Atlanta office will drive sustainable, regional economic growth through supporting high-impact entrepreneurs
ATLANTA – March 8, 2017 – Endeavor is celebrating its 20th anniversary and expanding its U.S. presence with the launch of Endeavor Atlanta. The program will leverage the region’s entrepreneurial spirit to drive job creation, sustained economic growth and a culture of paying it forward to future generations of startup founders. Endeavor Atlanta’s launch is made possible by seed funding from Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company, along with strong community support from local entrepreneurs. Cox has operated in Atlanta for more than 75 years and has been a leader in bolstering the region’s startup scene.
All Endeavor offices are spearheaded by a local board of entrepreneurial leaders and a managing director experienced in the local ecosystem.
The Endeavor Atlanta founding board will be co-chaired by WebMD and Sharecare Founder Jeff Arnold and PGi Founder Boland T. Jones. Other Endeavor Atlanta board members include: Neurosurgeon and Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent for CNN Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chik-fil-A, Inc. VP of Community Affairs and Foundation Executive Director Rodney Bullard, Cox Enterprises Senior VP of Corporate Strategy and Investments Duncan O’Brien, H.J. Russell & Company President and Chief Operating Officer H. Jerome Russell, Rubicon Global and QuarterMoore Founder Lane Moore, and Atlanta Ventures CEO David Cummings. Read more about the Endeavor Atlanta board here.
“Each of us on the Endeavor Atlanta board has experienced firsthand the wealth of talent and resources our city offers, and we are committed to paying that forward by investing in Atlanta’s entrepreneurial future,” said Endeavor Atlanta Co-Chairman Jeff Arnold. “Our city has grown into a hotspot for high-growth companies – and the entrepreneurs that build them – and establishing Endeavor Atlanta will create opportunities for even more innovators, more ideas and more industries.”
The new office will be run by Aaron Hurst, who joins Endeavor Atlanta from the global technology company Ceridian, where he most recently served as vice president of global solutions.
Atlanta is home to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, with strong universities, headquarters of prominent large corporations, and a growing tech scene with innovative startup accelerators and incubators. Yet, while the rate of startup growth is rapidly rising, with an increase from 35% in 2015 to 44% in 2016,* the share of scaleups – those companies that have passed the start-up phase and who demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion — in the ecosystem has largely remained static. Endeavor’s support model will target these companies poised to scale, helping build up an extensive pipeline of high-potential companies to contribute to economic growth, while encouraging reinvestment in the city’s future entrepreneurs.
“After 20 years of bringing Endeavor’s model to countries around the world, we’re thrilled to open our fourth U.S. office and help Atlanta’s promising founders scale, stay and strengthen the area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “With strong support from the area’s leading founders and executives on Endeavor Atlanta’s board, we’re confident of the impact that the new office will have on Atlanta’s innovators and the city as a whole.”
Endeavor is a 20-year-old, nonprofit organization that facilitates long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped over 1,400 of these entrepreneurs build more than 800 companies across 27 markets, which generated combined revenues of $8.1 billion in 2015. To date, companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created more than 600,000 jobs, and often go on to mentor and invest in the next generation of founders, or serve on the boards of Endeavor offices.
“Endeavor’s unparalleled global network will equip the city’s best entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow and continue putting Atlanta on the map as a hub for entrepreneurship,” said Endeavor Atlanta Co-Chairman Boland T. Jones.
Endeavor Atlanta will work to identify high-impact entrepreneurs in the region and provide them access to a global network of markets, industry leaders, investors, and talent, helping to expand their ventures into enterprises that can propel the local economy. The new office will be Endeavor’s fourth affiliate in the U.S., with offices previously launched in Detroit, Louisville, Ky., and Miami.
*As measured by changes in employment on average five years after founding, as presented in the Kauffman Foundation’s High Growth Index.