Endeavor will get $2 million from the Knight Foundation to open its first US affiliate in Miami

Endeavor will get $2 million from the Knight Foundation to open its first US affiliate in Miami

Endeavor will receive $2 million in support from the Knight Foundation through 2017 to open Endeavor Miami, its first US affiliate, the New York-based entrepreneurship organization announced today.

As you may remember, the city has recently hosted Endeavor’s Global Selection Panel. This private event was dedicated to shortlisting the 40 latest entrepreneurs to join its network, which is dedicated to connect innovative business leaders in emerging markets.

While Endeavor’s new recruits come from Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, the Knight Foundation’s support means that starting in late 2013, Miami’s entrepreneurs will also be able to join the network. According to Endeavor president, Fernando Fabre, it will be able to find suitable candidates at a local level:

“From our work in the [Latin American] region, we know there are Miami entrepreneurs with business ideas that can scale beyond the start-up phase and contribute toward building a healthy economy in the region.”

The Knight Foundation is based in Miami, and makes ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship in South Florida. A few weeks ago, it announced that it would provide The LAB Miami with $250,000 in funding to open a new 10,000 square foot collaborative work-learn space in the trendy Wynwood neighborhood. In addition, it also announced during the America’s Venture Capital Conference (AVCC) that it would co-sponsor the $20,000 award that HackDay winner AskMeOut will receive once the team has moved to Miami.

Still, Miami program director Matt Haggman is convinced that Endeavor Miami will fill a gap in the local ecosystem:

“There is great momentum in Miami’s startup community, but it is still harder than it should be for entrepreneurs to build their ideas here. Endeavor will address this challenge, bringing an unprecedented level of support, learning opportunities and connections for Miami’s diverse group of entrepreneurs. This is a cornerstone of our effort to make Miami more of a place where ideas are built.”

endeavor_logoEndeavor is known for handpicking high-potential businesses and giving them a welcome boost; it currently supports 750 entrepreneurs, who have access to its network of senior mentors and advisors. In turn, it also hopes that they will become role models and foster entrepreneurship and growth in their home countries.

As Endeavor has built its reputation on focusing on emerging economies, it is interesting to see it turn its attention to the US. Its CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenberg explains the rationale behind this move:

“We initially started Endeavor with the goal of bringing the idea of American-style mentorship and networking to entrepreneurs in emerging market countries. Over the past few years it has become apparent that not all parts of the US have the built-in advantages of Silicon Valley, Austin or New York’s Flatiron district. There are plenty of areas of the US with promising entrepreneurs that need help building an ecosystem conducive to helping local entrepreneurs scale and prosper.”

While Endeavor Miami doesn’t have a set launch date yet, Endeavor’s management team plans to build on its existing contacts and the Knight Foundation’s support to constitute a local board of directors, who will be in charge of finding local volunteer mentors.

Image credit: Pond5

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