2020 Impact Report

When economies turn down,
entrepreneurs turn up

Explore our year

A Message from Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg

What have we learned in this tumultuous year? We learned that Endeavor’s mission to lead the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement has never been more urgent. I have always said, "When economies turn down, entrepreneurs turn up". Now we can say, "When economies turn down, ENDEAVOR turns up!" Our network united to support our entrepreneurs so they could lead through the crisis. We learned that Endeavor can still innovate, as together we transformed our entire organization. In 2020, we reinvented every aspect of our work: from our International Selection Panels, to our local scale-up programs, to global Outlier events to the Endeavor Catalyst LP meeting. Most important, we learned that the "Magic of Endeavor" transcends in-person connections.”

This year’s Impact Report provides an inside look at how our global community stepped forward to lead through crisis.

Linda Rottenberg

Co-founder & CEO


Leading Through Crisis

At Endeavor, we like to say, “When economies turn down, entrepreneurs turn up.” From our initial launch in emerging markets amidst the Thai baht collapse, to our expansion into Europe in the middle of a financial crisis, Endeavor has led by example to prove our belief that wherever chaos and crisis erupt, high-impact entrepreneurs can find and lead a path forward.

This year, Endeavor Entrepreneurs met crisis with action, and Endeavor was ready to support them.Today, our work has never felt more urgent.

View highlights from Endeavor’s entrepreneurs and network over the past year


Putting Our Values to the Test

Endeavor’s network spans nearly 40 countries, united by a shared mission: to identify the entrepreneurs with the biggest ideas and support them with a Network of Trust, enabling them to take big ideas to scale, create jobs, and mentor, invest in, and inspire others, moving economies and society forward in the process.We call it #OneEndeavor.

Since our founding in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor’s core values have guided our growth. In 2020, they steered our way forward. As the world pulled back, we doubled down on our commitment to be Entrepreneur First. More than ever, this year pushed us to be nimble and creative in adapting to better provide that support.

In 2020, we held ten Virtual International Selection Panels, the last step of our selection process, where we welcomed 80 new Endeavor Entrepreneurs into the network.

Meet some of the Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected at this year’s VISPs.

Melissa Butler, The Lip Bar, Detroit

The Lip Bar is a makeup company using technology to drive complexion based recommendations to ensure customers get the right color every time.


Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant, Squire, Western NY

Squire is a provider of barbershop management software designed to help barbers and shop owners operate their businesses with cashless and contactless pay transactions.


Vu Van, ELSA, Vietnam

ELSA (English Language Speech Assistant) is a mobile application for English pronunciation training and accent reduction using speech recognition, powered by the company’s proprietary AI and speech recognition technology.


Abasi Ene-Obong, 54gene, Nigeria

Today, African genomic data only comprises about 3% of data available. 54gene enables the study of African genetics to learn the underlying genetic drivers of disease affecting everyone globally.


Edward Tirtanata, Kopi Kenangan, Indonesia

Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest coffee exporter, is also Southeast Asia’s lowest per capita coffee consumer. Kopi Kenangan is a locally-focused retail coffee chain that is quickly filling that unmet need for Indonesians, serving up millions of affordable coffee beverages across hundreds of locations.


Benji Meltzer and James Paterson, Aerobotics, South Africa

Aerobotics uses drones to help farmers protect their crops and manage yields, collecting data at scale and utilizing machine learning to analyze and identify potential deficiencies in the field, reduce insecticide and fertilizer use, and increase profits.

“ISPs are really where you can see the magic of Endeavor come alive. We knew it would be challenging to try to recreate the event virtually, but we saw it as a real opportunity to raise the bar and continue to bring people together as remote work became the new reality.”

Linda Rottenberg

Co-founder & CEO

Our teams and network around the world swiftly pivoted to reorient our services to our entrepreneurs’ acute needs, launching and contributing to an open-source Entrepreneur Crisis Resource Center and monthly, intimate Leading Through Crisis strategy sessions, which hosted top business leaders, investors and mentors for discussions on key challenges, from fundraising to team management. For Endeavor Entrepreneurs continuing to fundraise, we also held virtual 1:1 “speed networking” sessions and workshops with top VCs and partners like Silicon Valley Bank and Gunderson Dettmer.


