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Endeavor Greece Celebrates Two Years and 3,500+ Jobs Created By Its Entrepreneurs

Endeavor Greece released an infographic and video to highlight the office’s impact during its two year anniversary. The team supports some of the region’s top high-impact entrepreneurs who continue to drive sustainable job creation and contribute to […]

December 18th, 2014 — by admin

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2013 Endeavor Gala Honoring Sir Richard Branson Spotlights the Magic of Endeavor

On Friday, November 8th, the 2013 Endeavor Gala brought together over 600 entrepreneurs, business leaders, Endeavor Board members and supporters to celebrate the magic of Endeavor at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. As Endeavor’s only annual […]

November 12th, 2013 — by admin

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Summit Keynote Address: Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, LinkedIn [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.

Overview: In the closing keynote of the Endeavor Summit, Reid Hoffman discusses his rules of entrepreneurship (elaborating on the ones posted on Endeavor.org: http://www.endeavor.org/blog/reid-hoffman-entrepreneurship-rules) and interweaves the analogy of entrepreneurship to settling the Wild West. For Hoffman, it’s all about being on the frontier.

Full transcript:

Importance of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has always been really important. It’s how all of these institutions were started – every government, every nation. Entrepreneurship has always been important, but I think it’s growing in importance in our time. I think the reason is fairly simple, which is the future. We’re accelerating towards the future, the markets are changing more rapidly, you have the forces of globalization, you have technology change. And all of that means that how we both invent the future and adapt to it is becoming more and more important. How you create new things, how you make something – the new institution, the new product, the new organization: that’s what entrepreneurship is about. (more…)

Summer series: Read eMBA reports from the field!

Each year, Endeavor recruits graduate students from leading US business schools to spend 10 weeks during the summer working on-site with our entrepreneurs as “eMBAs” — as part of our eMBA Program which is generously supported by Barclays Capital. The three primary areas of focus for the eMBA projects are strategy, operations, and financing.

Over the years, more than 200 MBA students — after a highly competitive application process — have been placed with entrepreneurs from all Endeavor countries. Endeavor ranks among the top 2% of recruiters at Harvard Business School and Stanford, and recruits from other leading schools including MIT-Sloan, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg, Yale SOM, and INSEAD.

This summer, 35 students are spending their summers as eMBAs throughout Latin America, the Middle East and South Africa. Their diverse experiences, both professional and personal, are certainly something to write home about, which they’re doing this summer! All eMBAs are contributing updates to Endeavor’s internal network during their internship, engaging the Endeavor family and their fellow eMBAs with updates and observations. On an ongoing basis, we are reprinting many of these posts on the Endeavor.org blog as part of this summer’s “eMBA Field Report” series. Enjoy the witty and eloquent insights our eMBAs have to share…

- Dos Semanas en Colombia

- 2 voices from Jordan

- Halfway into my Brazil Endeavor

- #Tahrir

- Off to the movies in Mexico

- Seeing the world anew – three eMBAs in Argentina

- Endeavor Atacama launched!

Hit the ground running in Monterrey!

- Istanbul, east meets west

- The emerging giant in Santiago

- ‘Me Encanta Uruguay’

- My rewarding time in Santiago

- From Hong Kong to Uruguay

- Tying up loose threads in Chile

eMBA Field Report: Dos semanas en Colombia

By Justine Lelchuck

Justine graduated from Harvard Business School in May 2011 and is spending her summer as an eMBA with EcoFlora in Colombia. Justine was honored with the prestigious Dean’s Award for service to school and society at her commencement on May 26th.

As the plane descended, the speckles of light detailed to me the basin I would soon be absorbed in for the summer – Medellin. Immediately upon arrival it was as if some invisible hand had pressed the Staples’ “easy button” for me. My bags won the lottery and weren’t searched in depth by the Colombian Police, Adrían, EcoFlora’s VP, was able to spot me immediately upon exiting customs, and the hotel we arrived at (my home for the summer) was pristine and the people who worked there so helpful. I don’t think I’ve ever had an international trip to a new country, with a language I’m not completely fluent in, go so smoothly.

The past two weeks have been one version or another of that “easy button” constantly being pushed. Day one of EcoFlora was helpful and set me on the right path for the summer. My main project is determining which US Personal Care companies are best suited to partner with for a specific organic, natural blue dye EcoFlora has created. Each individual in this 37-person company is well informed, and when they are not, know exactly who I am supposed to look to in order to obtain the answer.

