In this Mentor Spotlight, get to know our Endeavor Mentor Andres Modak, Partner at Vizcaya Ventures. 

Why did you decide to join the Endeavor Network?

While building my company over the better part of the last decade, I have met several exceptional Endeavor entrepreneurs and admired Endeavor’s mission, impact and added focus on supporting underrepresented founders. In 2021, after relocating to Miami with my family from NYC, we began moving some of our company’s core operations to Miami. We sought to plug into the rapidly growing early-stage ecosystem while also hoping to find ways to contribute to it. Endeavor is at the heart of the ecosystem and among the most impactful networks in Miami (and globally) to engage with and participate in. 

Tell us about your background and why you decided to become a mentor.

My early career was spent in strategy consulting and real estate. However, I’ve been a founder for much of the last decade, primarily building, growing, and exiting a digitally-native home brand, Snowe. I am now working on incubating early-stage companies, focusing on e-commerce, consumer products, insurance, and hospitality. I also advise a select group of consumer companies and investors. During my journey as a founder, I was fortunate to have mentors and advisors at various stages of my trajectory. They were instrumental in unlocking growth, avoiding pitfalls, and accelerating learning. I became a mentor to give back and support high-impact entrepreneurs, in particular, those in consumer and consumer tech, on their journey while continuing to help shape the ecosystem here. 

What was your most challenging moment as an entrepreneur? Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs going through something similar?

As many experienced, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a cascade of challenges. For us, this included forcing store closures and derailing our retail expansion to shutting down factories and disrupting the global supply chain. It was a time of immense upheaval for start-ups and mature companies. We were forced to make extremely difficult decisions every day. The advice I’d give comes from what I believe got us through that time. 

  • First, keep a militant focus on identifying the most critical issues that need to be dealt with and apply creative solutions that might also unlock greater value for the future. Crises can sometimes bring opportunity. 
  • Second, find and tap into your personal source of resilience. When times get tough, you need that to keep going at full tilt. Remember that getting through major challenges brings invaluable perspective (and can build competitive advantages for the future). 
  • Finally, and most importantly, prioritize your best people. Identify those who can step up when things get tough. Support, encourage, and reward them, as they will be your SWAT team to tackle whatever the future throws at you.

What are the most important qualities and characteristics that mentors should have?

Over the years, I’ve found that the best advisors and mentors were the ones who stepped down into the trenches with me, the ones who got into the messy details, dug through the data, and came into our discussions with hypotheses and testing recommendations. They are the ones who do not hold back when things aren’t right and will help work through solutions. They bring that critical equilibrium between objectivity and real perspective grounded in experience. 

What are you reading?

I usually have a few books going at the same time, between physical and audio. Currently, I’m on “Against the Odds” by James Dyson, an inspirational autobiography about the design entrepreneur. I am reading “Lifespan” by David Sinclair, because the innovation in the longevity space fascinates me. Finally, “Pasta, Pane, Vino” by Matt Goulding, because I’m a food nerd currently planning a summer trip to Italy with family and friends. 

These responses have been edited for grammar.