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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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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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Endeavor Mentor of 2011 (Emerging Markets) nominees announced

Congratulations to the nine nominees for the Endeavor Mentor of 2011 (Emerging Markets) Award, to be revealed at our Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit later this month! These nominations recognize some of the Endeavor network members –- based in the emerging markets where Endeavor operates –- who have most embodied the spirit of Endeavor and had the highest impact over the past 12 months through a combination of mentoring Endeavor Entrepreneurs, participating in the network, and supporting and guiding Endeavor’s continued growth. A big congratulations to all the nominees.

Nicolas Szekasy
MercadoLibre.com (Argentina)


Since helping take MercadoLibre.com (an Endeavor company) public as its CFO in 2009, Nicolas Szekasy has been supporting entrepreneurs in the internet startup space as an investor and board member. He is a member of the Endeavor Argentina board, an Entrepreneur Services Committee member, and a well-respected mentor, advising Endeavor Entrepreneurs on strategy definition and execution, general management, finance, M&A, and team building.

Edson Rigonatti
Astella Investimentos (Brazil)


Edson Rigonatti is one of the most engaged mentors for Endeavor Brazil, donating more than 60 hours in 2010. Not only does he have a close relationship with many of the entrepreneurs, he is also engaged in internal strategic discussions, especially in Search and Selection and Entrepreneur Services, helping to train the team, add structure to the departments and improve Endeavor Brazil’s services. Edson actively participates in Endeavor events and programs such as the Gala Dinner and CEO Summit, and has spoken at several workshops and classes in Brazil’s Outreach and Education programs. Edson is also one of the first Brazilian members of Endeavor’s recently launched Investor Network.

Eduardo Novoa
Novoa Inversiones (Chile)


Eduardo Novoa is an independent consultant and a Board Member for Soquimich & Mainstream Renewable Power. He has held positions in business development, corporate strategy, and asset management at a number of Chilean and multinational companies. Eduardo joined Endeavor Chile’s Advisory Board in 2007. He spends countless hours mentoring Endeavor Entrepreneurs and is one of the creators of the high impact “Endeavor (YPO) Forum”. In the months following the earthquake in Chile in 2010, Eduardo and a group of Endeavor Entrepreneurs and Venturecorps members raised over US$1 million to support the reconstruction of the area, by far the most important social impact achieved in the history of Endeavor Chile.

Diego Garzon
Azurian (Colombia)


Diego Garzon is a partner at Azurian, a regional IT consulting firm. In 2010, Diego donated more than 80 hours to Endeavor Colombia, assisting with Search and Selection and Entrepreneur Services. Diego has been particularly committed to supporting Endeavor Entrepreneur Felipe Vergara of Lumni, leading meetings of the company’s technology advisory committee twice a month, and even traveling to Mexico to support Lumni’s expansion and growth.

Marianne Hesni
Hesni Group (Egypt)


Marianne Hesni is CFO of the Hesni Group, one of the leading companies in Egypt’s textile industry, and a long time Endeavor mentor. She recently became the first member of the country’s VentureCorps to join the Board of Endeavor Egypt. She is an active participant in local panels, roundtables, and events and is planning on attending the upcoming International Selection Panel (ISP) in Jordan.

Julio Gutiérrez
Grupo Metiz (Mexico)


In 2010, Julio donated 128 hours to Endeavor Mexico, more than any other Endeavor Mexico mentor. In addition to being a member of Endeavor Mexico’s Advisory Board, he serves on the advisory boards of four Endeavor Entrepreneur companies: Grupo MYT; Procesa Chiapas; Maskota; and Chilim Balam. He was a panelist at the International Selection Panel (ISP) in Chile and has offered his time in 46 Second Opinion Reviews and Mentoring Sessions since 2009. He is Endeavor Mexico’s Mentor of the Year for 2010.

Tanya Petzer
Engineer Your Tomorrow (South Africa)


Engineer Your Tomorrow (EYT) is a Talent Management and Organizational Culture Consultancy that has facilitated HR Peer Mentorship Sessions for Endeavor companies in South Africa. Tanya Petzer, a partner at EYT, has played a key role in facilitating these meetings since November 2009. With her guidance, HR professionals have found ways to engage with top management at their firms to bring HR to the forefront in important decisions. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have highlighted Tanya’s leadership in these meetings, which have allowed directors to engage in a dialogue about challenges they are facing at their respective firms. They have praised Tanya for helping them link HR-related issues to the core values and objectives of their overall business.

