Business

Endeavor taps Miami’s Powerful Yogurt for its global network

ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Carlos Ramirez founded Powerful Yogurt in Miami. The brand is now sold in 5,000 outlets.
Carlos Ramirez founded Powerful Yogurt in Miami. The brand is now sold in 5,000 outlets.

Endeavor, a nonprofit that supports and accelerates selected high-impact entrepreneurs, has chosen a young Miami food company to join its global network.

Powerful Yogurt, led by Carlos Ramirez, is now the 16th Endeavor Miami company, after being selected Friday at Endeavor Global’s 68th International Selection Panel in Palo Alto, Calif., this week. Endeavor Entrepreneurs receive services that include mentorship and access to capital, global markets and talent.

Ramirez raised seed funding and launched Powerful Yogurt in March 2013 after years as a marketing and strategy consultant for global companies. He helped launch or expand other food products around the world, including Greek yogurt. He wondered why no one was branding the product for athletes.

Although it has since expanded its focus, Powerful Yogurt was the first company to market dairy products to the needs of active men. “But then women were saying I’m powerful too, where’s my Powerful Yogurt? We evolved the brand to be genderless. It’s more about if you work out and you need to refuel, here’s a Powerful Yogurt,” said Ramirez, a Venezuelan native who received his MBA from the University of California Berkeley.

Today, 60 percent of Powerful Yogurt’s customers are female and Powerful Yogurt is positioning itself to take a bigger bite of the $8 billion yogurt market with a full lineup of accessible high protein, gluten-free, all-natural products made with Greek yogurt, including bars, drinks, shots and even an oatmeal launched in Walmart this year, Ramirez said. The company is selling products in 5,000 locations, including grocery and specialty stores mainly such as Whole Foods, Walmart and Kroger mainly in the northeastern U.S., as well as in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Powerful Yogurt, based at WeWork, is trying to raise $3 million to $5 million to scale the company, he said. A team of 9, it is looking to hire in marketing, sales and operations.

“From day one working with Endeavor Miami, I got a lot of help with connections and investors and it’s been a nice surprise. … They added value to my business immediately,” said Ramirez, who is looking forward to working with the global network.

Powerful Yogurt is also the fifth food and beverage entrepreneur in the Endeavor Miami family. Others are My Ceviche, DeliverLean, ginnybakes and most recently Pincho Factory. In an Endeavor Miami study last year, Endeavor found that food and beverage is one of five areas that could sizzle for entrepreneurial activity in South Florida because the ingredients are already here: a foodie culture, expertise, a talent base and educational opportunities, as well as a strong healthy and green trend to ride upon.

Endeavor’s ISP is the culmination of a rigorous three-day selection process where panels composed of top global business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors interview candidates about their business model, leadership potential and timing.

“I'm excited to welcome another Endeavor company into our F&B portfolio. Carlos received great advice and contacts throughout the selection process and we're looking forward to continue to support his scaling phase,” said Laura Maydón, managing director of Endeavor Miami..

Endeavor now supports more than 1,200 high-impact entrepreneurs across 25 countries. Endeavor Miami launched in 2013, with funding from the Knight Foundation. For more information on Endeavor Miami, or to nominate South Florida entrepreneurs, visit www.endeavormiami.org.

Nancy Dahlberg: 305-376-3595, @ndahlberg

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