High-Impact Entrepreneurs Lead a Path Forward

2,000+ Endeavor Entrepreneurs have:


4.1MNew jobs

High-impact entrepreneurs are those that play a critical role in revitalizing our economies, reimagining the ways we live and work, and inspiring innovation in generations to come, through creating and leading companies that reach significant scale, or scale-ups.

Putting the Greek Tech Ecosystem on the Map

Nova Credit, a fintech company that allows immigrants to bring their financial histories from one country to another, raised $50M from backers such as Ashton Kutcher, Alex Rodriguez, and U2’s The Edge. Meanwhile, task automation software company Softomotive was acquired by Microsoft in September in a milestone deal, putting Greece’s tech ecosystem on the map.

Nicky Goulimis, Nova Credit


Make Chaos Your Friend

When Endeavor surveyed 200 entrepreneurs to identify their strengths and weaknesses, the most commonly selected strength was, “I see opportunities where others see obstacles.”

In a year that exposed the shortcomings of global supply chains, overstretched public healthcare, and broken public education systems, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have kept cities, communities, and countries going. In 2020 Endeavor Entrepreneurs continued to test and scale solutions to pressing, persistent gaps in infrastructure around the world.

Increasing Access to Healthcare Amidst Crisis

Founded by surgeon Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, Proximie’s AR technology connects surgeons from anywhere in the world to consult on cases and instruct their peers in real time during complex procedures, which saved lives in the tragic aftermath of the Beirut explosion. Jordanian digital health platform Altibbi also stepped up to provide free telehealth consultations for Lebanon’s citizens. In the height of the pandemic, Altibbi partnered with the Jordanian Ministry of Health to launch a hotline, fielding more than 250,000 calls to 116 different doctors. Meanwhile in the US, Northwest Arkansas’ NowDiagnostics is working to develop a $10 at-home COVID test.


The Endeavor Model

One thing never changes.
Everything we do begins with our entrepreneurs.

Endeavor’s model is designed to search for, select, and scale up entrepreneurs with the greatest potential for large-scale success, then spread their stories and resources to sustain lasting economic and social transformation in their home markets and beyond. Here’s how we did it in a year that was anything but typical.


Our Global Footprint

Endeavor supports over 2,000 high-impact entrepreneurs today across 38 markets — and counting. This year, even as global travel ceased, we continued our active expansion, searching the world to identify markets with a growing pipeline of high-impact entrepreneurs and a vibrant startup scene lacking in scaleup support. Across the world, Endeavor and our entrepreneurs have been busier than ever.

Explore highlights from Endeavor Entrepreneurs in 2020.



Endeavor’s 500+ team members and worldwide network painstakingly probe all our markets to identify qualified entrepreneurs leading innovative companies that are solving real problems at significant scale.

We meet some founders early and follow them through local scale-up programs to build our search & selection pipeline. We encounter others who have raised capital, and still others who are already “unicorns” — tech companies valued at US$1BN — yet still have room to grow. This year, some of our newest entrepreneurs came through our pipeline entirely virtually!

Argentina's Virtual ScaleUp event gave the newly selected scaleup program entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect with the previous cohort, and hear from current Endeavor Entrepreneur Mike Santos on how Endeavor had helped him scale.
BREX, a provider of a corporate credit card designed to enable entrepreneurs to protect their personal credit without restricting their capital, was selected at a Virtual Endeavor ISP in December. The company is valued at over $3B.

A Virtual Selection Process

Glints, an Indonesian tech-enabled recruitment platform co-founded by Oswald Yeo and Ying Cong Seah, began Endeavor’s selection process in June, meeting with mentors and team members virtually over the course of three months to pitch their company and gain feedback, culminating in their selection into the network at Endeavor’s eighth Virtual International Selection Panel in September.

Our selection process begins in each local market and culminates in our International Selection Panels (ISPs). Typically held throughout the year in different cities around the world, this year we took our ISPs virtual, bringing together entrepreneurs, dedicated business leaders and staff together from their respective kitchens, living rooms, or home offices spread across various time zones. In 2020, we held one ISP and 10 vISPs, selecting 105 new Endeavor Entrepreneurs from 28 markets.



Endeavor’s selection process

From Jan. 2020 – Dec. 2020



Initial Review

In 2020, thousands of candidates received an initial review by Endeavor staff based on recommendations, nominations and proactive research.



First Opinion Reviews

Endeavor staff conducted one-hour interviews with 1,536 companies to assess the candidates’ viability.