Ziya Boyacigiller
Angel Investor (Turkey)


Ziya Boyacigiller is an entrepreneur and investor who makes early-stage investments in technology start-ups—in Silicon Valley and Istanbul—and works with founding teams to help them grow their companies. He lectures MBA students on Entrepreneurship at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Ziya is currently on the advisory boards of three Endeavor companies in Turkey. Has been coaching the Endeavor Turkey team on developing a new TV program and can be found in their office every other week, meeting with entrepreneurs or with the staff. He is a nationally recognized entrepreneur and entrepreneurship advocate.

Andrés Cerisola
Ferrere (Uruguay)


Andrés Cerisola is partner of Ferrere, one of the most important Uruguayan lawyers’ groups. He has been a member of Endeavor Uruguay’s Board of Directors since 2007 and is very committed to Endeavor’s mission. In 2010, he donated many hours as a mentor in his home country, and actively participated in the most recent International Selection Panels (ISPs) in Mexico and London, representing Endeavor Uruguay and its entrepreneurs.

Endeavor Entrepreneur of 2011 nominees announced

Congratulations to the nine entrepreneurs nominated for our Endeavor Entrepreneur of 2011 Award, to be revealed at our Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit later this month! These nominations recognize some of the Endeavor Entrepreneurs who have most embodied the spirit of Endeavor and had the highest impact over the past 12 months through a combination of growing his/her company, participating in the network, and giving back to Endeavor.

Rodolfo Montes de Oca and Patricio Miranda
Zott Producciones (Argentina)


The brainchild of childhood friends Rodolfo and Patricio, Zott Producciones exports innovative high-quality corporate promotional products to more than 40 countries. Zott has produced over 100 million products while building a reputation for efficiency, quality, and social responsibility. Zott generates $25 million in revenues and has more than 120 employees. Patricio and Rodolfo have given back to Endeavor in time and in-kind, speaking at conferences, participating in the selection process, and printing Endeavor Argentina’s annual Impact Reports free of charge.

Leila Velez
Beleza Natural (Brazil)


Leila and her co-founder opened the first Beleza Natural salon in 1993, aiming to give underserved women an affordable way to feel “naturally beautiful.” The franchise currently includes 26 salons in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Beleza Natural has also developed a line of hair care products, operates a cosmetic research lab and maintains partnerships with several universities. Since selection by Endeavor, Beleza Natural has increased employment by 214%. The company is in the top 5 Endeavor Brazil companies in terms of revenue and has excellent market foresight, targeting the fastest growing segment of the population in Brazil. Leila has helped Endeavor Brazil at several events, including the Endeavor Entrepreneur Annual Retreat, Gala Dinner, CEO Summit (which she attended as a speaker), and the Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America program. She is also a columnist for Endeavor Brazil’s website and was one of the first entrepreneurs to teach in their education program.

Juan Carlos de la Llera
SIRVE (Chile)


SIRVE designs, produces and implements devices that protect structures from damage caused by earthquakes. When SIRVE-equipped buildings withstood the fifth-strongest earthquake ever recorded, SIRVE’s projects tripled. Today, the company is ready to capitalize on the estimated US$300 million seismic protection devices and services market. SIRVE’s significant investment in R&D and its ability to both develop and implement superior technology at a lower cost separates it from its competition. Juan Carlos has been a role model to an entire generation of engineers and entrepreneurs, showing how excellence in creating a better and safer environment is rewarded in the business world.

Kenneth Mendiwelson
Refinancia (Colombia)


Kenneth has developed an innovative approach to Colombia’s Non-Performing Loan (NPL) market, buying NPLs from banks and implementing a unique program for loan collection to treat debtors as respected clients instead of “defaulted loans.” Kenneth has already built a client base of more than 250,000 individuals. The company continues to make a significant social impact in Colombia, a country with almost no history of debt markets and very limited individual access to credit. Kenneth has not only focused on his company’s growth, but also on being an Ambassador for Endeavor Colombia, participating in several events, donating time to the Search and Selection process, and contributing to the World Economic Forum Report “Global Entrepreneurship and Successful Growth Strategies of Early-Stage Companies.”

Amr Shady
T.A. Telecom (Egypt)


T.A. Telecom is positioned to become Middle East North Africa (MENA) region’s premier mobile platform for time- and location-specific content. It recently experienced tremendous growth thanks to an increase in the population’s interest to consume more information. Despite being only recently selected at the Mexico ISP, Amr Shady is very actively involved in Endeavor. He has attended multiple local and international events and is making good use of connections, services and mentorship. He is the first entrepreneur in Egypt to commit to the give-back program.

