Endeavor’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held Thursday November 30, 2017 at Spring Studios in New York City, convened 600 entrepreneurs, business leaders, Endeavor board members, staff and supporters to celebrate 20 years of leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement. 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’s Gala honored CEO of General Atlantic, William E. Ford, an exemplary supporter of high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide. Under Bill’s leadership, General Atlantic has expanded its global presence, increased its capital base, and deepened its capabilities to identify and partner with high-potential growth companies across multiple business sectors and geographies – including several companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Prior to the Gala, Bill met with a small group of Endeavor Entrepreneurs for an intimate forum.
The Gala program opened with remarks from founding board member Jason Green, who reflected on his 20 year journey with Endeavor, from Endeavor’s humble beginnings – the first ever “board meeting,” held around Co-founder Peter Kellner’s kitchen table in his Manhattan apartment – to the global organization it has become today.
“Like most great journeys in life, we overestimated what we could accomplish in a year or two, but vastly underestimated what we could accomplish in a decade or two,” Jason said, kicking off the evening’s celebration of Endeavor’s growth over 20 years.
A video followed Green’s remarks, which highlighted Endeavor’s “Faces of Impact” – the high-impact entrepreneurs at the heart of Endeavor’s mission. Endeavor now supports over 1,500 high-impact entrepreneurs across 30 countries. Over the past two decades, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created nearly 700,000 jobs and generated $10 billion in revenues each year, and continue to pay it forward to the next generation of founders as role models and mentors, transforming entire economies in the process.
Following the premier of the Gala video, Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg spoke about the organization’s launch amidst an economic crisis in emerging, and touched on Endeavor’s key milestones in its growth, from the first Endeavor companies to go public to the launch of Endeavor Catalyst.
She also addressed the more than 60 Endeavor Entrepreneurs in attendance, saying: “Endeavor passionately believes in your power to change lives and transform entire cities and countries. That’s why we get up every day to help you realize your dreams. In turn, you inspire us and pay it forward.”
During the event, Endeavor Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. also led a discussion with honoree Bill Ford, which delved into Bill’s insights into the importance of investing in high-impact entrepreneurs to create strong entrepreneurial ecosystems.
“Endeavor Entrepreneurs are really a step ahead. They come to us with much more developed ideas and business plans, and I think it comes from the network and the mentorship they receive,” Bill told Edgar, citing General Atlantic’s investments in Endeavor companies Yemeksepeti and Mercado Libre as two of their most successful. Bill expressed optimism that Clip, General Atlantic’s latest investment in an Endeavor company, would follow suit.
The program ended with a vocal performance by musical artist Niia, provided by Warner Music Group.
Following the Gala program, Endeavor’s celebration of its growing network of entrepreneurs continued at Scale-Up Night, where music by Hannah Bronfman set the tone for a lively party. The event featured installations of innovations created by a selection of Endeavor Entrepreneurs, including photos of Endeavor Entrepreneurs across the world, a virtual reality station powered by YouVisit, satellite imagery from Satellogic, a music station powered by Anghami, artisanal furniture provided by Kenneth Cobonpue, a photobooth created with a Yerra rug, and many more.
View photos from the event here, and share your own with the hashtag #Endeavor20. If you didn’t get a chance to make a donation and would like to make a gift in honor of the honoree, an entrepreneur, or an office you may do so here.