurs’ industries and specific business needs. “The mentoring sessions, like the Tour itself, were relevant, well-organized, and highly valuable,” said Endeavor Entrepreneur Ramzi Halaby (The Online Project). “We have already started implementing a number of the tips and recommendations.”
“They were amazing connections,” said Endeavor Entrepreneur David Basulto of Plataforma Networks. “Even if [some of the mentors] were from companies in different industries, they’ve gone through some of the same issues so the experience was very valuable. They were very open to collaborate with us, tell us about their insights, and connect us with people, so it’s a huge benefit for us. They’re already connecting us with the right people we’re looking for (for instance, people in advertising sales in New York).”
Jesse Dwyer (Senior Sales Development Lead, Facebook) then delivered a lively presentation on social media marketing, discussing how best to utilize Facebook as a platform and medium for building businesses and marketing to key audiences.
– At Gilt Groupe, one of the fastest growing e-commerce sites in the U.S., Alexis Maybank (Founder & President, Premium Products and Services) and Susan Lyne (Chairman) offered advice on driving user adoption through game mechanics, leveraging online marketing and social media to build brands, and differentiating products from the competition.
– At News Corporation, a global and vertically integrated company with brands including 20th Century Fox, HarperCollins, and Sky, Entrepreneurs gained advice from Jorge Espinel (EVP, Strategy and Corporate Development – News Digital Media) and Gil Fuchsberg (SVP – News Digital Media).
– At The Huffington Post, a top news website and content aggregating blog launched in 2005 and acquired by AOL in 2011, Entrepreneurs gained advice from Jimmy Soni (Chief of Staff), Tim O’Brien (Executive Editor), and Nico Pitney (Managing Editor), among other senior staff members.
– MediaVest is a division of Starcom MediaVest Group and one of the leading, full-service media specialist companies offering brand-building results and business solutions for marketing partners. Entrepreneurs spoke with Guillermo Abud, VP & Digital Director at Forty-Two Degrees at MediaVest (MV42), a leading multicultural media agency with clients such as Kraft, P&G, The Coca-Cola Company and Wal-Mart.
– At Kickstarter, the largest online funding platform for creative projects, Entrepreneurs gained valuable insights from Perry Chen, Co-founder and CEO. Specifically, Chen recounted his unique road to becoming an entrepreneur and discussed the value of finding and focusing on a niche market.
Entrepreneurs then reconvened for a visit to Google‘s New York office, before joining 600 New York and global CEOs and business leaders at Endeavor’s annual Gala, which has raised $2m and will honor Reid Hoffman and Fadi Ghandour—an event hosted by Endeavor Board chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (Chairman, Warner Music Group).
Endeavor’s previous Immersion Tours have taken Endeavor Entrepreneurs to such places as Silicon Valley, Boston, India, and Israel. At the October 2010 Silicon Valley Tour, entrepreneurs met with executives at Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and eBay. December 2010’s Fashion and Design Spotlight in New York featured presentations, conversations, and panels with top fashion executives, as well as several “Behind the Seams” tours. In 2012, Endeavor plans to offer a tour in Austin and another tour in the San Francisco area.
Endeavor Entrepreneur companies that participated in the Digital Media Tour
MARKETING / SOCIAL MEDIA
• Social Metrix (Argentina) – a leading social media analytics company in LatAm; just received investment from A&N Media
• Modern Media (The Online Project) (Jordan) – launched Jordan’s #1 hit music station; now the leading Arabic social media management firm; untraditional marketing/events
• SocialWire (Turkey) – online social recommendation engine (for int’l retailers who want “recommended items” on homepage à la Amazon)
• Pozitron (Turkey) – a leading mobile software developer for large companies in MENA; clients include 30 Turkey Fortune 500 companies
• T.A. Telecom (Egypt) – a top mobile platform in Egypt; early pioneer in mobile value-added services (VAS) industry
• Akhtaboot (Jordan) – “Monster.com of the Middle East” (region that needs to create 100 million jobs by 2020)
• Jeeran (Jordan) – “Yelp of the Arab world”; user-generated reviews for 8+ cities across MENA
• Clandescuento (Chile) – daily discount site acquired by Groupon in June 2010 to build out Groupon Latin America
• Yemeksepeti.com (Turkey) – the “Seamless/GrubHub of Turkey” (top online food delivery site); expanding internationally
• Plataforma Networks (Chile) – publisher of the world’s most visited architecture website, ArchDaily (over 2M monthly visits / 18M monthly impressions; 400k Facebook fans)
• Hindawi (Egypt) – Publishes 300+ open access, peer-reviewed academic journals; innovation in traditional industry; 20k editors; 400+ employees
IT / PRODUCTION
• Globant (Argentina) – top LatAm IT outsourcer; poised for U.S. public launch in 2012; Google’s first outsourcing partner; 2k employees
• Three Melons (Argentina) – pioneered Argentine video game industry; acquired by Playdom in March 2010 (July 2010: Playdom acquired by Disney)
• Think Arabia (Jordan) – creative production / tech firm for new media platforms; includes Kharabeesh, offbeat animation studio
• Ollin Studio (Mexico) – a leading LatAm movie studio (post-production / visual effects); 2009 Oscar for visual effects in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Dynamo (Colombia) – only PE fund for film financing in LatAm; also a leading production studio
• Oruga (Colombia) – “Pixar of Colombia”; digital animation studio
• Subway Link (Brazil) – pioneered closed-circuit “business TV” in Brazil (55M viewers each month)
The following post is from an upcoming study by Endeavor’s Center for High-Impact Entrepreneurship (C-HIE) on key success strategies for start-ups. The study is based on interviews with 55 High-Impact Endeavor Entrepreneurs from 11 countries. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we’re sharing five of our favorite “Rules for Becoming a High-Impact Entrepreneur” from this study, with input from some wise Endeavor friends. The full report will be available soon.