Mauricio Pariente and Alejandro Chaljub
Procesa Chiapas (Mexico)


Mauricio and Alejandro’s vision was to positively impact employment and wealth in Chiapas, one of the poorest regions in Mexico. In only three years, their company, which commercializes frozen foods and tuna in pouch packets, grew from 100 to 300 employees and more than doubled annual sales from US$7.3 million to US$15.6 million. Mauricio and Alejandro serve on the advisory boards of several other Endeavor Entrepreneurs’ companies and have helped Endeavor set up an office in Chiapas.

Natalie Killassy
Stitch Wise (South Africa)


Since 1997, Stitch Wise has been producing leading-edge safety equipment and protective clothing for mining and other hazardous industries, protecting mining workers from the accidents that crippled its employees in the past. With over half the workforce made up of paraplegic former miners, Natalie’s socially conscious business restores dignity to those whose lives have been forever changed by on-the-job accidents. Natalie was a 2009 Veuve Clicquot “Business Woman of the Year” and was honored as “Entrepreneur of the Year” at Endeavor’s annual Gala in New York City in 2009. She championed the idea of Entrepreneur “Give Back” before a formalized program was in place. She frequently donates her time and resources to the organization and serves on local selection panels.

Bülent Celebi
AirTies (Turkey)


Bülent founded AirTies in 2004 to develop, produce and market network and wireless modems and accessories for the residential and small business market in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Since being selected by Endeavor, company revenues have grown by 466%. AirTies continues to create R&D jobs in Turkey and set new standards for management practices and customer support services. An active network member, Bülent serves on the board of another Endeavor company and has participated as a speaker, panelist, search and selection interviewer and ambassador for Endeavor. He is a major supporter of the “Give Back” program and is always ready to share constructive feedback on how Endeavor Turkey can improve their service.

Gabriel Colla
Infocorp (Uruguay)


Gabriel Colla founded Infocorp at age 22 in 1994 and successfully grew his company at an average of 35% per year for the past seven years. Its products are present in more than 18 countries, and the company has offices in Puerto Rico, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. In 2009 Gabriel hired a CEO for Infocorp, and transitioned from the role of CEO to that of President, focusing on strategic issues. Gabriel launched a second company, Lynkos, in 2010 together with Federico Cella, another Endeavor Entrepreneur. He donated more than 20 hours as mentor in 2010 and is a member of Endeavor Uruguay’s Board of Directors.

LawForChange features Endeavor Entrepreneur Felipe Vergara

LawForChange, a legal resource and forum for social innovators conducts case studies where social entrepreneurs share their experiences protecting their organizations’ intellectual property , highlighting the legal challenges they faced and overcame and the lessons they learned in the process. They recently spoke with Endeavor Entrepreneur Felipe Vergara, founder of Lumni Inc. The case study is reprinted below, or find the original here.

The Organization: Lumni Inc. is a pioneer is the field of human capital financing. The company designs and manages social-investment funds that invest in the education of diversified pools of students. In exchange, each student commits to pay a fixed percentage of income for a fixed number of months after graduation, with no debt obligations afterward. Through both for-profit and nonprofit funds, Lumni has expanded its work to Chile, Colombia, Mexico and the United States, financing more than 2,000 students to date, the large majority of whom come from low or very low-income backgrounds.

In the Beginning: As the creator of a unique financial model that could be replicated around the globe, Lumni founder Felipe Vergara saw intellectual property as a priority for Lumni since its inception. But, like many social sector organizations, Lumni’s lack of time and resources were formidable obstacles. As Felipe recalls, “We have always wanted to develop our IP strategy, but in the beginning we did not have the means. The key was to find the right partners to execute that strategy.”

Felipe watched other social organizations undergo time consuming name changes because of IP disputes. As Lumni expanded to other jurisdictions, he realized that the potential risks and benefits of IP protection were too great to ignore.

Lumni first set out to trademark its name and brand in the countries where it operates. Linking with organizations like the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, Lumni has now succeeded in registering in many of the surrounding countries, and is also seeking patent protection for some of its financial models and research methods. It has also taken steps to create security protocols internally.

