From napkin to global movement

Endeavor Global celebrates 20 years of supporting high-impact entrepreneurs

In 1997, Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner sat down and, like many entrepreneurs before and after, sketched their vision on the back of a napkin.

Peter had just returned from a Harvard Business School trip to China, where he had witnessed first-hand the boom in entrepreneurship that would transform that country.

For Linda, the light bulb moment for Endeavor came in the back of a taxi cab in Buenos Aires. She struck up a conversation with the driver and was shocked to learn he had a PhD in Engineering. She asked if he hadn’t considered becoming an entrepreneur instead of driving a taxi. “An empresario?” he said dismissively, using the Spanish word for a big businessman. It suddenly occurred to her that there was no Spanish word for “entrepreneur.”

Endeavor co-founders Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner pose with the very first Endeavor Entrepreneurs Andy Freire and Santiago Bilinkis in 1999.

From a napkin business plan, Endeavor has grown over the past two decades to become not only a shared vision but a global network cultivated passionately by board members, entrepreneurs, mentors, and staff.

In 2017, Endeavor is marking 20 years of supporting high-impact entrepreneurs by looking back on our network’s achievements, and celebrating new milestones.

From offices in just two countries in 1998, Endeavor has expanded to 25 countries and 50 cities around the world. To date, these offices have selected more than 1,400 entrepreneurs leading 875 companies, connecting them with the resources needed to scale their businesses, strengthen local entrepreneurial ecosystems and pay it forward to future generations of founders. And, in 2017, we look forward to announcing the launch of new offices across three continents.

Stay up to date with our year-long celebration of our 20th Anniversary on social media here on Medium, where we’ll be sharing stories, news and insights from our global network, and join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Endeavor is the leading global community of, by, and for High-Impact Entrepreneurs — those who dream bigger, scale faster, and pay it forward.