High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Endeavor Entrepreneurs Spotlight Youth Employment at EY Strategic Growth Forum in Rome

At EY‘s first pan-Mediterranean Strategic Growth Forum in Rome, nearly 600 business executives, government leaders and entrepreneurs from across the globe came together to discuss the region’s business and investment potential. The two-day event included panel discussions with Endeavor Entrepreneurs Mostafa […]

April 24th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor Insight Report Spotlights Growing Entrepreneurship in Bogotá’s Tech Sector

Bogotá’s tech entrepreneurs have built over 100 companies and created thousands of jobs over the past two decades, according to a recent study by Endeavor Insight. With the support of Endeavor Colombia and the Omidyar Network, the research team […]

February 17th, 2014 — by admin

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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.


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.

            Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit: an event roundup

            The biannual Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit, hosted at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco on June 28-30, was the largest-ever gathering of Endeavor Entrepreneurs and network members in history. Over 450 people participated in the event, including 170 Endeavor Entrepreneurs and 90 expert speakers. The theme: “Innovation has no borders. Ideas have no boundaries.” Over the course of three days, attendees heard from some of the most successful entrepreneurs, executives, and VCs on a broad variety of critical issues for entrepreneurs and investors in emerging markets.

            Please stay tuned on the Endeavor.org blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter, for photos, videos, and transcripts of the various presentations and sessions.

            Intro video and official guide

            For a lighthearted introduction to the event, check out this welcome video — “Adventures of the Mini Entrepreneur” — which was produced by Endeavor Jordan company Kharabeesh. Click here to view the official guide from the event, including the agenda and biographies of speakers and entrepreneurs.

            Keynotes and plenaries

            The Summit featured a variety of well-attended plenary talks on the main stage. In his keynote speech, Sun Microsystems Co-founder and former CEO Scott McNealy emphasized the importance of having a controversial (but correct!) strategy. Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg interviewed Salesforce.com Founder and CEO Marc Benioff about his experiences as an entrepreneur, the future of technology, and his revolutionary approaches at Salesforce.com. Bing Gordon, Partner, Kleiner Perkins and former Chief Creative Officer, Electronic Arts addressed how to be an effective CEO in high-growth companies. Meanwhile Reid Hoffman, Endeavor Global Board Member and LinkedIn Executive Chairman / Co-founder, concluded the conference with a keynote address elaborating on his keys to successful entrepreneurship.

            Leading executives and entrepreneurs shared further insight with attendees through the following panels and talks on the main stage: “State of Venture Capital in the United States and Abroad,” “CEO Best Practices for Scaling Fast Growth Companies,” “Are Machines Smarter Than Humans?,” “10 Things to Think About When Starting a Cleantech Company,” “Evolution of Digital Photography,” and “International Expansion.”

            Workshops and other events

            In addition to these plenary sessions, attendees selected one from three workshops to attend on either design thinking, entrepreneurial leadership, and talent management. Finally, attendees chose three “Hot Topic” breakout sessions to attend from more than 30 options, on topics including marketing/branding, strategy/expansion, talent/HR, corporate culture, technology, and financing. Talks ranged from “Designing an e-Commerce Strategy for Your Company” and “How to Maintain Your Entrepreneurial Spirit” to “Guerilla Tactics for Acquisition” and “Tools for Unlocking Creativity.”

            The Summit also featured regional panel discussions, entrepreneur showcases, and two back-to-back 45-minute Global Connections mentoring sessions, in which hundreds of entrepreneurs and mentors were individually paired up for live mentoring. Endeavor also organized “office hours” to give entrepreneurs access to some of the most prominent and requested network members and industry experts. Throughout the Summit, a special mobile app customized by QuickMobile allowed attendees to navigate the sessions, access personalized schedules, view speaker and attendee info, and email one another.

            Endeavor also hosted numerous informal networking opportunities, including a kickoff dinner at the Legion of Honor fine arts museum.

