Endeavor, a global not for profit organisation that supports and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs by connecting them with talent, capital and a worldwide peer and mentor network, today announced that it is to open an Irish office later this year.
Operating on an all-island basis, the office will be based in Dublin, and will work with founders and companies that have passed through the initial start-up phase and who demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale.
The inaugural meeting of the founding Endeavor Ireland Board of Directors was held in Dublin this morning, chaired by The Edge. The founding Board also includes Elaine Coughlan, Atlantic Bridge; Alan Foy; Anne Heraty, CPL Recruitment; Paddy McKillen Snr; Denis O’Brien, Digicel; and Mark Roden, Ding. Three more Directors will join before the end of the year.
Endeavor Ireland will work with enterprise agencies and the wider entrepreneur ecosystem in Ireland and Northern Ireland, to provide networking opportunities, connections and access to capital to enhance the existing support services provided to entrepreneurs on the island. It will concentrate its efforts on providing the indigenous entrepreneurs and companies with the highest potential, with the supports required to scale effectively and sustainably on a global level while remaining based at home in Ireland.
Between 4 and 6 entrepreneurs or businesses will be selected in Ireland each year to participate in the now world renowned Endeavor programme, following a rigorous selection process which culminates in an international selection panel. The initial qualifying criteria includes candidates being able to demonstrate that their business has the potential to scale at least 10 times beyond their current size.
The operation of the Endeavor Ireland office will be self-funded by its Board of Directors, with a long-term funding plan.
The office, which will be Endeavor’s fifth office in Europe, will open at the end of November, headed up by Rory Guinan, an Investment Director who has worked with Sencheer Holdings for the last 10 years.
Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped 1,930 entrepreneurs to build more than 1,200 companies in 35 markets throughout North America, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, generating combined revenues of $20 billion in 2018. To date, companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created 3 million jobs in their local economies, and often go on to mentor and invest in the next generation of founders. They operate in a wide range of industries including enterprise software and services, fintech, food & beverage, education, healthcare, agriculture, retail and consumer tech, and smart cities.
Founder of Endeavor, Linda Rottenberg, said, “We couldn’t be more excited to bring Endeavor’s model to Ireland with strong support from a committed group of local stakeholders. As part of Endeavor’s global support network, Endeavor Ireland will help the country’s highest-growth companies scale up and expand internationally, while providing a platform for entrepreneurs to pay their success forward locally, furthering the entrepreneurial ecosystem and enabling future generations of Irish founders.”
The Edge said “Endeavour is about enabling homegrown entrepreneurs with high impact potential to scale up, and to ultimately provide a societal benefit for the island of Ireland. U2 has long been exploring how we can use our influence to do something positive in this particular area. I came across Endeavor through my own research and in discussing it with the band, we all felt that their model was the best fit to deliver for Ireland. Ireland is a country steeped in entrepreneurial and creative energy and talent. In these increasingly uncertain times, it’s all the more important that homegrown enterprise is supported to advance to the next level in terms of scale, impact, and sustainability. And that is what Endeavor is all about – providing entrepreneurs who have the highest potential, with access to unrivalled supports and networks. I’m looking forward to working with Endeavor Ireland’s very committed and talented Board of Directors, all of of whom have shown incredible generosity, and the incoming MD, to help some of our most talented entrepreneurs – north, south, urban and rural – to reach their fullest potential.”
Member of the founding Board of Directors, Elaine Coughlan of Atlantic Bridge, who is also a member of the Enterprise Ireland Board, said Endeavor offers a unique proposition in the Irish market; “Starting a business is hard, but scaling a business on a global level is even more challenging and unfortunately, many businesses fall at this hurdle and, in many instances, choose instead to sell to a larger organisation who already has a global footprint. Endeavor offers a unique proposition in that it will carefully select the people and projects with the best potential to scale, and carefully guide them throughout that process, providing them with mentoring and access to capital and markets. The success of these businesses in turn will have a significant knock on effect for the wider Irish economy and contribute to Ireland’s long-term economic growth.”
Globant, an Argentinian company who has graduated from the Endeavor programme and now plays a leadership role said that their success would not have been possible without the support of the Endeavor network: “Endeavor helped me discover that besides being an entrepreneur, I have a role to play mentoring others to do what I have been able to do. As Endeavor Entrepreneurs, we believe that creating companies has a significant role in our communities,” said Guibert Englebienne, co-founder of Globant and now an active Board Member and mentor in Endeavor’s network.
Other companies that have come through the Endeavor programme include: Talent Garden, Europe’s leading coworking network, which operates in eight countries, including Ireland; Checkout.com, a global fintech unicorn that bootstrapped its way to a record-breaking $230M Series A funding round; Careem, the leading ride sharing platform in the MENA region, acquired by Uber in a $3.1B deal; MercadoLibre, Latin America’s most popular e-commerce site, valued at nearly $30B on the Nasdaq; Bukalapak, an Indonesian e-commerce unicorn; Cellulant, the leading multinational payments company in Africa; and SalesLoft, a sales engagement platform named the 7th Fastest-Growing Technology Company in North America.
Entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Endeavor Ireland can visit www.endeavorireland.org or email [email protected]. Calls for applications will open in December 2019.