This article was originally posted on Endeavor Global.
Endeavor selected 23 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 14 companies from 11 markets at the 93rd International Selection Panel (ISP) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, held February 10-12, 2020. Endeavor now supports 2,039 entrepreneurs leading 1,272 companies in 35+ markets around the world.
The ISP is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process to identify high-impact entrepreneurs who demonstrate the potential to leverage Endeavor’s resources and mentorship to create large-scale wealth and jobs, and are committed to reinvesting their time and money in their local entrepreneurship ecosystems to help others take off.
Over the course of the three-day event, panelists drawn from Endeavor’s extensive network of board members, mentors, supporters, and experienced Endeavor Entrepreneurs, interview 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. Panelists must vote unanimously for a candidate to become an Endeavor Entrepreneur.
“Endeavor’s selection process is designed to identify entrepreneurs who have the potential to make a big impact locally and globally, not only by scaling their businesses but also by reinvesting their success. The Riyadh ISP drew extraordinarily talented founders from around the world, and we’re thrilled to welcome 23 new Endeavor Entrepreneurs!” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.
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 impact. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created 3 million jobs, generated $20 billion in revenue in 2018, and help build sustainable growth models in their home countries.
The 93rd ISP was hosted in partnership with Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (Momsha’at). Endeavor thanks 93rd ISP Strategic Sponsors Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Riyad Bank.
Upcoming ISPs in 2020 will be held in Brooklyn, New York (March 23-25), London, U.K. (May 11-13), Bali, Indonesia (June 30-July 2), Nairobi, Kenya (August 10-12), Lake Como, Italy (September 14-16), Palo Alto, California (October 26-28), and São Paulo, Brazil (December 9-11). For more information on these events, please contact ISP@endeavor.org.
Learn more about the companies and entrepreneurs selected in Riyadh below:
Entrepreneur: Pedro Conrade
Description: Neon is a mobile first digital challenger bank focused exclusively on the Brazilian market. With an intense emphasis on user experience and an intuitive interface, Neon offers banking services, savings products (personal financial management tools), and credit cards & loans to individuals and small businesses. Neon is focused on servicing mid and low income individuals, young people, and the unbanked, who typically face barriers opening a standard bank account. Within four minutes a customer can start an account and verify their identity with facial recognition; once a small amount of cash is deposited, customers can instantly start using a digital credit card. Without needing to maintain physical operations, Neon passes on savings in the form of low transparent pricing and fees as compared to incumbent banks.
Entrepreneur: Marcelo Lombardo
Description: Omie is a cloud based ERP for SMEs containing everything a manager needs to run a small business within the complex regulatory and tax environment of Brazil, including financials, invoicing, inventory, manufacturing, CRM, and POS. To provide the best user experience, Omie has opened up its platforms to third parties to develop vertical specific features through its own API. In addition, Omie partners with banks and fintechs to offer financial solutions, such as credit, payments, and financing of receivables to SMEs across many industries. Using a franchise model, the company leverages local accounting firms for lead generation, gaining an edge over companies competing for digital marketing space. Accounting firms get the benefit of increased productivity as a result of standardization and digitization of their client’s information. Omie has also started a joint venture with four of the top accounting software providers in Brazil to create the next generation of accounting, payroll, and tax software.
Entrepreneurs: Luay Torky and Suhail Torky
Company: SAAL Invest
Description: SAAL Invest is an Egyptian restaurant group currently expanding its flagship brand, Buffalo Burger. With over 30 branches across the country, Buffalo Burger is a leader in the local fast food burger market. A sound franchise model and deep knowledge of the Egyptian market has allowed SAAL to continue to innovate and dominate local fast food, and the group is looking forward to further success throughout the region.
Entrepreneur: Vikra Ijas and Alfatih Timur
Description: Kitabisa (“we can” in Indonesian), Indonesia’s first and largest crowdsourcing platform, is built to channel the country’s uniquely philanthropic ethos into funding for personal medical emergencies, humanitarian causes, and other projects sponsored by individuals and charitable organizations. Kitabisa caters to three user groups: (a) organizations, who leverage Kitabisa’s in-house marketing agency to maximize donor acquisition efficiency; (b) donors, who value Kitabisa’s simplicity and the ability to donate to individual causes; and (c) individual campaigners, who are able to tap into previously unavailable funding.
