LOUISVILLE, Ky. — May 9, 2018 — Endeavor selected 21 entrepreneurs leading 14 companies from eight countries at the 79th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Louisville, Kentucky. Endeavor now supports 1,658 entrepreneurs leading 1,037 companies in 30 growth markets around the world.
Panelists at the event, held May 7-9, 2018, and hosted by Endeavor Louisville, included top business leaders and investors from the region and around the world who were drawn from Endeavor’s extensive network of board members, mentors, and supporters.
The ISP is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are committed to advancing an ecosystem of entrepreneurship.
“We were so excited to have Endeavor come to Louisville. It brought people from around the world who are accomplished and committed to building lasting companies. The event unleashed a tremendous amount of energy in the city and was a great success. We’re honored to have been a part of these entrepreneurs’ journey,” said David Jones, co-founder of the Louisville-based health insurance giant Humana and chairman of Endeavor Louisville.
Mr. Jones served as one of 18 panelists at the event, interviewing entrepreneur candidates about their businesses, evaluating them on their potential for high-impact growth, and deliberating on which candidates should be selected to become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
“I hadn’t been a panelist for some time and I was really impressed at the overall caliber of the entrepreneurs and businesses at this ISP,” said Mike Hennessey, a longtime Endeavor network member who also sat on a panel at the ISP. Hennessey is the managing director at Blue Banyan, a Silicon Valley Based early stage investor in early stage technology companies.
Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs gain access to comprehensive customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key needs.
Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, generating billions of dollars in revenues, and building sustainable growth models in their home countries.
“The Louisville International Selection Panel brought together an immensely talented pool of entrepreneurial candidates and experienced industry role models from the growing local ecosystem and around the world,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “It was amazing to see the passion and early impact of Endeavor Louisville’s network since the office’s launch.”
Endeavor will host ISPs in 2018 in Milan (June 27-29), Detroit (July 30-August 1), Buenos Aires (September 5-7), Athens (October 24-26) and South Africa (December 11-13).
Learn more about the companies and entrepreneurs selected below.
Entrepreneur: Stephen Pair
Description: BitPay is the global leader in Bitcoin payment processing. The company facilitates the entire cryptocurrency transaction process, allowing consumers to acquire and spend Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, and supplying merchants and enterprises with the capacity to accept and disburse blockchain payments. BitPay’s products leverage blockchain technology to improve upon the security, efficiency, and cost of traditional digital payments.
Entrepreneurs: Chris Ramsey & George Azih
Description: For the first time in 40 years, lease accounting rules are changing globally. Companies will soon be required to recognize every single lease asset (including vehicles, equipment, and real estate) on their balance sheet, adding an estimated $2 trillion in new balance sheet listings. All public companies with lease agreements will be required to comply with these new standards by 2019, and all private companies and governmental entities must comply by 2020. LeaseQuery is the first dependable accounting software that enables a seamless transition to the new lease accounting standards.
Entrepreneurs: Marcos Boschetti & Fabiano Schommer Kerber
Description: With over 23,000 users, Nelogica is the leading trading technology company in Brazil. Its platform, ProfitChart, combines real-time stock and futures exchange data, analysis tools, and trade execution capabilities in one place. This full functionality allows traders to execute orders faster than the industry average and achieve success in the market at less cost.
Entrepreneurs: Jorge Soto & Santiago Villegas
Description: Small businesses should not have big bookkeeping problems, and yet, 95% of the $6B LatAm micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) market still manages invoices and administration by hand. In 2017, Colombian and Costa Rican governments followed the lead of seven other Latin American governments including Mexico, Brazil, and Peru, by mandating that all businesses, irrespective of industry and size, must issue 100% of their invoices electronically by 2019. In January 2018, Panama followed suit with a pilot program; in April 2018, the Dominican Republic did the same. Alegra is alleviating a major pain point for 25K daily active users in nine countries by providing an easy-to-use cloud-based software for LatAm MSMEs to efficiently manage their businesses under these new regulatory standards.
Company: Link Mobile
Entrepreneurs: Juan Carlos Holguin & Jens Thobo Carlsen
Description: Link Mobile offers telecom providers white-label soccer and education content for distribution to their end users at less cost than an internally managed solution. Link’s flagship product, Football 360, gives subscribers up-to-date and localized soccer information in the form of statistics, highlights, interviews and game recaps. The company recently launched an educational offering to provide subscribers with informative content in the form of text, pictures, and videos on subjects such as finance, cooking, and more.
