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The annual Endeavor Gala, held Friday November 4, 2016 in New York City, brought together more than 500 entrepreneurs, business leaders, Endeavor Board members and supporters to celebrate Endeavor’s expansion worldwide before launching in the United States, with affiliate offices in Detroit, Louisville and Miami. As Endeavor’s only annual fundraising event, the Gala is held in support of the organization’s mission to select, support and scale high-impact entrepreneurs in growth markets around the world.
This year, the Gala honored great American entrepreneur Steve Case, a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future. Prior to the Gala, Steve met with a small group of Endeavor Entrepreneurs from various industries including digital health, consumer goods, and F&B for an intimate forum.
Endeavor Global Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. leads a discussion with Honoree Steve Case at the 2016 Endeavor Gala.
Steve’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985 when he co-founded America Online (AOL), catalyzing the worldwide adoption of a media that has transformed business and society. At its peak, AOL handled nearly half of all internet traffic, was the first ever Internet IPO, and was among the top performing stocks of the 1990s. Today, Steve’s passion for helping entrepreneurs remains his driving force. As Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Steve partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ businesses. And, as Chairman of the Case Foundation, which he established with his wife Jean in 1997, he has invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives and partnerships with a focus on leveraging the Internet and entrepreneurial approaches to strengthen the social sector.
The theme of paying it forward to communities and countries and supporting future dreamers and doers in order to multiply the impact of entrepreneurship pervaded throughout the evening.
The Gala opened with remarks from Endeavor Co-Founder and Board Member Peter Kellner, welcoming and bringing together the Endeavor network. He then introduced Miami-based Endeavor Entrepreneur and CEO of Kairos Brian Brackeen, who spoke passionately about what working with Endeavor has done for Kairos and what it has meant to him personally.
Endeavor Entrepreneur and CEO of Kairos Brian Brackeen speaks at the Gala.
“Endeavor is so much more than the term ‘organization,’” said Brian, who was selected into the network at the 56th International Selection Panel in Miami in December, 2014 . “It’s really family.”
Brian was also one of the featured entrepreneurs in the 2016 Gala Video, which showcased Endeavor’s expansion in the U.S.:
Following the premier of the Gala video, Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg spoke about the theme of the Gala, “Go Big And Go Home,” highlighting the milestones that Endeavor companies have achieved in the past year, including generating $8.1 billion in revenue and creating over 600,000 jobs, and what sets Endeavor entrepreneurs apart — their commitment to paying it forward to the next generation of founders.
“Endeavor’s core belief is that entrepreneurship is a communal experience. It’s an idea that doesn’t spread in isolation,” Linda remarked in her speech. “It spreads when more experienced founders mentor, invest, and cultivate those around them.”
View Linda’s full remarks below.
During the event, Endeavor Global Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. also led a discussion with honoree Steve Case, which delved into Steve’s insights into the growth of entrepreneurship in the United States and highlighted the importance of creating strong entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Echoing Linda’s remarks, Steve noted the significance of entrepreneurs focusing not just on growing their companies but also on how to lift up their communities and countries in the process.
Steve and Edgar also elaborated on the theme of the evening, exploring what role Endeavor’s expansion can play in growing entrepreneurship in the United States.
“In the last half century, we’ve seen the globalization of capital, the globalization of manufacturing, and now we’re seeing the globalization of entrepreneurship,” Steve said in the discussion. He noted that, while with this growth it’s important to create strong ecosystems in communities around the world, “it’s also important … to focus in the United States and try to help communities all around the country rise up as well.”
You can view the full discussion in the video below:
The program ended with a lively performance, sponsored by Warner Music Group, by Alex Newell. After dinner, attendees enjoyed the annual after-party with music by Hannah Bronfman.
See photographs from the night on Endeavor’s Facebook page.
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