Endeavor selected 25 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 18 companies from 15 markets at the 84th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Stellenbosch, South Africa, held December 11-13, and hosted by Endeavor South Africa. Endeavor now supports 1,793 entrepreneurs leading 1,124 companies in 33 markets around the world.
The ISP is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are committed to advancing an ecosystem of entrepreneurship.
Over the course of the three-day event, panelists drawn from Endeavor’s extensive network of board members, mentors, supporters, and experienced Endeavor Entrepreneurs, interview entrepreneur candidates about their businesses, evaluating them on their potential for high-impact growth, and deliberating on which candidates should be selected to become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
“The South Africa ISP truly demonstrated the power, passion and commitment of Endeavor’s global network,” said Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Thank you to all who lent their time and expertise in 2018 to helping Endeavor identify and select high-impact entrepreneurs, and congratulations to all those selected!”
Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs gain access to comprehensive customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key needs.
Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of impact. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created 1.5 million jobs, generated $15 billion in revenue in 2018, and help build sustainable growth models in their home countries.
The Stellenbosch ISP was the final held in 2018. In 2019, ISPs will be held in San Francisco (February 6-8), Cairo (March 13-15), Madrid (April 24-26), Tokyo (July 1-3), Quito (August 5-7), Atlanta (September 23-25), Istanbul (October 21-23), and Riviera Maya (December 11-13). For more information on these events, please contact ISP@endeavor.org.
Learn more about the companies and entrepreneurs selected in South Africa below:
Company: Passei Direto
Entrepreneurs: Rodrigo Salvador and Andre Simoes
Description: Passei Direto is Brazil’s largest study solution, connecting students to study materials on its digital marketplace. Students can access content in all formats (notes, Q&A, videos), which are either uploaded by users, produced in-house, or secured via third-party partnerships with academic publishers. Users can choose between a freemium account with access to three study materials per month or pay for a monthly or annual subscription for unlimited content access.
Entrepreneur: Leonardo Pereira
Description: Selfit is a value-for-money gym chain operating in Brazil. Selfit gyms offer high quality equipment, group fitness classes, and top notch customer service, all at no-frills, affordable rates. Selfit distinguishes itself in the Brazilian fitness market by catering to a variety of fitness goals beyond bodybuilding. Selfit has been successful since launching in Northeast Brazil, and now looks to expand
throughout the rest of the country.
Entrepreneurs: Aleksandar Dimitrov and Branislav Nikolic
Description: Novalogy’s first and staple product, AYO, presents smart glasses used for light therapy to help people improve sleep, boost energy levels and beat jet lag. The glasses are paired with a smartphone app that collects data about the user’s sleep habits, activity, and desired effect. After the user selects a preferred sleep and wake-up time, the app recommends a 20-30 minute time period to wear the
glasses to adjust the circadian rhythm. Founded in 2015, Novalogy has sold ~10,000 devices in +100
Company: RMES Analytics
Entrepreneur: Alessio Arata
Description: RMES Analytics provides software that manages equipment performance for asset-heavy industries such as mining and energy. The solution considers the interdependency among machines to recommend specific actions with a overall business perspective.
Entrepreneur: Justin Mast
Description: Bloomscape is a direct-to-consumer plant brand, offering a contemporary e-commerce shopping experience tailored to customers who value convenience and high-quality service. Customers can shop plants from 25 different varieties in sizes ranging from mini to XL. Bloomscape helps its customers find the right plant for their space and gardening skills. In addition, Bloomscape’s patent pending soil bonding and packing technology prevents its terra cotta pots from breaking during shipping, guaranteeing that plants will arrive in living-room ready condition to any address in the U.S. within 4-5 business days
Entrepreneur: Valerio Fonseca
Description: DoveVivo creates a simple way for real estate owners to fill vacant apartments while providing medium- and long-term rental solutions for students and young professionals across five Italian cities. The company leases apartments and buildings with long-term contracts, renovates and furnishes them, and rents them out to young tenants seeking individual rooms in shared apartments.
Entrepreneur: Ned Tozun
Description: Approximately 2 billion people today have limited or no access to electricity and spend $27 billion each year on ‘dirty’ energy. d.light distributes high quality solar energy solutions for households and small businesses. The company has developed proprietary “PayGo” technology to make these solutions accessible to those who need them most through mobile payment financing plans. d.light has
improved the lives of over 88 million people, and leads the solar energy market in Africa and Asia.
Entrepreneur: Joshua Sandler
Description: Due to systemic inefficiencies, logistics account for up to 75% of the cost of goods in Africa, compared to 6% in the US. Lori Systems is optimizing haulage to drive down the cost of goods across the continent. Lori’s tech-enabled platform connects cargo owners with available trucking capacity across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, and South Sudan. The company improves truck utilization by 1.8x and improves drivers’ incomes by ~250%, while saving cargo owners more than 15% on transportation costs.
