Endeavor selected 39 High-Impact Entrepreneurs leading 20 companies in 10 countries at the 62nd International Selection Panel (ISP). Endeavor now supports 1,198 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 755 companies across 25 emerging and growth markets. The entrepreneurs were chosen at the final panel of the year held from December 2-4th in Mexico City, Mexico.
“This panel caps off a year of tremendous milestones for Endeavor and our Entrepreneurs,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “The wealth of entrepreneurial talent we saw in Mexico City – from biotech in Chile to pasta in Detroit – demonstrates how far the network has really come.”
The ISP is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process. At the ISP, top local and international business leaders interview candidates about their businesses and high-impact potential, and then vote on whether or not candidates become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Post-selection, Endeavor provides entrepreneurs with customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating thousands of jobs and building sustainable growth models in their home countries.
Endeavor will host six Selection Panels in 2016 in Dubai, UAE (March); Madrid, Spain (May); Bali, Indonesia (July); Boston, MA (September); Medellín, Colombia (October); and Bay Area, CA (December).
Brief descriptions of the selected entrepreneurs and companies follow:
Entrepreneurs: Gabriel Baños, Fernando Zunino, Mariano Cortesi, Andrés Moratti & Juan Codagnone
Description: For brands and media companies, engagement is about attracting, connecting with, and retaining an audience in the ever-changing landscape of social media and digital communications. Buenos Aires-based Flowics helps these firms discover, curate, display, and analyze online content about their brands, leveraging the power of social media to connect with consumers and clients. To date (November 2015), Flowics is the only Twitter Official Partner and Facebook Media Solutions Program member in Latin America
Entrepreneur: Guillermo Mariani & Gabriel Mariani
Company: King Agro
Description: Argentina-based King Agro is disrupting the agriculture industry with the unique application of carbon fiber. The company designs and produces carbon fiber spray booms for high-performance agricultural machinery. These booms, which are used to spray crops with fertilizers and chemicals, are different from traditional booms made out of steel. Because they are longer and lighter, carbon fiber spray booms improve productivity and optimize profitability, allowing farmers to cover 50% more spraying area, and substantially reducing working hours and fuel consumption as well as soil compaction. King Agro has sold over 200 pieces of carbon fiber products and in 2014 closed an exclusive 5-year development contract with industry giant, John Deere.
Entrepreneur: Mariano Battista & Gonzalo Grigera
Description: AgIdea allows agro-businesses to bear the fruits of their labor faster and for cheaper by providing them with high-quality R&D services. The company conducts agricultural field studies, regulatory assessments, and pest management solutions, generating high quality and reliable data. This improves agricultural productivity, meets safety and quality standards, and shortens time to market, of new crops and agrochemicals, by 25%. AgIdea already has cream of the crop such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, DuPont, Bayer and BASF as its clients in Argentina, and plans toenter the North American market in 2016.
Entrepreneur: Daniel Knijnik & Fabio Knijnik
Description: Acting as a one-stop-shop for integrated engineering projects, Brazilian-based Knijnik makes the engineering design process less of a hassle. Knijnik’s systematic process for designing and delivering comprehensive engineering projects to clients eliminates the time and money-consuming practice of hiring several different companies to work separately on each engineering discipline. The company delivers projects up to 70% faster than competitors and offers cost reductions of 5-15%. Its 107 clients include large players like Land Rover, BMW, and the International Olympic Committee (2016). Knijnik has produced a wide-variety of projects such as shopping malls, hospitals, airports, and even a city-village for 30,000 inhabitants near the Belo Monte dam in the Amazon.
Entrepreneur: Thiago Fiorin Gomes
Description: LojasKD is Brazil’s first ecommerce site focusing solely on selling home furniture. When shopping for furniture, Brazilians are forced to visit retail stores with limited selection or ecommerce sites selling thousands of products but specializing in none. LojasKD focuses only on home furnishings and uses a unique “room environment” search mechanism, which allows customers to browse through 5,000 carefully curated and decorated room interiors as they shop. With only 4-5% percent of Brazil’s furniture sales taking place online, compared to over 10% in the US, LojadKD will capitalize on a rapidly growing market.
Entrepreneur: Emmanuel Massenez & Juan Pablo Morales
Description: Advertisers struggle to engage consumers on mobile, not only in targeting them with the right content, but in delivering it at the right time. Arara has turned the shop floor into a real-time data archive and digital marketing channel. With Arara, brands can servehyper-targeted advertisements to customers near the pointof sale; this ad revenue subsidizesnetwork owners’ wireless infrastructure, enablingcustomers to access Wi-Fi for freeafter watching a 20-secondvideo ad.Operating in a US$1.29 billion Latin American mobile advertising market, Arara managesover 2.5 million square meters of Wi-Ficoveragein Chile’s retailand public spaces. Arara’s portfolio of network owners—retail stores, stadiums, municipalities and other public spaces that offers public Wi-Fi—represents 90% of Chilean retail accounts and includes big players like Walmart, Falabella, and Cencosud.
