Endeavor brings model for fostering high-impact entrepreneurship to the U.S.; Opens first U.S. affiliate in Miami

Knight Foundation investing $2 million to launch Endeavor Miami

MIAMI – (Jan. 15, 2012) – Endeavor, a global leader in building communities of high-impact entrepreneurs and innovators, will open its first U.S. affiliate in Miami with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Beginning in late 2013, Miami’s best doers and innovators will be eligible to apply to become Endeavor Entrepreneurs, connecting them to a global network of volunteer mentors and advisors who can help scale their ventures.

Knight Foundation is providing Endeavor with $2 million as part of its efforts to connect and support the local startup community.

“There is great momentum in Miami’s startup community, but it is still harder than it should be for entrepreneurs to build their ideas here,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation. “Endeavor will address this challenge, bringing an unprecedented level of support, learning opportunities and connections for Miami’s diverse group of entrepreneurs. This is a cornerstone of our effort to make Miami more of a place where ideas are built.”

Endeavor, a non-profit, currently supports more than 750 entrepreneurs from over 400 companies in 14 countries, including six in Latin America. These “high impact” entrepreneurs are selected for their ability to drive innovation, produce role models and maximize wealth and job creation. The selection process is rigorous, as they must obtain a global panel’s unanimous vote. 

Following selection, Endeavor Entrepreneurs receive access to mentors and a volunteer advisory board of local business leaders; access to international networks from Silicon Valley to affiliate offices on five continents; interns from top business schools and professional service firms including Ernst & Young; and invitations to exclusive educational programs including a specialized course at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  The success of the Endeavor model has been recognized by numerous global organizations and been documented in two Harvard Business School case studies.

“We initially started Endeavor with the goal of bringing the idea of American-style mentorship and networking to entrepreneurs in emerging market countries,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.  “Over the past few years it has become apparent that not all parts of the U.S. have the built-in advantages of Silicon Valley, Austin or New York’s Flatiron district.  There are plenty of areas of the U.S. with promising entrepreneurs that need help building an eco-system conducive to helping local entrepreneurs scale and prosper.”

While Endeavor has not set a date for a launch, the management team will begin by building a local board of directors who can champion the Endeavor model and build a base of volunteer mentors on the ground.  The organization already has a number of key relationships in the area thanks to Endeavor’s 14-year history working with Latin America as well as Knight Foundation’s support.

“From our work in the region, we know there are Miami entrepreneurs with business ideas that can scale beyond the start-up phase and contribute toward building a healthy economy in the region,” said Endeavor president Fernando Fabre.

About Endeavor:

Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as “the best anti-poverty program of all,” Endeavor is leading the global movement for high impact entrepreneurship. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 30,000 entrepreneurs and selected 766 individuals leading 476 high-impact companies.

With support from Endeavor’s worldwide mentor network, these high-impact entrepreneurs

-Have created over 200,000 jobs
-Generated over $5 billion in revenues in 2011
-Inspire future generations to innovate and take risks

Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in 16 countries throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia. As the high-impact movement expands globally, Endeavor will continue to prove that anyone with a big idea can succeed, from Silicon Valley to Latin America, the Middle East, and beyond.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: 

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.



David Wachtel, SVP Marketing and Communications, Endeavor.  david.wachtel@endeavor.org  Tel: 646-783-6139

Andrew Sherry, VP for Communications, Knight Foundation, media@knightfoundation.org, Tel: 305-908-2677

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.