Endeavor was formed as a new kind of non-profit organization.
In 1997, Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner sat down and, like many entrepreneurs before and after, sketched their vision on the back of a napkin. Peter had just returned from a Harvard Business School trip to China, where he had witnessed first-hand the boom in entrepreneurship that would transform that country.
For Linda, the light bulb moment for Endeavor came in the back of a taxi cab in Buenos Aires. She struck up a conversation with the driver and was shocked to learn he had a PhD in Engineering. She asked if he hadn’t considered becoming an entrepreneur instead of driving a taxi. “An empresario?” he said dismissively, using the Spanish word for a big businessman. It suddenly occurred to her that there was no Spanish word for “entrepreneur.”
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when barriers to entrepreneurship were nearly insurmountable outside a few limited areas — most notably Silicon Valley — Endeavor focused on stimulating global entrepreneurial activity by providing mentorship to innovative founders based in emerging markets.
Today, Endeavor has established a presence in nearly 40 markets across Latin America, Asia, Africa, Middle East, and underserved areas of Europe and the United States, and has evolved over two decades to reflect new realities and new opportunities.
Endeavor’s 500+ team members and worldwide network painstakingly probe all our markets to identify qualified entrepreneurs for Endeavor’s selection process.
Endeavor candidates operate in many industries — enterprise software and services, fintech, food & beverage, education, healthcare, agriculture, retail and consumer tech, and smart cities.