Entrepreneur: Rebeca Galvez
Company: Patagonia Biotecnologia
Description: With farmers continually turning to artificial growth stimulants and chemically unsafe fertilizers to fight erosion and soil degradation, the need for an environmentally friendly product is more apparent than ever. Patagonia Biotecnologia developed and offers Fertum, an all natural, 100% organic bio-stimulant. Where the average fertilizer only adds nutrients to soil, Fertum spurs plant growth and metabolism, and has proven to increase crop yields by an average of 20%. Looking internationally for growth, Patagonia Biotecnologia’s products will soon be available in Argentina, Australia and the US.
Entrepreneur: Antoine Dumit, Salomon Stroh & Santiago Gonzalez
Description: The taxi industry in Colombia is highly fragmented and inefficient with most taxi owners controlling only one to five taxis. Taxi owners are burdened with volatile income and an enormous administrative load. Taximo releases them from the hassle of operating a taxi by covering the back-end of operations and helping them with everything from purchasing a taxi and hiring drivers, to tracking vehicles, performing maintenance, and obtaining insurance. The company’s clients are either owners with previous taxi owning experience or first-time investors looking to purchase a taxi as an alternative investment option. Taximo makes 10% of total taxi sales per month and offers taxi owners a fixed monthly fee of roughly US$800. Over 400 clients across four Colombian cities trust Taximo with their taxis, letting Taximo do the work while they get returns on a reliable investment.
Entrepreneur: Juan Salcedo & Andres Gutierrez
Description: Listed by Fast Company as one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” in 2015, Tappsi is Colombia’s most downloaded taxi app, servicing 1.5 times more rides than its closest competitor, including Uber. Passengers can freely download the app to request a ride from carefully screened taxi drivers, who pay a small monthly fee to access up to 30% more passengers. In a country notorious for its “paseo millonario” (“millionaire rides”) in which cab drivers pick up accomplices to rob and kidnap wealthy passengers, Tappsi has earned a reputation for safety and convenience through market-specific tactics, regulation-friendly practices, and first-of-its-kind platform innovations and features.
Entrepreneur: Brian & Scott Rudolph
Description: Pasta may have been founded in Milan, but it’s being reinvented in Michigan. Many foods commonly eaten in the US lack nutrients that are essential to a well balanced diet. Banza is a food innovation company that provides nutritionally superior versions of staple foods: starting with pasta made from chickpeas. It offers pasta lovers a delicious, filling option that packs a serious nutritional punch: double the protein, four times the fiber, and nearly half the net carbohydrates of wheat-based pastas. In fact, one serving of Banza has as much protein (25 grams) as a three-ounce steak. In less than one year of commercial operation, Banza has launched a line of four different pasta shapes sold in over 1,700 stores across the country, ranging from Shoprite to Eataly, and created 30 manufacturing jobs in Michigan. Banza will increase production volume by setting up its own manufacturing facility, and aims to claim a Banza section in every pasta aisle nationwide.
Entrepreneur: Karim Arakji
Company: Royal Gourmet
Description: All delicious meals begin with premium ingredients. However, twenty years ago, Lebanese businesses struggled to source premium products as high-end suppliers rarely exported to the region. In 1997, Royal Gourmet began to fill that gap and today supplies Lebanon’s hotels, restaurants and supermarkets with over 100 varieties of premium fish, meat and poultry. Seeing opportunity in the B2C market, Karim founded Meat the Fish (MTF) in 2012, as a home delivery service and opened a retail store in 2014. Together, the two companies serve over 2,100 corporate and individual clients per year. Looking to the future, Karim will shift Royal Gourmet’s focus outward to capture a portion of the European, West African and Gulf premium food markets, and will open a second MTF location in Lebanon.
Entrepreneur: Jonathan Erwin & Patrick Goodman
Company: Red e App
Description: Enterprises today struggle to deliver directions and exchange information with their non-desk, hourly workers: from those that stock the shelves in supermarkets, to those that work underground in copper mines. Communication with these workers, none of whom have @company.com emails, hinges on antiquated methods such as phone trees and bulletin boards. This not only leads to lost and misconstrued messages, but also disengages the typical worker from the corporate hierarchy. Red e App is an employee communication application that allows companies to digitally connect with their staff. The disconnected workforce represents 1.5 billion employees globally (60% of total workforce), resulting in a US$54 billion opportunity. Red e App has secured the Army Air Force Exchange, GE, Rio Tinto, and Papa Johns as clients, tripling monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and users year over year.