Why Protect IP? As Felipe describes, “I think [IP strategy] is fundamental. One of the main assets of any organization, particularly social organizations, is the reputation of their brand. So if your reputation is not protected, all the good will that has been built over the years is put at risk. Making sure your core IP is protected is a fundamental step for all the stakeholders, all the investors, and all the staff and board members.”

Lessons Learned:

Pick and choose: “We learned there are different types of brand classes under which we could register, which correspond to the different uses for the brand. This can include anything from a drink to an education service.

“One of our biggest challenges was how to prioritize with limited resources, to decide in which countries we wanted to protect our IP, and which types of brand categories to use. It is important to make sure you register your name in the adequate category, considering your resources, since the more categories you choose, the more expensive it will be to register.

The open source option: In addition to protecting its IP around the world, Lumni has also decided to keep some of its IP as open source for broad dissemination. When asked about the factors that go into making that decision, Felipe noted, “There are things we think might be of interest to the public and to the sector, things that might help advance the sector, and help people understand something as innovative as human capital contracts. In those areas, Lumni is very committed to doing research and publishing.” He added, “[Lumni is] also a small organization without a large research component. Some things we are willing to share so more people are aware of what we’re doing.”

Advice to Others: For other social sector organizations considering their IP strategy, Felipe offers the following advice:

1. Keep it focused: “Some key advice is to focus on what is core. There are so many things that one organization can do, but there are probably one or two things that are most important… You also have to find and register in the countries that are most important for your organization.”

2. Prioritize: “Small organizations have many things to think about, mostly how to survive. Usually they will be primary concerned with protecting their brand and their know-how, if there is something specific about their know-how they can protect. If this is not absolutely key, then go and register the brand.”

Two Endeavor Entrepreneurs named “Women to Watch” by The Next Web

The Next Web, a top blog for tech news and business, has named two Endeavor entrepreneurs to their new list of “Latin American Start-ups: 10 Women to Watch.” The list comes on the heals of Rio de Janeiro’s recent Dell Women’s Entrepreneurs Network, which hosted several leading Latin women in the start-up scene. Profiles of the Endeavor-supported Entrepreneurs are reprinted from The Next Web below:

Julie McPherson is the co-founder and Director of New Business of Tiaxa, a company supported by Endeavor. An American, she met her Chilean husband while working at an investment bank in Chile in 1996. She then returned to the US and co-founded Tiaxa in 2000 with 5 associates. At the time, the company was based in Miami and focusing on services such as WAP portals and ringtones. It changed quite a lot since then: commercially headquartered in Santiago de Chile since 2002, it provides all kinds of data solutions to telcos, from billing infrastructure.

This shift reflects the growing importance of data in the operators’ revenues; its clients include Nextel, Vivo and America Movil. Tiaxa is mostly focusing on Latin America, where its main offices are currently located. It’s the area of expertise of its founders and an interesting one: text messaging took off earlier there than in the US. Julie is also based in Latin America; she came back to Santiago to open the local office. According to Julie, Tiaxa has been growing very fast lately and is one of Chile’s main tech exporters. Julie also supports other women entrepreneurs, thanks to the Impakta program initiated in Chile by women from the Endeavor network. Through tailored advice such as business mapping, it helps these female entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level.

Martha Debayle, a radio and TV anchor born in Nicaragua, raised in New York City and based Mexico, is the founder of media brand BBMundo (which translates as “Baby World”). Launched in 2000, it includes a web portal, a magazine, a radio program and a discount card. It targets future and current parents, particularly mothers. Its motto is “Because you can always be a better mom”. Since its selection by Endeavor in 2002, its revenues have grown as much as 1,000% thanks to partnerships with brands such as Johnson’s Baby and Nestlé SMA, according to the network’s website.

Martha Debayle is a celebrity in Mexico: to give you an idea, her recent wedding made it to the front page of popular magazine Quién. Last year, she was listed as one of the “10 most influential women in Mexico” by web portal De10, which belongs to Mexican newspaper El Universal.

Join me in recognizing high-impact female entrepreneurs – by Joanna Rees, Endeavor board member and San Francisco mayoral candidate

By Joanna Rees

I have long believed in taking risks, rising to challenges, and persevering. Whether climbing the corporate ladder, starting my own venture capital firm, or most recently entering the 2011 race for Mayor of San Francisco [Editor’s note: learn more at joinjoanna.com], I have always tried to live by these convictions. Through all of these experiences, there is nothing that excites me more than working with entrepreneurs. Their passion, vision and tenacity are inspirational. Helping them build and scale their businesses led me to join the Board of Endeavor Global. Through my work with Endeavor, I have met so many High-Impact Entrepreneurs who consistently take risks, rise to challenges, and serve as role models. Through their work, commitment and passion they inspire countless other entrepreneurs.

