|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Key people||Linda Rottenberg
Edgar Bronfman, Jr.
Endeavor is a non-profit organization that pioneered the concept of High-Impact Entrepreneurship in emerging and growth markets. Its mission is to “lead the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best High-Impact Entrepreneurs around the world.”
Established in 1997, Endeavor is headquartered in New York City with satellite offices in San Francisco, Dubai, and Singapore. It also has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uruguay and Morocco. The organization has announced plans to reach 25 countries by 2015, including in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Endeavor aims to identify and support those entrepreneurs with the greatest potential for impact. In 15 years, Endeavor has screened and provided feedback to 30,000+ candidates and selected 700+ High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 450+ companies. Supported and mentored by a network of 2,500+ local and global business leaders, these entrepreneurs have created over 200,000 high-value jobs and in 2011, generated $5 billion in revenues. Among other impact metrics, companies in the Endeavor portfolio average a 69.4% growth rate within the first two years of selection. Currently, Endeavor Entrepreneurs donate annually back to the organization, which eventually aims to be self-sustaining.
Endeavor's support is designed to drive the larger economy, creating role models, and fostering the conditions for the next Silicon Valley. Thomas Friedman, best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, stated in his book The World is Flat that "Endeavor was formed for the purpose of promoting entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Its basic model is to link up small and midsize businesses with seasoned entrepreneurs so that little guys and gals can get the advice and contacts they need to grow their companies into bigger businesses that can employ more people -- the best antipoverty program of all."
History of Endeavor
1998: The AVINA Foundation provides $500,000 in seed capital and an Argentine business leader provides a $200,000 matching grant. Endeavor initiates offices in Argentina and Chile.
1999: Endeavor organizes its first venture forums, linking international investors with emerging-market entrepreneurs.
2000: Endeavor launches Endeavor Brazil and Uruguay.
2001: Endeavor holds its ninth selection panel, and selects its 100th entrepreneur. Endeavor launches Endeavor Mexico. Time Magazine recognizes Endeavor’s founders as among the “Top 100 Innovators for the 21st Century” in its November 5, 2001 issue.
2003: The International Finance Corporation funds Endeavor scoping trips to Africa, and Endeavor decides to launch a South Africa affiliate.
2004: Edgar Bronfman Jr becomes Chairman of Endeavor’s Global Board of Directors.
2007: Endeavor celebrates its 10th anniversary. MercadoLibre is the first Endeavor company to go public on NASDAQ. Thomas Friedman highlights Endeavor in the latest edition of his book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century Version 3.0].
2008: Endeavor opens affiliates in Egypt, Jordan and India. Wenceslao Casares, one of the first Endeavor Entrepreneurs, joins the Global Board of Directors. Linda Rottenberg co-chairs the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, held in Egypt. Endeavor receives a commitment of $10 million from the Omidyar Network.
2009: Endeavor launches the Mentor Capital Program, Global 25 Program, Endeavor Jordan, and Endeavor's Center for High-Impact Entrepreneurship research arm. Endeavor opens its satellite office in San Francisco. Endeavor Brazil engages 5.3MM people in Global Entrepreneurship Week. Second HBS case study is published, focused on Endeavor in the MENA region. Andy Freire becomes the first Entrepreneur to serve as a country board chairman (Argentina).
2010: Endeavor launches in Egypt. Endeavor’s CEO, MENA board members, and several Endeavor Entrepreneurs participate in US Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.
2011: Endeavor launches in Lebanon and Dubai (UAE).
2012: Endeavor introduces Endeavor Catalyst, a sustainability initiative, and launches in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Greece.
2013: Endeavor launches in Miami, Florida and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as Casablanca, Morocco. Miami becomes its first location in the United States and Kuala Lumpur becomes the second location in Asia.
Endeavor Entrepreneurs: Examples
Endeavor’s very first entrepreneurs, Andy and Santi founded OfficeNet in 1997, attempting to create the “Staples of Latin America.” Among other services, Endeavor helped them to renegotiate their equity stake from 0% to 35%, assisted in developing a regional expansion model, and introduced them to Staples Founder Thomas G. Stemberg. Staples later bought Officenet, which had become the largest office supply business in Latin America creating hundreds of local jobs., Andy and Santi later become the Chair and Vice-Chair of Endeavor Argentina.