Company: Hot Chicken Takeover
Entrepreneur: Joe DeLoss
Description: Hot Chicken Takeover (HCT) is a fast casual restaurant chain serving delicious fried chicken in an environment reminiscent of a family reunion. HCT currently operates three restaurants across Columbus, Ohio, with plans to expand regionally next year. HCT’s unique product and service experience are powered by a significant HR innovation: providing supportive employment to motivated adults impacted by homelessness, incarceration, and other circumstances linked to poverty.
Company: Elma Farms
Entrepreneurs: Antonio Ellek and Cetin Amato
Description: As on-the-go individuals eliminate processed foods from their diets, the demand for healthy snacks is rising. With 7 all-natural, non-GMO snack products, Elma Farms provides healthy food to anyone, anywhere. The company started with Mediterranean-inspired snacks such as hummus, quinoa, grape leaves, and olives, but has since expanded its product portfolio to protein ball and dehydrated cheese offerings.
Entrepreneurs: Jay Alabraba and Tayo Oviosu
Description: 94% of retail payments across Africa are done in cash and ~61.7% of adults do not have a bank account. Paga is breaking down barriers to financial inclusion by allowing individual consumers to send mobile money and enabling businesses to process payments seamlessly. Paga has also built the
country’s widest physical financial services distribution network (2.5x that of Nigeria’s 23 banks) by training and deploying 18K agents across 36 states at convenient service points. In 2017 alone, the company conducted 14M transactions valued at a cumulative sum of $940M.
Company: First Circle
Entrepreneurs: Tony Ennis and Patrick Lynch
Description: SMEs form 99% of businesses in the Philippines, but rarely grow due to inadequate financing. The problem is exacerbated by Philippine banks: in the rare occasion that they lend to an SME, their archaic and arduous application processes make it almost impossible to borrow money, with typical loans released from one to three months later. First Circle is closing the $50B financing gap by providing
SMEs with working capital through a fintech platform that can approve and disburse unsecured loans in as little as 5 days.
Entrepreneurs: Trent Rossini and Mike Renzon
Description: inQuba provides customer experience management and customer engagement services to enterprise customers that ensures that end customers are effectively assisted on their customer journey towards their goals. Using operational data and experience data together with inQuba’s word class SaaS platform, the inQuba team optimises customer acquisition, retention and cross selling to drive up revenues. inQuba has been recognized by Forrester and Gartner as one of the global leaders in journey management.
Entrepreneur: Rodrigo Rodriguez
Description: Odilo is a global content market leader with a comprehensive and intelligent product suite for the discovery, management and distribution of digital content. Today, Odilo collaborates with over 3,000 publishers worldwide to offer over 1.5 million titles of high quality ebooks, audiobooks, video, magazines, scorm and others, across over 40 languages.
Entrepreneur: Nadhem Boudoukhane
Description: Carthage is the premier Tunisian food and beverage exporter to North America. From olive oil to harissa to couscous, Carthage brings the best of Mediterranean cuisine to the North American consumer, both through white label products and through La Megara, a branded line of products. Beyond curating local delicacies, the company has also patented an innovative method of mass-producing beeswax wraps, sustainable alternatives to plastic food wraps.
Entrepreneur: Karim Beguir
Description: InstaDeep delivers Artificial Intelligence enterprise solutions, tackling the most challenging mobility, optimization, and automation problems through its end-to-end products. With a team of world-class AI experts, InstaDeep is leveraging partnerships with leading international universities and technology organizations to pioneer AI solutions from the African continent to the rest of the world.
Company: Picus Security
Entrepreneurs: Volkan Erturk and Alper Memis
Description: Picus Security has developed the Continuous Security Validation and Mitigation (“CSVM”) platform to continually test, mitigate, and report on the response readiness of a client’s overall security posture. The CSVM platform simulates real-world attacks to identify the weaknesses and strengths in the system, and then provides both actionable recommendations to minimize risk exposure as well as
detailed reports to maximize decision-making on future security investments.
Entrepreneur: Guillaume Pousaz
Description: Checkout.com is a leading international provider of online payment solutions. Checkout.com is built on 100% proprietary technology and handles every part of the payment process, providing complete transparency across the entire payment value chain. Checkout.com currently processes 150+ currencies and offers access to all international cards and popular local payment methods to merchants through one integration. Customers include international businesses like Samsung, Transferwise, EasyGroup, Virgin, and Adidas. Checkout has 275 employees and operates from seven offices across Europe, Middle East, US and Asia.