Forget what your professor said: some of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurs never wrote a formal business plan. These entrepreneurs argue that, while there is significant value in thinking about the fundamental aspects of a new business, being overly-committed to a paper copy of a business plan stifles an entrepreneur’s flexibility, making it difficult to adapt to challenges and to respond to new opportunities. When starting a company, you can’t be tied to a business plan.
At the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit, Scott McNealy, the Co-Founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems, spoke to Endeavor Entrepreneurs about the need to be flexible with a business plan.
“If you’ve gone to business school, you learn ‘gotta have a mission, gotta have a vision, gotta have strategies, gotta have objectives, and tactics.’ You write this all up and it’s called a business plan. And that’s a necessary component of what you’re doing. Now the problem is, you shouldn’t do it in hard copy; you should do it online because it’s going to change. And I tell everybody who comes into any startup that I’m involved in, things are going to change above, below, and around you faster than any other place you’ve ever been. And be prepared for that, and to accept change. You know, I don’t think that Apple knew that word processing was going to be their number one market, I don’t think IBM realized that Lotus 123 would be the reason people bought their computer at the start, I don’t think that eBay knew that Beanie Babies was going to be the thing that happened, and I don’t think that Google got started knowing that Page Rank search, selling words to the highest bidder every day was going to be their business model. So you gotta be prepared to get lucky, to be opportunistic, and have that plan.”
Data from Endeavor’s Center for High-Impact Entrepreneurship confirms that many High-Impact Entrepreneurs never wrote a business plan.
Seventy-one percent of the best entrepreneurs that C-HIE interviewed – those whose companies have grown at an average rate of 20% or greater over the last three years – did not write a business plan. And, amongst all of the entrepreneurs that C-HIE spoke with – both those that started with a paper business plan and those that started with a mental business plan – eighty percent made some change to their businesses design during start-up. These results suggest that entrepreneurs need to lay out a rough concept of future strategy; however, they should not put on paper what will likely change within minutes.
Endeavor Entrepreneurs and sisters Nadia and Hind Wassef didn’t write a business plan when they founded Diwan Bookstore in Cairo; they merely mapped out a basic outline of what they wanted to sell. In retrospect, they believe that if they had created a business plan, the low forecasted revenue figures might have actually dissuaded them from their entrepreneurial ventures. Instead, they opened their first bookstore based on an initial concept, and then made adjustments before opening additional locations. Nadia explained: “I never wanted a formal business plan. We just had a hunch and a very rough business plan in our heads. There was something fantastic about having the fluidity to make mistakes and having an open heart to learn from them. By far the most valuable investment we’ve ever made is our mistakes. And, if we’d had a rigid business plan, we probably would not have allowed ourselves to explore and make mistakes.”
“Exploring” and adapting their business plan seems to have been the right choice for Nadia and Hind. Today, Diwan Bookstore has ten stores in Cairo and employs over 200 people. During the 2011 Arab Spring, Nadia and Hind quickly responded to the revolution by incorporating it into their business plan: they held lectures at Diwan stores, offering Egyptians a place to congregate and discuss during troubling times.
Mobile technology is spreading rapidly in emerging markets and this is especially true in the Middle East. With such a large young population it is “the second fastest growing mobile phone market in the world” according to a recent blog post on the popular blog VentureBeat by Endeavor Entrepreneur Fatih Isbecer, who asserts that “Turkey is leading the mobile revolution in the Middle East.”
Fatih notes that “lately, emerging markets’ key focus area has been mobile. Since 2002, mobile penetration has grown 321 percent in developing countries. Meanwhile, it’s only grown 46 percent in developed countries in the same time period.’