MercadoLibre.com (Argentina) Entrepreneurs: Marcos Galperin and Hernan Kazah
MercadoLibre.com began in 1999, the same year its founders Marcos and Hernan were chosen to be Endeavor Entrepreneurs. MercadoLibre, which is Latin America's number-one auction site, is known as the Ebay of Latin America with more than 30 million users. Endeavor provided key introductions to help MercadoLibre expand into 12 countries in Latin America, including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, and assisted in negotiations when MercadoLibre sold a stake to eBay. In 2007, the company went public on the NASDAQ with a US$400 million IPO; as of March 2011, the company has a market cap exceeding US$3 billion.
Founded by four engineers from Buenos Aires shortly after the 2002 financial crisis in Argentina, Globant is one of Argentina’s leading IT outsourcing firms. Endeavor helped the entrepreneurs streamline their hiring strategy to hire over 2,000 Argentines, and raise significant financing from two US-based private equity funds. Globant’s clients include Google, Disney, and DreamWorks, and the company’s annual revenues exceed US$60 million.
Patagon (Argentina) Entrepreneurs: Wenceslao Casares
Another example is Wences Casares who, as the son of a sheep farmer in rural Argentina, founded patagon.com, Latin America’s first online brokerage firm. Wences had been turned down by more than 30 local investors when Endeavor selected him. Endeavor helped Wences raise $4 million in equity financing. Two years later, he sold the business to Spain’s Banco Santander for $750 million. Wences, who became the subject of a Harvard Business School case study, is now an angel investor and sits on Endeavor’s Global Board.
Mariano and Patricio founded Three Melons in 2005 as an early video game company in Argentina. The launch of the company’s Indiana Jones LEGO game drew over 10 million users worldwide. Most of Three Melons’ games are web-based and generate revenue through in-game advertising and virtual goods. Over 800,000 people every day play Bola (videogame), the studio’s first social game, on Facebook and Orkut.
The daughter of a janitor and a maid, Leila grew up in a favela in Rio de Janeiro and, together with family members, came up with an in-store hair care experience centered around a hair relaxer product she created. After opening their first salon, women waited over four hours to have their hair treated. Endeavor connected the entrepreneurs with top business leaders in Brazil and helped them open six salons. The multi-million dollar franchise currently employs over 1,000 Brazilians.
Tecsis (Brazil) Entrepreneur: Bento Koike
The son of Japanese immigrants, Bento graduated from a Brazilian university with a degree in aeronautical engineering and an idea for producing cutting-edge wind blades for wind power turbines. In 1995, he launched Tecsis just outside São Paulo. The company now has 35% market share in the US wind energy market, nearly 90% of its products are exported to the US and Europe; and clients include General Electric, Siemens, and Petrobras. Endeavor has supported Bento in numerous ways, including helping him negotiate a major deal with GE and launch new facilities.
LapDesk (South Africa) Entrepreneur: Shane Immelman
Shane spotted a problem: 80 million students in Africa lacked basic schooldesks. To fill the gap, he created LapDesk, which produces ergonomically designed portable desks made from plastic. The operation is funded by corporate sponsors which brand the desks with their logos and socially responsible messaging. LapDesk has delivered nearly 500,000 desks while making a profit, and has plans to be active in 60 countries within the next five years. In 2010, FIFA appointed LapDesk as a fund partner, sponsoring 5,000 LapDesks and taking 7,000 LapDesk recipients to the FIFA World Cup games.
Yola (South Africa) Entrepreneur: Vinny Lingham
A serial entrepreneur, Vinny founded Yola (webhost), a website builder and website hosting company now headquartered in San Francisco. The company allows people without programming skills and a limited knowledge of HTML and graphic design to create web-sites using a drag-and-drop system. Yola, which has received numerous industry and media awards, now serves over three million customers. In 2009, the company received $20 million in Series B financing. In December 2010, Yola signed for distribution with Hewlett-Packard to pre-install Yola on all HP computers—approximately 60 million per year. Recently, Yola also signed a major deal with AOL.
AirTies (Turkey) Entrepreneur: Bülent Çelebi
Bülent founded AirTies in 2004 after a 20-year career in Silicon Valley, and the company was selected by Endeavor in 2006. AirTies provides wireless solutions for the residential and small business market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Endeavor helped Celebi secure $3.1M from four angel investors and has connected Celebi to business leaders in Egypt and Greece. In early 2011, AirTies announced acquired a multi-million dollar investment to further expand operations.