Outside of work I’ve attempted to enwrap myself into the Medellin culture. My colleagues have been generous with their time, patience (given my mediocre Spanish skills) and friendships. I’ve been able to explore the heat and passion of a salsa night life, the simultaneous liberation and stimulation of cumbia music while sipping on Aguardiente, the mayhem and noise of a football game gone into overtime and the quiet tranquility of the botanical gardens while reading for pleasure, an activity long forgotten.

I’ve only been here for dos semanas, but I think I’m falling in love with this city.

Turkish design company ilio on Gilt Groupe

With a recent showcase at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in May in New York and in a limited edition MoMA design store collection, Destination: Istanbul, Endeavor company ilio has had something of its own spring awakening in the United States (read more about this here).

Next up for the entrepreneurial brother-sister team Demir and Mehtap Obuz–a sale on the high-end online retailer Gilt Groupe. The sale will start Wednesday, July 12th, at 9pm EST. (You can preview the sale an hour ahead of time on Facebook.)

To shop their designs, click here.

Linda Rottenberg’s opening remarks at Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.

Transcript:

This is so exciting – this is like a family reunion of sorts. For me nothing is more exciting than seeing the growth of the Endeavor network and to have not only 170 Endeavor entrepreneurs here from South Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. I’m also here to announce that we are on the verge of launching Endeavor in Indonesia, so at our next Summit you will see entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia and possibly from Eastern Europe as well. So we are growing, and what to me is very exciting is when I look around the room there are some of our earliest entrepreneurs. I was just with Rodrigo Jordan, who 20 years ago became the first Latin American to scale Mount Everest. He is here with us today along with some of our very first entrepreneurs as well as the most recently selected Endeavor entrepreneurs who were just selected at Endeavor ISP in London, including our first entrepreneurs from Lebanon.

Ok, I’ve always told you, and we’re gonna talk a little more when I talk to Marc Benioff later today, but my dream has always been that Endeavor will be of, by and for entrepreneurs, and I know many of you are participating in giving back in so many ways. We also have a number of sponsors that we will recognize throughout the week. But I really wanted here to just focus on the Endeavor Entrepreneurs who’ve participated in helping sponsor this event: Vinny Lingham of Yola, the Globant boys – the Globant boys will be sponsoring the after party of course – and in the speaker bag we have two of our Mexican entrepreneurs: Ezequiel Farca is one of the most creative designers in Mexico and he’s created the Endeavor keychain that you have in your Summit packets. And for speakers this will need no explanation, you’ll be getting a gift from Tequila Milagro – it’s good. (more…)

Endeavor Summit takeaways: 5 ‘Young World’ tech innovators to watch

This article is reprinted from the tech blog, Internet Revolution. Author Rob Salkowitz is a writer and consultant focused on the social implications of new technology. Most recently, he wrote a book on youth and ICT-based entrepreneurship in emerging economies, entitled Young World Rising: How Youth, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Are Changing the World From the Bottom Up. He attended this month’s Endeavor Summit and writes about his tech takeaways here.

Over the last few years, it’s become routine to note that Silicon Valley is more a state of mind than a geographic location. That is, the means, motive, and opportunity for tech innovation that converged around the Bay Area have now diffused to the edges of the globe, where ambitious young entrepreneurs are carrying the ball forward in ingenious and interesting ways.

It’s one thing to propound the theory. It’s another to come face to face with the entrepreneurial brainpower that’s rapidly scaling up world-class tech businesses in locations as diverse as Chile, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, and Lebanon.

Last week, I attended the Endeavor Global Entrepreneurship Summit in San Francisco, the annual conclave where Endeavor, a New York-based NGO focused on economic development through business and innovation, recognizes entrepreneurs from around the world who have survived their rigorous certification processes.

Endeavor focuses on companies that have made it past the startup phase but need an extra push to become big-impact players in their national economies. Its goal is to turbo-charge businesses and industries that can create economic prosperity and better quality of life in countries throughout Latin America, South Asia, and the Middle East — in the expectation that economic development can then lead to needed social and political advances.

Endeavor recognizes entrepreneurs of all kinds, not just technology. However, the rapid spread of technology to developing countries over the past decade has lowered barriers to entry and created the same kind of “digital native” generation we’ve seen emerge here. That combination of technology and demographics has helped propel businesses like these, which stand out among the crowd here in San Francisco:

*Betazeta (Chile) is a network of 13 virtual communities serving the southern cone of South America, featuring blogs and information sites organized around sports, travel, lifestyle, and recreation. Since its founding in 2008, Betazeta has grown to become the second-largest independent network community in Latin America — the hottest region in the world, with a projected 25 percent market growth by 2012.