Entrepreneur: Sotiris Bantas
Description: $1 trillion worth of food and agricultural commodities are wasted each year during the journey from farm to table. Centaur reduces post-harvest losses during transportation and storage by monitoring perishable products with wireless sensors. Centaur’s Internet-of-Crops™ platform uses data analytics and machine intelligence to predict spoilage months in advance and prevents contamination by prescribing and optimizing treatments such as fumigation.
Company: Metamaterial Technologies
Entrepreneur: George Palikaras
Description: Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) enables us to capture the full potential of light with its pioneering class of smart materials—called metamaterials—that can block, absorb, and amplify light waves at the nanoscale. Within the nascent metamaterials market, MTI is creating metamaterial films for applications in the next generation of optical devices, including laser protection, energy-efficient light sources, affordable solar panels, and non-invasive medical imaging.
Entrepreneur: Andrea Calcagno
Description: Cloud4Wi uses Wi-Fi networks to provide retail brands with AI-generated analytics that help them increase customer conversion rate. By seamlessly integrating into a client’s in-store Wi-Fi network, Cloud4Wi’s platform, Volare, tracks customer behavior and generates predictive analytics, enabling clients to better engage customers through targeted advertisements, promotions, and in-store service.
Entrepreneurs: Alberto Dalmasso
Description: Satispay is Italy’s leading mobile payment platform. It is independent from debit or credit cards, and can be used with any bank account or smartphone. Users can send payments to other Satispay users, pay for in-store and online purchases, or make in-app purchases such as buying mobile credit top ups. Satispay’s platform reduces transaction costs for merchants and is becoming a strong marketing channel thanks to its loyalty and cashback functionalities.
Company: Rabbit Hole Spirits
Entrepreneurs: Kaveh Zamanian
Description: Rabbit Hole Distilling is a Kentucky-based bourbon and whiskey distiller inspired by modern approaches to whiskey making. It currently has a presence across nine states in the country including a newly launched 55,000 square foot distillery (16th largest bourbon distillery in the world), designed by architect Doug Pierson, in downtown Louisville. Rabbit Hole has been featured in Forbes (twice), Nightclub & Bar, and The Huffington Post. Rabbit Hole’s spirits were recognized at the NY International Spirits Competition in 2017. The Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey took home “Best in Show” while the Kentucky Straight Rye was a “Double Gold” winner.
Company: Medica Santa Carmen
Entrepreneurs: Andrés Gutiérrez
Description: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects over 12 million Mexicans and is the 10th leading cause of death in Mexico. Despite its high prevalence, CKD patients have few options for accessible, high-quality, and affordable treatment. Médica Santa Carmen is an integrated renal health services provider offering prevention, diagnostic and therapeutic care to people living with and at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease. The company currently performs over 10,000 hemodialysis sessions and over 40 outpatient vascular surgeries per month in its seven clinics, growing over 55% each year since launching in December 2011.
Entrepreneurs: Richard Lamondin & Lawrence Lamondin
Description: Founded by brothers Richard and Lawrence Lamondin, EcoSystems is a water conservation company that designs and implements programs that have saved over 2 billion of gallons of freshwater and $15 million dollars in utility costs. In a matter of weeks, EcoSystems helps properties save 30-50% on their utility bills.
Entrepreneurs: Guido Kovalskys, Emiliano Abramzon & Felipe Sommer
Description: Nearpod is an ed-tech platform that allows teachers to create, download, and teach interactive lessons plans while engaging students in real-time across all devices in a classroom. With an increasing catalog of digital lesson plans and cutting edge features like virtual reality field trips and 3D objects, Nearpod reaches students in K-12 schools globally.
Company: Mr Jeff
Entrepreneur: Eloi Gomez
Description: Mr Jeff is disrupting the laundry service industry one laundry bag at a time. The company’s on-demand platform connects laundromats – branded and trained by Mr Jeff – to customers in need of laundry or dry cleaning services via its app or website. Customers can pay per item, per laundry bag, or buy a monthly subscription, as well as access free pick-up and delivery within 48 hours. This highly fragmented sector is currently dominated by traditional mom-and-pop shops that don’t offer online ordering, multiple payment options, or standardized quality. Having amassed thousands customers across five markets – Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Colombia – and hundreds of laundry partners in two short years, Mr Jeff is quickly gaining traction in the $200B global laundry service industry.