I want to tell you the story of my friend Francesca Romana Diana, who is a great example of a High-Impact Entrepreneur. Francesca was born in Italy, traveled to Brazil and became inspired by the beautiful stones and gems found in the region. She launched her own jewelry design and manufacturing company. After fifteen years of building a successful jewelry business with her husband, Francesca lost everything when the two split. He retained the name of the company, Francesca Romana, and held all the assets. At perhaps the most difficult time in her life, Francesca, who was also a mother with a young son, courageously built a new luxury jewelry business from scratch. Since her name was taken she used her full name Francesca Romana Diana. Her talent and determination prevailed.  

She is now an internationally acclaimed designer, creating beautiful, whimsical accessories out of semi-precious stones. She has boutiques in major cities in Brazil and Europe and sells her jewelry through retailers in the U.S. She is not only a very successful entrepreneur but she is a phenomenal role model, especially for women. Francesca’s determination, energy and gumption prompted me to send my daughter, Taylor, to spend a week with her to learn from such a strong female role model.

All entrepreneurs face barriers, especially females. It is even harder in emerging markets where there are numerous cultural challenges and few support systems. Networks, especially peer networks, can be one of the best resources to overcome these barriers. With more than 600 entrepreneurs in 11 emerging markets, Endeavor has an invaluable pool of entrepreneurial expertise. This kind of network can be a powerful and steady source of support, inspiration, and advice.

On June 28-30, Endeavor is holding its 2011 Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco, California. As part of its Summit, Endeavor along with Veuve Clicquot will host a Women Entrepreneur Breakfast on June 29 to bring together High-Impact female Endeavor Entrepreneurs and leading Bay Area business women. At the Women Entrepreneurship Breakfast, I will be presenting the Endeavor Entrepreneur nominees of the “Veuve Clicquot High-Impact Female Entrepreneur of the Year” Award.

In addition to celebrating these incredible women, I’m excited to bring together leading business women and entrepreneurs from the Bay Area with Endeavor Entrepreneurs from around the world. I look forward to continuing the dialogue about the barriers and challenges that female entrepreneurs face and the importance of support networks.

For more information on the Women Entrepreneur Breakfast, please contact Maggie.Krummel@endeavor.org.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs share success stories at Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network event

By Julia Daniel, staffmember at Endeavor Brazil

We just wrapped up 2011’s Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) event in Rio de Janeiro. Dell partnered with Endeavor Brazil, as well as ForbesWoman publisher Moira Forbes and Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women to host the conference, themed “Building the Power of Your Business.”

To learn more, you can also check out an article in USA Today which discusses the conference and highlights Endeavor Entrepreneur and event speaker Leila Velez.

With 150 entrepreneurial women in attendance (as well as a few courageous men!), participants attended panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and informal chats. DWEN was a serious place for us to talk business, “girl-talk” style. We dug deep into the challenges facing entrepreneurs today and heard from top female entrepreneurs from around the world.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Leila Velez, president of Brazilian beauty chain Beleza Natural, participated in a spotlighted interview with Moira Forbes. Leila reminisced about the early days, when she and her partners launched their unique business to handle unruly, curly hair not by straightening it (like most products on the market) but by enhancing it. Leila explained how Beleza Natural identified a real market need felt strongly by the majority of Brazilian women, especially those at the base of the pyramid. She noted how the company overcame initial skepticism to open 26 salons in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which currently serve up to 1,000 customers per day. Leila also joked about earning her “McDonalds MBA” as an employee at the fast food chain, which Forbes remarked is quite common for emerging market entrepreneurs who often learn everything they know about business from previous employers.

Immediately following the interview, Endeavor Entrepreneur Ilana Braun spoke on a panel called “The Business of Beauty.” Drawing on her experience building a market-leading cosmetic brand, Dermage, she contributed insights about the growth of the ‘lipstick economy’ and how it has harnessed the buying power of women during the global recession. Additional notable speakers and panelists included:

– Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief AOL Huffington Post Media Group
– Carley Roney, founder of popular wedding planning resource, The Knot
– Judith Clegg, founder and CEO of Veturing Unlimed and The Glasshouse
– Sarah Prevette, CEO of Sprouter and recipient of Inc.com’s 30 Under 30 honor
– Neetu Bhatia, founder of India’s Ticketmaster, KyaZoonga
– Amy Millman, president and co-founder of entrepreneur incubator Springboard Enterprises
– Reina Otsuka, founder and CEO of leading Japanese eco-friendly export company Ecotwaza
– Luiza Helena Trajano, founder of the third largest retail chain in Brazil

DWEN provided fertile grounds for networking with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurial women. Though they came from many different businesses, cultures and life experiences, they were united by their desire to help one another through sharing information and being transparent in voicing their needs.