Second Opinion Reviews

Endeavor mentors conducted multiple interviews with 646 companies, probing their business strategy, innovation, growth potential, and entrepreneurs' personal qualities.



Local Selection Panels

Local mentors and board members interviewed and deliberated on 214 companies at an LSP.



International Selection Panels

International business leaders served as panelists to interview candidates leading 81 companies.



It’s unanimous!

Only those final candidates gaining unanimous approval from experts panelists become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.


Scale Up

From the selection process on, Endeavor delivers demand-driven services locally, regionally, and globally, specifically developed from years of research and feedback to target the key areas of support high-impact entrepreneurs need to take their businesses to scale.

Finding Inspiration in Peers Across Borders and Industries

This June, entrepreneurs leading more than 90 companies from 22 markets gathered virtually over Zoom for Endeavor Outliers, a program tailored to highest-growth companies in the network. Highlights included intimate roundtable discussions led by top business entrepreneurs and coaches such as Reid Hoffman, Brad Feld, Punit Aggarwal, Jerry Colonna, Javi Olivan, and Bill Veghte, and guided peer-to-peer conversations curated around company stage, industry outlook, leadership, and functional challenges — all designed to inspire, connect, and provide a platform for getting support from both peers and experts.

"The journey of entrepreneurship is long and lonely. I feel lucky to be connected to all the amazing founders in this group. It’s humbling to be part of a community where you have such incredible talent from around the globe."

Brian Requarth

Co-founder, Viva Real; Co-founder, Latitude 4
Endeavor Entrepreneur (Brazil)



Successful entrepreneurs reinvest in their communities and networks, multiplying their impact. Ninety percent of Endeavor Entrepreneurs go on to serve as angel investors, mentors, and active promoters of high-impact entrepreneurship.

Meet the
2020 Winners of The Lindas

Hande Cilingir

Co-founder and CEO of Insider (Turkey). Hande was recently ranked as one of the top three women CEOs outside of the US by Crunchbase, and is a frequent inspirational speaker and mentor.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs dream crazy, scale-up, and pay it forward.

Each year, we present The Lindas, an award honoring Endeavor Entrepreneurs who not only have achieved extraordinary scale, but who also exemplify the values of our global network: integrity, trust, high-impact ambition, a borderless mindset, and a commitment to paying it forward by spreading the transformative qualities of entrepreneurship through role modeling, mentorship, and reinvestment.

How Cities Can Identify the Best Businesses for Local Economic Growth identified evidence-based recommendations to help drive job creation and productivity in cities.

Leading by example with the data to back it all up

Endeavor Insight, our research division, partners with leading foundations and corporate sponsors to investigate the impact of entrepreneurs and provide data-driven insights into what makes entrepreneurial ecosystems thrive. Endeavor Insight’s latest projects shed light on some of the key roles entrepreneurs can play in rebuilding economies, and how local institutions can accelerate their success.



Endeavor is “Of, By, and For Entrepreneurs”

Endeavor Entrepreneurs use our platform to give back and ensure that future generations have access to opportunities for self-fulfillment and community advancement, becoming Endeavor board members and mentors, investors, and role models in their countries.

Brian Brackeen

Brian Brackeen was initially selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur with his Miami-based facial recognition company Kairos in 2014. This year, together with his wife Candice, he launched Lightship Capital, a groundbreaking VC firm to invest in underrepresented founders in the Midwest. Once he relocated, he joined the Endeavor Louisville board.

Investing in Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Sustaining Endeavor

Learn about the fund’s latest milestones from Endeavor Board Member and Endeavor Catalyst Chair Reid Hoffman.


Endeavor Catalyst

Endeavor Catalyst is our rules-based, co-investment fund that invests in the companies of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. As of October 2020, Endeavor Catalyst has ~$250M in Assets Under Management (AUM) across three funds and has invested in over 160 companies across 25 markets. The fund has realized ten exits and has ten “unicorns” in its active portfolio.

A Milestone Exit for the Turkish Ecosystem

Peak Games, a mobile gaming company led by Endeavor Entrepreneur Sidar Sahin, was acquired in June 2020 by Zynga for $1.8BN, marking the first billion dollar-plus exit of a Turkish startup, and the largest exit for Endeavor Catalyst to date.

2020 Impact Report

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