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Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming second-year MBA students, recruited from top schools, to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs on projects ranging from strategic planning to market expansion. The program is supported by a generous grant from Barclays. Following is a post from Amanda Wu, a member of Cornell’s Johnson School of Business Class of 2014, who is spending the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Brazil’s Acesso Digital:
Arriving in São Paulo at the beginning of winter, which meant 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius), I was encountered with a sense of comfort. The Brazilian landscape is one I am familiar with.
During my initial visit with Cornell, six months before my internship, I was fascinated with the people, business environment and culture. I knew I wanted to experience more of what Brazil had to offer. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity with Endeavor and even luckier with one of the most dynamic companies I have ever encountered, Acesso Digital.
Acesso Digital is a B2B technology solutions leader in document digitalization. The company offers a solution to scan, organize and store digital documents. Acesso understands the importance of digitalization and partners with their clients to help streamline internal processes and to revolutionize corporate culture away from paper. With some of Brazil’s largest retail, banking and telecommunications clients, Acesso is well positioned to capture the segment. But, Acesso has a bigger dream and that is to become the “most admired company in Brazil”. Since I was one of Acesso’s first eMBAs, I was eager to help them achieve that dream.
The Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Diego Martins and Paulo Allencastro are everything but ordinary. They have fostered a work environment that is fun, spontaneous and anything but monotonous. Two months prior to my arrival, Acesso moved to a new office and it is spectacular! There are sprawling city views and a ping-pong table. Every employee receives a stipend to customize their own desk. Customary sites include: employees getting around the office on a bicycle or scooter, walk into your office and being surprised with balloons and chocolates on every desk, and a golden retriever puppy raffled off as a present to a lucky employee. It is no surprise to me that the company recently ranked number 1 as the “Best IT workplace” in all of Brazil.
For my project at Acesso, I got the opportunity to collaborate with a fellow Endeavor eMBA who recently graduated from Harvard Business School. Our assignment was to bring a new perspective to the entrepreneurs and to develop new business opportunities. Through hosting interviews with Acesso’s top clients, innovation sessions with the leaders and employees, and even meeting with mentors in the Endeavor São Paulo network, it became evident that the new business opportunity would be to restructure Acesso’s product offering. The final result presented to Diego and Paulo consisted of five innovative product ideas, which included business opportunities in new industries, repackaging the current product offering and a completely new perspective of how Acesso can use their product.
As I reflect upon my experience, I only hope that I had a great impact that will propel Acesso to the next level. But the most important thing I realized is the bond I developed with Acesso Digital, Seres Acesso (employees) and Brazil was deeper than imagined. They are all a part of who I am. I am a Ser Acesso and Brazil will always be in my heart. Grandes beijos!
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