Entrepreneur: Rodolfo Corcuera & Ana Isabel Orvañanos
Description: The largely informal domestic cleaning industry in Mexico employs 2.4 million cleaning professionals (1/9 of Mexican women), the country’s largest group of informal workers; however, it is marred by underage workers, minimal regulation or workers’ benefits, and a lack of alternative careers for low-income women. Aliada attempts to fix this broken US$8 billion domestic cleaning market with its web platform that allows clients to schedule on-demand appointments with pre-screened professional cleaners in under one minute. Through this process, Aliada enables the professional cleaners to receive the benefits of formal work, transforming informal domestic cleaners into trusted and valued aliadas (“allies”) of the home. Aliada currently dispatches over 150 professional cleaners and has coordinated over 30,000 services in only thirteen months of operation.
Entrepreneurs: Abraham Franklin & Juan Carlos Lopez
Description: Storeacell is a subsidiary of Grupo de Investigaciones Incentivación de Tecnológica (GIINT), a medical research holding company that focuses on stem cell applications. Storeacell serves as the commercial arm of its sister company (another subsidiary of GIINT), Indebioc, which conducts trials and research in regenerative medicine. Currently, Storeacell provides one service – the storage of dental (mesenchymal) stem cells, which are extracted and cultivated from teeth. The seamless integration of Storeacell and Indebioc allow customers faster access to tangible uses and applications of stem cells once the government passes certain laws and regulations.
Entrepreneurs: Santiago Arroyo Calero, Lorena Oyague Gasperini & Diego Arroyo Calero
Company: Don’t Worry
Description: Don’t Worry makes great tasting, low calorie snacks to satisfy the Mexican population’s growing demand for healthier snacking alternatives. With obesity in Mexico dramatically rising, few snack manufacturers offer products that are both healthy and delicious. Don’t Worry spent years researching and developing the recipe of its sugar and fat free meringues, which are now available in over 200 stores throughout Mexico.
Entrepreneur: Trina Spear & Heather Hasson
Description: For decades, doctors and nurses had little choice when it came to choosing the uniforms they wore every day. The US$10 billion medical apparel industry was led by a dozen or so privately held, family-owned operators with little incentive to innovate. The result: ill-fitting, unbranded, unisex designs made from harsh fabrics sold through third party distributors with little regard for the purchasing experience. FIGS is revolutionizing the medical apparel industry through its line of tailored and technical scrubs sold direct to consumer. A commitment to giving back is woven quite literally into to company’s DNA: a one for one business model known as Threads for Threads donates a pair of scrubs to medical professionals in need for every pair sold.
Entrepreneur: Robert Rubin
Description: SkyPatrol is a location-based software company that creates GPS and cellular-enabled solutions for tracking and optimizing vehicle activities. SkyPatrol’s integrated hardware and software solutions are tailored for vehicular financiers, fleet managers, car dealerships and auto rental companies, who seek to reduce the risk, lower the cost, and increase the accountability of their mobile assets. Since its inception, SkyPatrol has sold more than one million devices to thousands of clients in 25 countries. With new products for new segments in the pipeline, SkyPatrol will continue to cement its position as a leading innovator in the booming telematics industry.
Entrepreneur: Rodrigo Lazarte
Company: Tierra Viva
Description: Tierra Viva allows tourists to enjoy their destination with conveniently located accommodations at an affordable price. The Peru-based hotel chain is a mid-range offering with an excellent value for money rating. Tierra Viva’s eight medium-sized hotels range from 20 to 60 rooms and guests can book their stay at rates anywhere between US$70 and US$130 per night. While currently situated in Peru’s main cities, Tierra Viva seeks to grow through national and international expansion, first establishing additional roots in Peru and then worldwide.
Entrepreneur: Vivek Padmanabhan & Brian Cotter
Company: PSG Global Solutions
Description: Skills shortage and high turnover rates render the U.S. recruiting industry (operating at low margins of 5-7%) scrounging for the dollar. PSG Global Solutions capitalizes on the offshore delivery model, providing Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services to U.S based staffing companies through its high-quality recruiters in the Philippines. By using PSG for sourcing, selecting and support functions, staffing agencies are able to lower recruiting costs by 60% per recruiter and increase placements by up to 50% per recruiter per month. Operating in a US$6B market, with leading staffing companies like Kelly and Randstad as its core clients, PSG is the market leader in the rapidly growing offshore RPO industry. With a two-pronged mission of improving hiring efficiency and creating fair opportunities.
Entrepreneur: Abhishek Sha
Company: RSA Logistics
Description: The first company to be established in the free zone of the world’s biggest future airport known as Dubai World Central (DWC), RSA Logistics is a leading provider of end-to-end supply chain solutions, from warehousing to packaging to shipping. With world-class facilities, international quality standards, and cutting-edge technology, RSA has managed to attract commanding global brands in a number of industry verticals for a target market value of US$6.2 billion.