    *Eastline Marketing (Lebanon) is the first digital marketing agency serving the region, and is on track to increase its revenues 5x from 2009, to US$266 million by 2016. As people may have noticed in the past few months, social media are pretty popular in the Middle East. More than 30 million are estimated to be on various services, including 15 million on Facebook.

    *Movile/nTime (Brazil), founded by a trio of videogamers in Brazil, has developed the first desktop and wireless games in the Brazilian market. Today the company provides entertainment content, m-payments for virtual goods, marketing services, and application distribution through the Zeewe app store to more than 100 million active users worldwide.

    *TA Telecom (Egypt) has been providing connectivity to Egypt’s mobile market since 2000, and has ridden a 1000 percent surge in demand since those early days to become one of the Middle East’s largest platforms for time- and location-specific content. The company is expanding its SMS-based information services to cater to consumers, industries, advertisers, and entities serving social, political, and religious communities.

    *Yola (South Africa) is an online platform that allows people without programming skills to easily develop Websites through a simple drag-and-drop system. Yola currently has more than 3 million users worldwide, and last December the company signed a distribution deal with Hewlett-Packard to pre-install Yola on all HP computers — approximately 60 million per year. Yola also signed a recent deal with AOL and was selected by Google to serve as the default Web host for its new “Get Your Business Online” initiative.

            Each of these companies represents more than a success for the individual entrepreneur. In many cases, these businesses have helped create indigenous Internet economies in their countries, driving demand for skills and serving as role models for a whole emerging ecosystem of talent and innovation.

            Many of these countries may need more help than a few tech startups can offer. However, any dynamic that increases demand for skilled workers, literate consumers, and engaged citizens is a force for positive change.

            MBA students, on working with Endeavor company Aguamarina

            A recent post introduced the MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Project) program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The program connects teams of first-year MBA students to businesses around the world, giving them a seven-week hands-on experience inside a company. This year, Endeavor partnered with the MAP program, offering Ross students the opportunity to work with three Endeavor-supported companies. The last post spotlighted students who worked with Top Systems in Uruguay. This one features the students who traveled to Chile to work with Aguamarina.

            Led by Endeavor Entrepreneur Pamela Chavez-Crooker, Aguamarina is a Chilean biotech research and development company. The firm offers laboratory services to local copper mines and develops prototypes for environmentally-responsible products that increase the efficiency of copper extraction.

            While millions heard about the Chilean copper mine collapse last year, few know that the copper industry comprises 45% of Chile’s exports—making it a key sector of the economy.

            “When we set off for Chile, we had a basic understanding the scale of the mining operations,” says Kyle Schmidt, one of the MAP project team members, “but when we got there we realized it’s bigger than you could possibly imagine.”

            While the team spent some time in the field, most of their time was spent working in the office or the lab. “We gained exposure to what the company does and how it works and we were even able to arrange meetings with a couple of Pamela’s big clients, which was fascinating,” Kyle says.

            Fellow team member Jonathan Sabatini emphasized the applicability of his team’s combined business knowledge: “Working with Aguamarina was an incredible opportunity to tackle real business challenges faced by entrepreneurial companies, using the skills learned in the MBA program at the University of Michigan.” His team, whose backgrounds ranged from brand management to finance to management consulting, was able to provide both learned skills and proactive guidance to Aguamarina.

            Despite their limited knowledge of the copper mining industry going into the project, the team was not deterred from diving in. In fact, they feel their outsider perspective was likely an asset to the company, which, as participant Cory Padesky said, “was getting ready to scale up.” He adds, “We realized that they didn’t have anybody to sit down and think about what they should do next. They were just trying to keep the company going. We were helping to come up with their future solutions.”

            Encouraged by their work with the company, the group also appreciated the larger network that Endeavor provided to them and Aguamarina. “I got a sense that Endeavor really helps its companies throughout the process from start up to scaling,” says Cory. “I’m glad I could be a small part of that.”

            When they weren’t working, the team had a blast exploring the beautiful surroundings and engaging in the local culture and festivities. Check out some of their great photos on Facebook!

            Spotlight on Endeavor Aguascalientes

            At the recent Endeavor Summit awards ceremony, Mexico was recognized as the country with the Highest Portfolio Representation, a testament to the country’s strength in the Endeavor network. Founded in 2002 as one of Endeavor’s earliest offices, Endeavor Mexico continues to thrive, and operates numerous affiliate offices throughout the country. Endeavor Aguascalientes (Facebook / Twitter), which opened in 2007, has been particularly noteworthy in its recent accomplishments.