The tone was set from the beginning, when all participants sat in a semi-circle and were instructed: “Here is a card for you to write down what you need, and what you can offer.” DWEN used these cards to match our “hands” to ensure everyone walked out with a Royal Flush.

Webinar: Endeavor’s Allen Taylor weighs in on the future of entrepreneurial investing in Latin America

Endeavor’s Allen Taylor (Director, Global Network) joined Latin America Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) President Cate Ambrose and Americas Venture Capital Conference Co-Chair Irma Becerra-Fernandez in discussing fundraising trends, deal growth, and imperatives for continued investment growth in Latin America in a panel entitled “Prospects for Private Equity & Venture Capital in Latin America: The Year Ahead.” The panel was hosted by Endeavor Global Advisory Board member Juan Pablo Cappello, a senior partner in the Miami office of Greenberg Traurig. Click here to view the presentation; click here to listen to the webinar recording.

As the panelists discussed, Latin America is experiencing unprecedented interest and record-breaking investment growth. Global investment firms have a very favorable view of Latin America compared with other emerging markets, and expect to increase investment in coming years. Panelist input and data from LAVCA’s recent survey of 200+ private equity and venture capital firms in Latin America highlight the following trends, among others.

More Funds Raised, Bigger Deals

2010 was a record-breaking year for Latin America, with $8.1 billion in funds raised, and 2011 is looking to be an even bigger year. Deal size increased significantly, with the dollar amount growing by 120% compared with 2009 and the number of deals above $100 million doubling. Despite claims that Latin America could be “overheating,” panelists asserted that it is a young, developing region and investors there face a less crowded, competitive market compared to other global markets.

Investments Focused on Growth and Expansion Phases

Allen Taylor observed that investment in Latin America is more focused on private equity than on true, early-stage venture capital—which is the type of investment most Endeavor Entrepreneurs seek. LAVCA’s data confirms that more than half of 2010’s deals invested in companies in the growth or expansion phases, while only 18% of deals focused on early stage or seed investment. However, all three panelists shared optimism that this number is growing. Allen added that while Endeavor companies are technically “early stage” based on the amount of money they raise, they are already successful and growing organically in their countries.

Government Support Critical

In addition to their highly innovative entrepreneurs, many Latin American countries are popular with investors because of their favorable business environment and governmental support of entrepreneurship. Compared with other emerging markets, Latin America is an increasingly user-friendly, familiar, welcoming environment for private equity and venture capital firms. Panelists all agreed that continued governmental and regulatory support is critical for future growth.

Click here to view the presentation; click here to listen to the webinar recording.

Endeavor’s Nicolas Ramos offers advice on attracting investment the smart way

Nicolas Ramos, COO of Endeavor Argentina‘s Córdoba office, spoke with local newspaper La Voz Noticias on how entrepreneurs can intelligently approach and secure investors.

Read the original version HERE (en Espanol). An English translation appears below.

1. What factors lead an investor to “buy into” a project?

There are different stages in a venture, and each stage has a certain type of investor that would be interested in investing. The seed capital needed to start operations is usually provided by what is called the 4 Fs: Family, Friends, Fools and Founders. They buy in because they believe in the person. They don’t study the business plan; they may look at the return on investment a few years away. Professional investors such as angel investors or investment funds usually invest in companies that are already in operation to some degree. At this stage, the company should have a defined business model and a growth strategy. Angel investors or funds will be interested in the entrepreneurial team and how they problem-solve, their leadership style and their ability to perform under pressure. Investors at this stage also look for an exit strategy. They usually buy a minority stake in the company so that in the next round of financing, equity is purchased by another investor for a higher price. An investor puts money in at this stage for operations — equipment, working capital and other items that grow the business — and not for the entrepreneur to take home. It is important to clarify that investors in the early stages of a venture are usually not interested in joining the management team of the company.

