Working at Endeavor Miami, I have had the privilege to witness the incredible journeys of entrepreneurs who dare to dream big and disrupt whole industries. Founders often ask me about my own entrepreneurial aspirations, and my response is always the same “I count my lucky stars that I get to support entrepreneurs like you without the uncertainties and risks associated with starting my own venture.”
I have always admired the ambition and sheer willpower it takes to start your own company. In fact, there are very few more invigorating feelings than being surrounded by people who want to change the world, disrupting one industry at a time. In large part, that is what initially drew me to work at Endeavor, by many, the foremost global entrepreneurial support organization.
For the past two years, my role has been to connect visionary founders with a robust support system that propels their companies toward rapid growth. I led Endeavor ScaleUp, our cohort-based initiative, specifically designed to help entrepreneurs scale their companies faster while fostering a sense of community among like-minded founders.
One of the remarkable aspects of Endeavor is the caliber of people within its network. Every conversation, whether with mentors or fellow founders, proves to be invaluable. I vividly recall a conversation between an Endeavor Mentor and a ScaleUp founder who was struggling to convert leads into paying customers at the final stage of the sales process. After an hour of focused questioning and brainstorming, the founder reshaped the company’s narrative with the mentor’s help. To the founder’s astonishment, the following week, he witnessed a twofold increase in their closing rate. By the end of Endeavor ScaleUp, the founder approached me, exclaiming, “Four months ago, I would have never imagined saying this, but my success will be, in part, because of Endeavor. Thank you.”
These are the transformative moments that make me thankful for my job. I witness founders strategically rethink their long-term vision, bring their focus to a specific customer segment and craft a more effective go-to-market strategy leading to tangible results, all because of the curated mentorship Endeavor provides.
What sets Endeavor apart from other players in the startup ecosystem is our unwavering focus on the founder. Inscribed in our core values is the belief in working exclusively with founders who are open to learning and driven to pay it forward. As a nonprofit organization, this commitment is at the heart of Endeavor.
In fact, in a recent conversation with a founder, the subject of capturing Endeavor ScaleUp’s monetary value came up. He said, “Anna, it’s clear to me that the advice I received and the sense of community I felt cannot be bought; Endeavor ScaleUp is priceless.” I found his response both heartwarming and inspiring. After all, founders rightfully seek to measure the return on their investment, particularly when it involves their valuable time.
One of the most powerful aspects of Endeavor ScaleUp is the support entrepreneurs receive from their peers. As part of Endeavor ScaleUp, every selected founder needs to bring to the table their “black belt”, a skill or expertise, to share with the group. Recently, two co-founders presented how they have integrated meditation into their organizational culture, resulting in increased employee productivity. Following the presentation, the co-founders led their peers through a short meditation session, providing them with a compass to improve their own performance and leadership. In that moment, the founders were able to shed their unwavering masks and reconcile their entrepreneurial identity with their human flaws. It is experiences like these that foster a profound sense of belonging among ScaleUp participants, knowing that others share similar pain points and genuinely understand their journey.
Ultimately, Endeavor aims to make the entrepreneurial journey a little less lonely and a lot more empowering.