With over 30 million people now using social media in the Middle East, including 15 million Facebook users, the region is ripe for digital marketing. Founded in 2007, Eastline Marketing (ELM) was the first digital marketing agency in Lebanon and one of the first in the region to offer a complete range of online marketing services. Eastline Marketing was selected by Endeavor in 2011.
Endeavor Global holds an annual gala fundraiser event in New York City. This Gala attracts nearly 500 top international business leaders and decision makers. In 2007, Endeavor honored Blackstone Group Chairman & CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman and the founders of Skype and Joost, Niklas Zennstrom & Janus Friis. In 2008, Endeavor honored media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The 2009 Gala honored Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Providence Equity Partners, and in 2010, Endeavor honored the founding team of Gilt Groupe -- Kevin P. Ryan, Michael Bryzek, Susan Lyne, Alexis Maybank, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. This gala featured a musical performance by Bruno Mars. In 2011, Endeavor honored Reid Hoffman and Fadi Ghandour. In 2012, Endeavor held a panel featuring top Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
Endeavor also holds a biennial summit. The theme of the May 2009 Summit, which was held at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach, was "Opportunity in a Time of Crisis" and addressed issues, challenges and opportunities facing emerging market entrepreneurs during the current global financial crisis. Speakers and panelists at the summit included Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn, Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary to President Bill Clinton, Chris Hughes Co-Founder of Facebook, Alberto Sicupira, InBev board member, Fadi Ghandour, Aramex CEO, Diego Piacentini, Amazon Vice President, Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network Managing Director, Luis Alberto Moreno, President of Inter-American Development Bank and Dan Heath, author of Made to Stick.
The 2011 Summit took place at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. The theme of the summit was "Innovation has no boundaries. Ideas have no borders." Speakers included Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn, and Josh Silverman, former CEO of Skype and Evite.
As part of its services to entrepreneurs, Endeavor also hosts a range of immersion tours, including to Silicon Valley.
Endeavor Global Board
Michael Ahearn, True North Venture Partners Chairman & Managing Partner]
Matthew Brown, CAIS, Co-Founder & CEO
J. Michael Cline, Accretive LLC, Managing Partner
Paul J. Fribourg, Continental Grain Company, Chairman & CEO
Jason Green, Emergence Capital Partners, Founding General Partner
Peter B. Kellner, Richmond Global LLC, Founder & Managing Partner; Endeavor, Co-founder
William McGlashan, TPG Growth, Founder & Managing Partner
Elliot Weissbluth HighTower Advisors, CEO & Director
Endeavor Country Chairmen
Andy Freire (Argentina), Axialent, Chairman & CEO; Endeavor Entrepreneur
Laercio Jose de Lucena Cosentino (Brazil), TOTVS, CEO
Salvador Said (Chile), Grupo Said, Executive President
Andres Echavarria (Colombia), Organizacion Corona, Board Member
Khaled Ismail (Egypt), Intel Mobile Communications, Managing Director; Endeavor Entrepreneur
Michael Chandris (Greece), Chandris Group, Chairman
Husodo Angkosubroto (Indonesia), Gunung Sewu Kencana, Chairman
Ali Al-Husry (Jordan), Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Director
Fares Fares (Lebanon), Wedge Alternatives Limited, Chairman
Emilio Azcarraga Jean (Mexico), Televisa, Chairman, President, CEO, and President of the Executive Committee
Rami Alturki (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Alturki Group, President
Ozcan Tahincioglu (Turkey), Tahincioglu Holding, Chairman
Select Members of Endeavor's Global Network
- Endeavor website
- Endeavor on Twitter
- Linda Rottenberg on Twitter
- Endeavor on Facebook
- Endeavor on YouTube
- Endeavor selection panel featured on CNN April 6, 2012
- Linda Rottenberg named to the Forbes Impact 30 November 2011
- The Not-for-Profit Capitalist Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2010
- Fiscal Chaos Aside, Start-Ups Bloom in Argentina New York Times, December 25, 2008
- America's Best Leaders: Linda Rottenberg, Entrepreneur U.S. News & World Report, November 19, 2008
- Linda Rottenberg on entrepreneurs (podcast) The Economist, 2008
- Profile of Endeavor Entrepreneur Bulent Celebi Inc. Magazine, April 1, 2007
- Boosting Emerging-Market Entrepreneurs BusinessWeek, May 23, 2007
- 45 Social Entrepreneurs Who are Changing the World Fast Company
- Small Business: Better Than Charity Time Magazine, December 11, 2005
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