2. What are the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when pitching their projects to an investor?

It’s important to keep the pitch professional; the entrepreneur is not asking for help, but asking for money. It’s especially important to define the terms of the investment. Also, entrepreneurs often concentrate on the specific product or service they are developing, rather than on the business. An investor needs to know what the company produces and what makes it competitive, as well as the business side of it — who’s the target customer, what’s the market demand, who are the competitors, etc. A great product can have a terrible business. I usually advise entrepreneurs looking for investors to ask them to contribute more than money. They must look for “smart money,” an investor who will also add a network of potential investor contacts, or knowledge and experience.

3. Is it true that it’s especially difficult to get financing in Argentina?

Both funding and investors are scarce in Argentina. For some enterprises, there are many government programs that can contribute financing for companies, such as non-repayable contributions or loans with subsidized rates, such as SEPYME (Nation) or the Ministry of Industry of Cordoba. I cannot comment on bank loans. A network of professional investors is just beginning to develop with some success, but of course, there is less of this than in countries like Chile and Brazil.

4. What’s your best advice for entrepreneurs?

One important thing is to focus on the strengths of the entrepreneurial team. Another key issue is developing a simple way to explain the potential for business growth: the more attractive the business opportunity, the more investors will be interested in participating.

Turkish home décor brand ilio gains traction in high-end design world

Endeavor Entrepreneur brother and sister duo Demir and Mehtap Obuz have been making a splash in the international design world. Products from the pair’s recently launched home décor line ilio were showcased among other cutting edge designs at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and in a limited edition MoMA design store collection, Destination: Istanbul.

The ICFF took place this past May in New York City and showcased 500 contemporary design brands from across the globe. Visitors to the ilio exhibit saw the line’s tableware, accessories and furniture collection and learned the stories behind the pieces.

The MoMa Store collection highlights emerging Istanbul designers in an effort to make available “lifestyle items usually found only in Turkey.” Click here to shop Destination: Istanbul, which features a number of award-winning ilio pieces, such as the forest-handmade crystalline stemware set designed by Demir and the kat kat storage system designed by Mehtap.

Demir and Mehtap are two of Endeavors newest entreprenuers, selected at the May 2011 London International Selection Panel. Mehtap founded Demirden, which she grew into one of Turkey’s leading design and brand management firms, almost two decades ago. Building on the success of Demirden, she and her brother launched ilio two years ago with the goal of achieving success outside Turkey’s borders. It seems like the two are well on their way!

Who’s presenting at the Endeavor Summit? A complete speaker list, from Reid Hoffman to Marc Benioff to many more

The Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco (June 28-30, 2011) — register here! — is a unique innovation conference held biannually that brings together Endeavor’s worldwide network for three days of inspirational keynotes, informative panels, high-impact workshops, hands on breakout sessions, and intimate networking opportunities. This year’s Summit is all about innovation. We’ve worked hard to put together an amazing agenda packed with opportunities for you to:

COLLABORATE, THINK BIG, CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO – AND BE INSPIRED!

To answer one of the most common questions — who’s presenting?! — please refer to the most updated speaker list below, with links to official bios.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Reid Hoffman, Cofounder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce.com
•Scott McNealy, former CEO, Sun Microsystems
•Bing Gordon, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and former CEO, Electronic Arts
•Josh Silverman, Entrepreneur in Residence, Greylock; Former CEO, Skype; Former CEO, evite.com

ENTREPRENEUR SHOWCASES

Mike Ahearn, Chairman, First Solar
•George Bilicic, Managing Partner, Lazard
Jeff Housenbold, President and CEO, Shutterfly
Hernan Kazah and Nicolas Szekasy, Cofounders, Mercadolibre
David Sacks, Founder and CEO, Yammer
Chris Schroeder, CEO, HealthCentral; former CEO, Washington Post & Newsweek Interactive
Martin Migoya and Guibert Englebienne, Cofounders, Globant
Khaled Ismail, Founder and CEO, Sysdsoft
Firas Al Otaibi, Founder and Managing Director, Think Arabia

WORKSHOP LEADERS

Jeremy Utley, Director of Executive Education at Hass Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford
Perry Kleyban, Consulting Professor at the Stanford d.school
•Matt Ackley, VP, Product Marketing, Google
•Gary Briggs, VP , Consumer Marketing, Google
•Sal Giambanco, Former VP, Human Resources, PayPal and eBay
•David Frazee, Partner, K&L Gates
•Taddy Hall, SVP, The Nielsen Company
John Hamm, Managing Partner, VSP Capital and author of Unusual Excellence