            Investor Day

            During Day One of the Summit, Endeavor also held a parallel Silicon Valley Trek (Emerging Markets Investor Day) event, which brought together 20 investors represented 12 firms (from the U.S. and emerging markets) together with 30 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from 24 companies. Organized as a six-hour “pre-conference” before the main Summit event, the Trek included market snapshots of Latin America and the Middle East, a “Global Venture in Emerging Markets” panel discussion, 126 entrepreneur pitch sessions between Endeavor companies and investors, and numerous networking opportunities.

            The event boasted over 70% participation from Endeavor’s Investor Network members; eight out of 12 global member firms participated, along with four out of five emerging market member firms.

            Announcements made during the Summit

            During the Summit, Ernst & Young announced a three year partnership with Endeavor. Also during the Summit, an Endeavor Entrepreneur-backed venture IDEAME.com announced its launch and first round of funding.

            2011 Endeavor Awards

            At a special recognition dinner, Endeavor also announced the winners of its 2011 Endeavor Awards, voted on by network members and Summit attendees. Top honors went to Wences Casares & Diego Piacentini (tie; Global Mentor of the Year), Nicolas Szekasy, Argentina (Emerging Market Mentor of the Year), and Juan Carlos de la Llera, Sirve, Chile (Endeavor Entrepreneur of 2011). Endeavor meanwhile congratulates all excellent nominees for these awards (Global Mentor / Emerging Market Mentor / Endeavor Entrepreneur) for their contributions over the past year.

            Veuve Clicquot High-Impact Female Entrepreneur of the Year

            During a Women Entrepreneur Breakfast, Veuve Clicquot also presented the first High-Impact Female Entrepreneur of the Year award — to Leila Velez, Beleza Natural, Brazil. Joanna Rees, Endeavor Global board member and San Francisco mayoral candidate, hosted the event. Click here to read Joanna’s impressions of why high-impact female entrepreneurship matters.


            As evidence of the Summit’s impact, the Twitter tag used by attendees, #eSummitSF, was abuzz with speaker quotes, reactions, lessons learned, and inspiration shared. Thanks to the generosity of Brazilian interactive studio TwitRadar.com which donated a customized (and quite snazzy!) front-end interface that aggregated all #eSummitSF tweets — read the top ones here — Endeavor displayed the tweets on big screens throughout the Summit event, enabling attendees to share in each others’ excitement.

            Media coverage

            Fast Company blogger Rob Salkowitz posted a writeup of the event commending the impact and business outcomes, as well as a feature on five Endeavor-supported firms that stood out from the crowd. Salkowitz also wrote a feature on Endeavor Entrepreneurs David Assael and David Basulto, founders of Plataforma Networks, whom he met at the event. Also check out Elmira Bayrasli’s post on Forbes.com which anticipates the Summit and includes quotes from leading network members.


            Endeavor would like to extend a special thank you to the following sponsors who made the Summit possible.

            Presenting sponsors: Abraaj Capital, Ernst & Young, Omidyar Network
            Gold Sponsors: Dell, GigaOm, SAP, Veuve Clicquot
            Silver Sponsors: Barclays Capital, Greenberg Traurig, IBM, Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), Turnstone Furniture, University of San Francisco, Yola
            In-Kind Sponsors: KIND, See’s Candies, TCHO, QuickMobile
            Other Sponsors: The Opportunity Project powered by the eBay Foundation, Salesforce Foundation
            Endeavor Entrepreneur Sponsors: Ezequiel Farca, Globant, Tequila Milagro, Kharabeesh

            Endeavor would also like to thank Catalina Garcia, Caspian Productions & Jungle Print for their Summit support.

            Behind the event

            The Summit was organized by Rebecca Plofker, Karen Martell, Allen Taylor, and Marissa Carberry, with help with numerous members of the Endeavor staff and network. The event was a particular milestone for Endeavor California; since launching in 2009, the office has paired Endeavor Entrepreneurs with hundreds of U.S.-based experts and added 100+ members to the Endeavor Global Network. Endeavor wishes to thank Joanna Rees and John Hamm of VSP Capital for hosting the Endeavor California office for two years, and to Wences Casares, Jason Green, Brian Swette, Bill McGlashan, and Matt Bannick for their assistance in launching the San Francisco office and in cultivating an Endeavor network in California.

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