            Like Mexico’s eight other regional offices, Endeavor Aguascalientes supports a range of mostly early-stage entrepreneurs, some of whom enter the selection process to become official Endeavor Entrepreneurs. In 2010, Endeavor Aguascalientes selected 21 entrepreneurs, engaged 76 mentors who donated 2,744 combined hours in mentorship and oversaw $1,400,000 in grants to entrepreneurs, 14 board members and 6 staff members. Beyond these quantifiable achievements, the Aguascalientes office has also been a leader in fostering community around their entrepreneurs, which is evident in recent efforts.

            Recently, Endeavor Aguascalientes Mexico hosted its second Gala Dinner to bring together the state’s top business leaders; days before, the office published The New Face of Aguascalientes, which features seven inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the region. Highlights of the gala and the publication are included below.

            Endeavor Aguascalientes Gala

            On June 23, Endeavor Aguascalientes Mexico and the Development Entrepreneurs AC held its annual Gala dinner, bringing together 400 prominent local business leaders and honoring their role as economic change agents. In keeping with an environmental theme, the Center of Interactive Science and Technology was vibrantly adorned in green.

            Five awards were given out. Jose Arteaga Niepmann, whose business La Huerta creates 100% natural products and employs over 1,500 families, received the award for “Business Growth.” Meanwhile, “Mentor of the Year” went to Enrique López Vázquez and Raul Adames Carbajal, acknowledging their active role in local selection panels and their commitment to social change. The law firm Arellano, Zavala & Igartúa won “Partner of the Year.”

            The “Social Commitment” award went to Jose Luis Garcia, whose arts and crafts workshop “Polvo de Agua” (Dust Water) promotes Mexican tradition and artistic expression. Finally, Gonzalo Padilla Gallardo of Electro GP was selected as the year’s top entrepreneur, who participated most actively in the network.
            One of the sponsors for the event was Endeavor Entrepreneur firm Tequila Milagro.

            La Nueva Cara de Aguascalientes (The New Face of Aguascalientes)

            All Gala guests received a copy of The New Face of Aguascalientes, a new book which shares the stories of seven entrepreneurs (supported by Endeavor) that are transforming the state of Aguascalientes into a region of growth, optimism, and economic welfare. The book includes numerous case studies highlighting the entrepreneurs’ growth, obstacles, and accomplishments—along with insights from Deloitte. Companies include the company Mex Q, selected by Endeavor in 2010.

            eMBA Field Reports: 2 voices from Jordan

            In Jordan with Al Masar
            Andrea Zuluaga, MBA at London Business School

            My first 3 weeks in Jordan have been absolutely amazing–from a high impact consulting project to discovering Jordan behind the family doors to visiting the country’s many tourist attractions…

            Widad, the Endeavor Entrepreneur I’m working with, is an inspiring and passionate professional. Al-Masar, her business, serves children with special needs through a full-time school and therapy services. I was very lucky to be here a week ago for the five-year celebration. Widad and her partners are expert therapists and highly respected in their profession. With Al-Masar she decided to take another challenge for which she had no formal training: Becoming a manager. With every conversation, I can see that she has very good instincts about the economics of her business and knows directionally where she needs to adjust to grow. My contribution is therefore not revolutionary business ideas, but rather providing additional tools, metrics and financial capabilities so she can effectively execute on her ideas and vision.

            I could not have arrived at a friendlier place than Al-Masar–from the first day, when they picked me up at the airport sometime after midnight, to the invitations to connect with their families. I have now been to an all-female graduation party, a family lunch and a house party. I’ve also had the opportunity to talk to many inspiring Jordanian women, who have opened to me their thoughts, dreams and concerns–and have had many incredibly revealing conversations about their culture and reality.

            I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention: Jordan is a beautiful country! Snorkeling in the Red Sea has been one of the most memorable experiences, and I found Wadi Rum, a desert of changing colors absolutely beautiful (although a whole day in the scorching sun might be too much). I could go on, mentioning the Wadi Mujib, Dead Sea, Citadel and Amman in Pink with the sunset (plus, I am saving Petra for last…); it’s truly a privilege to be here.

