The Magic of Endeavor is something we often talk about, but it can be difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t been involved in the global network. Last month, Endeavor Global hosted Endeavor Week, a week full of events catered to entrepreneurs, board members, investors, and service providers from around the world. One of the main access points that Endeavor provides to entrepreneurs is access to markets. Global gatherings as such provide founders and mentors with the opportunity to meet, network, and ultimately build those strong connections that could potentially become game changers for an individual and their company.Endeavor Louisville had a strong representation of attendees from the region, including: Matt Thornton (Endeavor Louisville Board Member), Kaveh Zamanian (Rabbit Hole Distilling Founder), Rodney Williams (LISNR co-founder), Jackson Andrews (Endeavor Louisville Managing Director), Caroline Hafele (Endeavor Louisville Manager), Jennifer Williams (Cuddle Clones Founder), & Alli Truttmann (Wicked Sheets Founder).
The lineup of events for the week was nothing short of magical. On Wednesday, November 28th, Endeavor hosted the first annual Women in High-Impact Entrepreneurship (WHIE) event, along with the global board gathering. On Thursday, November 29th, there was a Smart Cities tour, a Retail tour, and a Food & Beverage tour for Endeavor Entrepreneurs, along with selected Endeavor candidates who are currently in the selection process. Thursday evening closed out Endeavor week with the annual Endeavor Gala.
Of the 1,793 entrepreneurs supported by Endeavor globally today, female founders represent 13%. While that number may seem low at first glance, it is important to also look at the current global entrepreneurial landscape. A few interesting statistics:
- According to a study by Carta, females represent 13% of all founders (on par with Endeavor), but own only 6% equity.
- According to Fortune, female founders received 2% of venture capital funding in 2018, and only 8% of VC partners are females.
At Endeavor, along with much of the entrepreneurial community around the world, we are working to not only recognize these facts but to change them. In 2017, Endeavor launched the first event for female founders in the Endeavor network. The Women in High-Impact Entrepreneurship event hosted entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and Endeavor staff members from 12 markets for a day of networking, keynote speeches and overall, transparent and supportive conversations for women in business. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from successful founders such as Alexa von Tobel of LearnVest, a financial planning service that she sold to Northwest Mutual Bank for $250 million, and Lynne Laube of Cardlytics, a marketing and analytics tool for financial institutions that is now publicly traded on the NASDAQ. The opportunity to not only learn from these women’s stories of scale, but to have an open Q&A in such a small, curated setting made these talks invaluable.
The afternoon consisted of one-on-one investor meetings with members of the Endeavor investor network, including Bain Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Greycroft, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Innova Capital. “The opportunity to meet with investors in a casual, no pressure setting was very helpful for me, as it made me think about my pitch and selling points in a different way,” said Endeavor candidate who participated in the event.
As an Endeavor staff member, one of the biggest takeaways for me was the male participation in the female focused event. More often than not, events promoting and encouraging female founders are attended and supported only by other females. As an employee at Endeavor, I was very proud to see various members of the Endeavor network participating, either as mentors or simply as attendees, including Nick Beim of Venrock and Adrian Garcias, Endeavor Global President. Change will only occur if all parties recognize inequalities, and that includes women and men supporting each other in all of our magical high-impact endeavors.
Mentoring session with Nick Beim, Partner at Venrock.