The entrepreneurial spirit has soared in South Florida for more than a century. The addition of 21st-century technological innovation has sent it into the stratosphere. The proof? Two more local start-up companies fought their way to the top of stiff competition last week and were selected Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
It’s a big deal, for the winners, of course — Kairos and NovoPayment — but also because of the implications for the broader community. As outlined by Miami Herald business writer Nancy Dahlberg, Endeavor is a worldwide nonprofit that mentors high-potential, “high-impact” entrepreneurs, keeping them on target and in line to blow up into companies of global influence.
And as that happens, South Florida communities, too, reap benefits.
Both Brian Brackeen, founder of Kairos and a developer of facial-recognition technology, and Anabel Perez, co-founder and CEO of NovoPayment, whose technology provides cash-management solutions for Latin American corporations are to be commended — as is Endeavor for recognizing South Florida’s innovators.
Mr. Brackeen and Ms. Perez are not the first South Floridians to be bestowed Endeavor’s resources, they are simply the latest and undoubtedly not the last. This is a community in which the culture of technology startups has been been nurtured, most notably by the visionary Knight Foundation.
And it is into that viable and burgeoning culture that Endeavor put down its initial roots in the United States, last year opening its first office in the country — in Miami, of course.
In October, two food businesses from South Florida — ginnybakes and DeliverLean — were selected after making the case to Endeavor’s 55th International Selection Panel in Istanbul. A year ago My Ceviche and KidoZen became the Endeavor’s first picks from greater Miami.
In less than 20 years, Endeavor — founded in 1997 — has backed 1,000 entrepreneurs and innovators in more than 20 countries.
The point is to not just help individual companies grow, but for the ripple effect of their success to turn into a veritable tidal wave, spurring even more job growth, revenue and innovation. It’s nurturing on a grander scale, with a grander vision of what success means. Bravo!