SPEAKERS

•Juan Pablo Cappello, Partner, Greenberg Traurig LLC
Lenny Gravier, Managing Partner, HLB Gravier LLP
•James Joaquin, CEO, XMarks and Angel Investor
Wences Casares, Founder & CEO, Bling Nation; Founder & CEO, Patagon.com; Endeavor Entrepreneur and Endeavor Board Member
Diego Piacentini, Senior Vice President, International Retail, Amazon
Leo Tilman, President, L.M. Tilman & Co, Faculty at Columbia University and author of Financial
Darwinism

Tricia Tomlinson, VP, Human Resources, Genomic Health
•Stuart Francis, Vice Chairman, Barclays Capital
•Vanessa Kay, CEO, Veuve Clicquot
•Gina Bianchini, Cofounder and former CEO, Ning.com
•Bruce Giuliano, VP of Licensing, Sanrio
Terra Terwilliger, Founder, Brigid Executive Consulting
•Curt Alexander, CEO, Owl (branding and fashion expert)
•Nizan Guanaes, Chairman, Grupo ABC (marketing)
•Todd Irwin, EVP and GM, Silicon Valley Office, Edelman (PR company)
•Lou Colasuonno, Senior Managing Director, Financial Dynamics (communications consultancy)
Joi Ito, Chairman, Creative Commons; Advisory Board Member, IDEO
Larry Jacobs, CEO and Founder, Del Cabo Organic Farms
•Ryan Citro, Valuation & Business Modeling Senior Manager, Ernst & Young
•Dan Buchler, Transaction Support Partner, Ernst & Young
•Joe Muscat, Strategic Growth Markets, Ernst & Young
Tina Seelig, Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University
•Theresa Lina Stevens, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University
Janet Walkow, Cofounder, Leading Women Project and Director, Drug Dynamics Institute at The University of Texas at Austin
Christine Jacobs, Cofounder, Leading Women Project and Practice Leader, Operations at Core Risks
Watson – artificial intelligence computer system and winner of Jeopardy!
•Bruno Bowden, Engineering Manager, Google (known for Google Earth and Enterprise Gmail)
•Hiten Shah, CEO, KISSmetrics
•Travis Pearson and Aaron Cheris, Partners, Bain
•Susan Phillips, Vice President, Omidyar Network
Pat Rawa, Principal, Dynamic Consulting
•Adam Richardson, Creative Director, Frog Design
•David Snell, Chief Marketing Office, Quick Mobile
•Richard Binhammer, Social Media and Corporate Reputation Management, Dell
•Emerick Woods, CEO, Global IP Solutions (acquired by Google)
Rodrigo Jordan, CEO, Vertical and Endeavor Entrepreneur
Carlos Baradello, Associate Dean, USF and Angel Investor in Argentina
Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Director, Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center
•Erik Dithmer, Vice President & General Manager, Dell Small & Medium Business
Om Malik, Founder, GigaOM
Paul Walborsky, CEO, GigaOM
•Heidi Locke Simon, Partner, Bain
Patrick Payne, CEO, QuickMobile
Cate Ambrose, President and Executive Director, Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA)
•Bedy Yang, Founder, Brazil Innovators
•Vanesa Kolodziej, Founder, Palermo Valley and Founder and CEO, BA Accelerator
Sheila Marcelo, Founder and CEO, care.com
•Jane Metcalfe, TCHO Chocolate
•Jeff Joerling, Turnstone, A Steelcase Company

PRESENTING INVESTORS

Jeff Bussgang, General Partner, Flybridge Capital and author of Mastering the VC Game
•Elizabeth Clarkson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)
Jason Green, Emergence Capital Partners
Jeff Brody, Redpoint
Matt Cohler, Benchmark
Paul Hsiao, NEA
•Stewart Alsop, Alsop Louie Partners
Oleg Kaganovich, Director, Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship, KAUST
•Leslie Jump, Partner, Sawari Ventures LLC
Joanna Rees, VSP Capital
Luke Nosak, Founders Fund
Carol Sands, Angels Forum
Dave McClure, 500 StartUps
•Walid Bakr, Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), Abraaj Capital
Dado Banatao, Tallwood Capital
•Dan Senor, Rosemont
•Phil Wickham, President and CEO, Center for Venture Education (Kauffman Fellows Program)
Ariel Muslera, CAP Ventures; Regional Advisor, Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA)
Peter Kellner, Founder and Managing Partner, Richmond Capital LLC and Cofounder, Endeavor

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