            Figuring our monetization in Amman
            Shobhit Datta, MBA at Columbia Business School

            I have been in Amman for a month now. It is a fascinating and very laid-back city. I am working with the Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Jeeran.com, and my project is to help them figure out possible monetization strategies. Online advertising is not a great option anywhere, but with much lower advertising rates in emerging markets it is even less lucrative here. This, coupled with reluctance for businesses and consumers to spend online, makes monetization very challenging for Internet businesses. After brainstorming for a couple of weeks, we have decided on a couple of options to implement as mini-experiments. Since one is mostly in uncharted territory here, the experimental mindset is important as it is very likely that we would have to revamp our strategy a lot as we meet potential customers. We are trying to borrow from the Customer Development Methodology to see if our hypothesis is validated before we invest resources in building our new offering. (As an MBA student, I felt this update would be incomplete without mentioning some framework or methodology — I’m curious, did any other eMBAs apply 4 P’s for their project?) Wish us luck!

            As for non-work things, here are few highlights:

            – Every morning, getting to admire the view of sand-colored houses on the hills of east Amman with the sun rising behind them
            – Going to a colleague’s home for lunch and being ordered by this colleague’s mom to come to lunch everyday so she can practice her English!
            – The fascinating (and often bizarre) conversations with cab drivers in a mixture of English, Arabic, and hand gestures
            – Weekend road trip to Wadi Rum and getting confused what to wish for after watching several shooting stars (I dipped into my beauty pageant experience and chose “world peace”)
            – Planned trips to Cairo and Lebanon!

            eMBA Field Report: Halfway into my Brazil endeavor

            By Anna Bae

            Anna is an MBA student at Harvard Business School and is spending her summer as an eMBA with Minha Vida in Brazil.

            I can’t believe it’s already been five weeks. And I wish I had more time left here in Sao Paulo. Roberto Lifschitz, one of the two founders of Minha Vida, and the team couldn’t make my life any easier, safer, and more delightful since the day I arrived. They sent an English-speaking driver to pick me up at the airport, put me in a hotel that’s in 3-minute walking distance to the office (and a bit too nice for a lowly intern), showed me around the city in the weekends, let me try some authentic Brazilian restaurants (there’s so much more than barbeque in Brazilian cuisine!), translated Portuguese conversations into English for me during lunches, drove miles to have a weekend brunch with me in my neighborhood, invited me over to their homes and even offered me a chance to travel with them. Encouraged by their hospitality, I’m trying my best to contribute to Minha Vida’s business as much as possible.

            Minha Vida is an online health/wellness company that aspires to protect and improve Brazilians’ health by making medical and wellness information easily accessible, especially to mid/low-income population. Its revenue comes from the ads on the site and fees from its signature weight-loss program, “Deita e Saude” (D.S..) Because the online ad market is still fairly immature in Brazil, DS’s program fee is responsible for almost 70% of the revenue. For my Endeavor eMBA project, my own focus is making this cash cow more successful by improving DS user engagement.

            DS has been growing very strong, meeting its aggressive revenue goals. But it recently started seeing a slight drop in the active user number and a rise in program cancellation.

            Because I worked on several projects to improve online user engagement before business school, this task was not completely new but still challenging. I started by setting milestones for myself –- e.g. first week to understand the product, user, and the market; second week to diagnose the problem and benchmark against the industry leaders in the U.S.; and so on, to finish with the plans of actions. However, with the cooperation of Roberto and the DS crew, we managed to come up with some action items already, got them approved by the management, and are now in the execution mode. Beauty of a start-up.

            Last week, we started an internal program that aims to spur user activity in the DS community space. DS has a blog space where its users can motivate each other, and data has proven that once a user participates in the community, s/he becomes much more engaged to DS overall and likely to extend her/his membership. This week, we are working with a designer, web architect, and a nutritionist to improve the “onboarding” experience of the new users — to wow the new users within 3-5 minutes after their registration. And more to come in the coming weeks…

            I also had the pleasure to visit the Endeavor Brazil office by the invitation of staffmember Leticia Queiroz, and attend the welcoming event for newly selected Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Most of the new entrepreneurs’ businesses were related to security in the tech space (mobile, online), which is very important for a country where Internet usage is growing by over 10 million users a year. Located in a university building, Endeavor’s Sao Paulo office was still very busy and active even around 8pm. In the midst of the busyness, everyone was kind enough to get up from the chair to greet me with a customary cheek kiss. Many of them have just returned from the Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco.

            All in all, my stay in Brazil has been incredible. Can’t thank Endeavor and Minha Vida enough for this opportunity.


            This picture is from my very first “happy hour” with my friends at Minha Vida.

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