‘The number of mobile phone subscribers has increased from 50 million in 2006 to 80 million in 2011, including more than 20 million 3G subscribers. With the completion of mobile revolution in the country, the overall mobile penetration rate expected to reach 95 percent in 2013, from just 43 percent in 2008.”
This goes hand in hand with increased internet connectivity and use. Fatih notes that “while worldwide average time spent online is 23.1 hours per week, this number reaches 29.4 hours in Turkey.”
Such activity has not escaped the attention of multilateral corporations.
“Well-known corporations such as Vodafone, eBay, Telecom Italia and Intel Capital are only a few of the global tech players that have entered Turkey, and new ones are being added rapidly. In the last year, around $1 billion has been invested in Turkish internet-based companies, ranging from private and group shopping to daily deals.’
‘In a more tech-friendly environment, companies are trying to satisfy the expectations of a growing audience. Startups have emerged that are taking advantage of this opportunity. For example, P.I. Works is a Turkish company that provides network optimization products used by voice or data wireless operators to increase the capacity and decrease the operating and capital expenditures for mobile carriers. Another well-established start-up is the social gaming company, Peak Games, leading the gaming world both in Turkey and the Middle East.”
P.I. Works and Peak Games were both founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
According to the World Bank, more and more investors are attracted to Turkey due to “a diversified economy, proximity to Europe, integration with European markets, the external anchor of EU accession, and a lengthy track record of solid economic management and structural reform.’ For example, the government budget for R&D projects almost tripled in the last two years, enabling advancement in both finance and technology. This rapid and prominent progress in Turkey holds an example for the other countries in the Middle East.”
“Along with the start-ups that are filling various niche markets, financial companies are also pioneers of the mobile revolution, striving to provide their customers with uninterrupted service at all times.”
At the cross roads of mobile technology and financial services is mobile banking. But because of Turkey’s developed mobile market, Fatih says, “the emphasis in this country has been on sophisticated mobile banking solutions for customers of traditional banks. In this fast-paced society, people are looking for convenient ways to perform their banking activities. As of June 2010, Turkey had more than 16 million internet banking users who are processing more than 400,000 financial and non-financial transactions per month. The majority of the internet banking users are inclined to use or switch to mobile banking due to its speed and flexibility. With a share of 40 percent in the mobile banking market, IsBank is converting more clients to mobile banking every day. Banks like Doha Bank in Qatar are going into smartphone banking, following Turkey’s lead.”
‘In 2007, Turkey’s biggest bank, Isbank, partnered with my company, Pozitron,” also supported by Endeavor, “to create a unique mobile banking platform. With more than 75 different features, the platform Pozitron developed, IsCep, is one of the most sophisticated banking applications in Europe.”
In short, Turkey’s technological markets are growing every day and Endeavor is happy to be part of that growth.
Read the article in full here.
2011 Endeavor Gala honoring LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman and Aramex International Founder & CEO Fadi Ghandour raises $2 million
The 2011 Endeavor Gala, which took place Thursday evening in New York City, convened over 600 business leaders and entrepreneurs to honor Reid Hoffman, Founder & Chairman, LinkedIn, and Fadi Ghandour, Founder & CEO, Aramex International- considered the FedEx of the Middle East, as High-Impact Entrepreneurs of the Year. In total, the Gala raised over $2 million to support Endeavor Global and its 632 High-Impact Entrepreneurs.
In addition to remarks from Hoffman and Ghandour, attendees heard from Herb Allen III, Allen & Co.; Linda Rottenberg, Endeavor Co-Founder & CEO; Arif Naqvi, Founder & Group CEO, Abraaj Capital, and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Chairman, Warner Music Group, and Endeavor Global Chairman. The evening ended with a smashing performance by UK sensation Lianne La Havas.
Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg said that while every Gala is unique, she was particularly thrilled to honor two Endeavor Board Members this year. “Our honorees truly exemplify what it means to be ‘high-impact.’ Aside from being phenomenal entrepreneurs, both Reid and Fadi are committed to giving back to the next generation of talent.’ Endeavor could not have been more excited to honor Reid and Fadi, or more grateful for Reid and Fadi’s participation as board members of Endeavor Global and Jordan, respectively.”
Hear Reid and Fadi’s insights on the meaning of “high-impact” in this short video:
The 2011 Endeavor Gala came on the heels of the Endeavor Entrepreneur Digital Media Tour, at which over 20 Endeavor Entrepreneurs participated in panel discussions with Reid Hoffman, met with leading media and advertisement executives, and visited top firms including R/GA, The Huffington Post, and IAC.
Below, check out a special video created for the Gala by Kharabeesh, an Endeavor company in Jordan:
And finally, here are some wonderful speeches from the evening:
Edgar Bronfman, Jr.:
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).
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.
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.
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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