Entrepreneurs: Abdallah Faza and Kais Sheikh Hasan
Description: Lousy customer service calls are ubiquitous, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Arabot changes the customer experience by offering the first intelligent Arabic chatbot backed up with AI and a deep machine learning framework capable of accurately and efficiently analyzing conversations across Arabic dialects. The bot aims to boost customer experience and automate tasks, while simultaneously reducing company operational costs. The platform has been able to garner significant traction in the region, securing large enterprises and corporations from both the private and public sector as clients. Arabot hopes to capture a growing share of a booming market: the global chatbot market size is $2.6B and is expected to reach $9.4B by 2024.
Entrepreneurs: Qais Sabri and Yousef Nassar
Company: Eon Dental
Description: Eon Dental (“Eon”) is the leading manufacturer of clear aligners – low-cost, plastic orthodontic devices used to adjust teeth – in the Middle East. Eon offers three primary products: (a) the direct-to-consumer OneTwoSmile brand, sold to individual patients, (b) the B2B2C Eon Aligner brand, sold to dentists and orthodontists seeking to offer aligners to their own patients, and (c) white-labeled aligners, sold to new entrants and small to medium-sized aligner companies who lack the expertise or desire to produce in-house.
Entrepreneurs: Christian Wessels and Jasper Graf von Hardenberg
Company: Daystar Power
Description: Daystar Power is working to close Africa’s power gap by providing commercial and industrial customers with cleaner, reliable and more affordable electricity. Offering pure solar and hybrid solar-fossil fuel power generation systems across West Africa, Daystar makes reliable, clean energy more accessible with a unique financing model that requires no upfront payment, transparent payment plans, and schedule maintenance.
Entrepreneurs: Carlos Ganoza and Alvaro Collas
Company: Quantum Talent
Description: 150 million workers in Latin America are either unemployed or employed informally, while the majority of large corporations complain that they can’t find the talent they need to expand their operations. Quantum Talent is committed to bringing hiring practices in Latin America out of the 1970s, and creating a world where firms can hire the best talent as fast and easy as hailing a taxi. Quantum Talent has developed a SaaS tool, an AI-enabled psychometric evaluation, to drive efficiency in the hiring process by predicting employee-role fit for blue- and pink-collar labor. Firms using Quantum Talent report significant improvements in employee productivity and turnover, and the company aims to connect 100 million people with well-matched employment opportunities within the $12B hiring market.
Entrepreneur: Paul Rivera
Description: Kalibrr aims to disrupt the white-collar recruiting industry through its AI-powered recruitment platform that recommends and matches jobs to job seekers based on their skills, experience, interests, and behavior. Clients using its platform save up to 90% of the time it takes to hire a qualified candidate. With presence in the Philippines and Indonesia, and many of the Philippines’ top companies as clients, Kalibrr aims to become the leader in AI-powered recruitment across Southeast Asia.
Entrepreneur: Ray Refundo
Description: Qwikwire is in the business of providing comprehensive real estate solutions for brokers and property developers. From SaaS property management solutions, SAP integrated billing and invoicing systems, cross-border settlements via licensed remittance channels, to property listing via our blockchain powered multi-listing engine.
Entrepreneurs: Moath Aldajan and Ammar Aldajan
Company: Al Hatab Bakery
Description: Alhatab Bakery is a 34-location retail chain in Saudi Arabia selling a wide variety of baked goods and gourmet specialties catered to local tastes. Its bakeries offer a combination of local and international breads, crackers, and pastries, in addition to decadent sweets and a counter where customers can purchase signature salads, dips, and appetizers. Its food and beverage selection reflects its Saudi roots, while preserving the essence and authenticity of local favorites with a health-forward twist.
Entrepreneur: Juan Desmonts
Description: Dosfarma is Spain’s largest licensed online pharmacy. With over 35,000 products with 2 hour and next day delivery options, the company makes everything from cosmetics to over the counter drugs convenient and accessible for Spanish consumers. Dosfarma gives personal care and medical brands a direct and effective platform to reach customers through custom campaigns and sales.
Entrepreneur: Vilhelm Hedberg
Description: Ekar is the first and largest carshare operator in the Middle East; Ekar provides on-demand access to over 1,000+ pay-per-minute and long-term (daily or weekly) cars across the Gulf. Ekar empowers users with a seamless platform to get around the city via rental cars. Through the use of a smartphone app and installed technology in rental cars, users are able to easily search, book and unlock cars safely and securely for personal driving use.