Empowering Entrepreneur Journeys: with Scale Up by Endeavor

By Endeavor Greece Apr 24, 2024

Introducing a Milestone: Scale Up Goes Global

Scale Up by Endeavor isn't just any program—it's about providing real, tangible support that aligns perfectly with the needs of Seed and Series A companies. It’s their first taste of the Endeavor community, setting the stage for future success stories. Whether it’s through targeted networking, access to investors, or strategic advice, we tailor our approach to suit the distinct challenges of our entrepreneurs.

Our Scale Up Program has officially gone global! This means Scale Up by Endeavor Greece now benefits from the support and recognition of our global brand spanning over 45 markets, giving us more resources to champion Seed and Series A companies. This development amplifies our global reach and adds to the diverse tapestry of entrepreneurial innovation worldwide.

Since we’ve been up and running for some time now, we thought we’d give the inside scoop to the program and how we work with our founders. By becoming part of the Scale Up program, entrepreneurs realize that entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be a lonely road. They can find support from a peer group of entrepreneurs and impactful, dedicated mentors who help them scale with confidence. With Endeavor’s 25+ years of experience working with high-growth entrepreneurs around the world, and in our case 3 years running the program with a community of 59 Scale Up companies, our founders feel supported, better resourced, and more empowered to tackle the challenges of scaling their businesses.

To get an insider/founder’s perspective, we got Stavros Papadopoulos’ two cents on his experience being part of our Scale Up program, being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur, and finally, being invested in by Endeavor Catalyst - fulfilling the whole cycle of what we would like to see happen with the Scale Up participating companies.

An Extended Member of your Team

Endeavor Greece strives to be an extended member of your team. What does that mean? Once you are part of our network, specifically in our scaleup program, our job is to do all the outside-of-the-box thinking for you. By getting to know you as a founder well, and your long-term and short-term goals, we can make connections with your best interests in mind, and propose potential opportunities that may not be on your radar.

Whether you're intensely focused on product growth, talent acquisition, or fundraising, our role is to serve as your strategic ally, bridging the gap between your immediate priorities and future aspirations. What might you require six months down the line, as your team grows from 10 to 30 members? Or when you successfully close a funding round and set your sights on scaling further? We are always on our toes thinking "How can we enhance the journey for this founder and their team?"

Our extensive network spans not only across Greece but also is present in diverse industries and countries globally. Acting as a middleman between valuable insights & connections, and the evolving needs of our entrepreneurs is where we excel. This positioning allows us to effectively anticipate your needs and aspirations, ensuring that we consistently bring added value to the table for you and your team. This sweet spot is important to note because there is no other angle from Endeavor’s end, other than that we truly want to see the best of the best succeed.

Endeavor is a non-profit organization, we don’t have a stake in the company or its trajectory this early on. We are truly on your side to create that unexpected value and connection, whether it be to a high-level person who could assist you in the new geography you’re expanding to, or an opportunity to have a booth at a conference that could showcase your product/service. We are all in.

The Journey of an Entrepreneur: Stavros Papadopoulos’ Experience

Take the story of Stavros Papadopoulos, CEO and Founder of TileDB, founded in 2017. Stavros was selected to be part of the Scale Up program in 2021, and what set this program apart for him was how “Endeavor jumps right into action, connecting you with high-impact entrepreneurs, potential customers, and savvy investors. The network is a game-changer.” What differentiates the community, both on a global scale and within our local context, is our shared commitment to a pay-it-forward ethos. Each individual within our network is driven by a genuine desire to see others succeed. This collective mindset is practiced in every interaction, creating an environment where support and encouragement are the norms.

His three words to describe Endeavor’s support? Actionable, meaningful, and timely. Every introduction and interaction through ScaleUp is designed to have a direct impact, offering practical value and being perfectly timed to meet founders’ needs. His high expectations as a fast-paced, rapidly growing founder, were met, and has received consistent value ever since.

We've seen that the most impactful connections often occur between founders themselves, as they come together in a space where they can openly share their triumphs, challenges, and future aspirations. These peer-to-peer exchanges, conducted in a safe and relatable environment, hold immense value. We want to help you bump shoulders with individuals who have “been there” and “done that” while simultaneously those who are in the same boat as you. Beyond founders, our community comprises a diverse array of stakeholders, including esteemed investors from renowned firms such as JP Morgan, Sequoia, Atomico, and Accel, and mentors including global C-level executives.

After spending a year as part of the Scale Up community, Stavros was selected to become an Endeavor Entrepreneur. It is no easy feat given that the network is so fast and strong, but that’s why “it is considered the highest honor and rank at Endeavor,” Stavros explains. The level up in the “kinds of individuals Endeavor Entrepreneurs get introduced to is simply spectacular”, which comes with the territory. The selection process that a Scale Up entrepreneur undergoes to become an Endeavor Entrepreneur is vigorous, but even through the selection process, you meet, engage, and get feedback from the best of the best. Whether it's a fellow entrepreneur who has been in your shoes or a fund that has met thousands of companies at different stages.

In 2023, Endeavor Catalyst, an Endeavor Rules-Based investment fund invested in TileDB’s Series B round, showing a full-circle moment for Stavros in our program.

How to be part of the community

We mimic the Endeavor Entrepreneur selection process for our local Scale Up selection process. We search and reach out to the most interesting and promising companies with Greek affiliations. Every step of the way we get feedback from the network, ultimately leading to the network selecting the network.

Much like in Stavros’ case, when put forward to participate in the selection panel you’re already met with value. Our local panels are comprised of mentors including; top-notch entrepreneurs such as Haris Pylarinos from Hack the Box and Board Members such as Andreas Stavropoulos from Threshold Ventures.

We make sure to invite relevant panelists, who will listen intently, and ask you questions ranging from explaining the details of your business model and risk management to your strategy and how you see yourself being a differentiator in the market you’re tapping into.

Panelists provide after each selection panel, constructive and holistic feedback from presentation skills and your abilities as a founder to your business model and product market fit. Most times, panelists will even connect directly with the founder to chat after highlighting how keen the network is to see Greek startups succeed and the pay-it-forward mentality.

Once selected, well - you heard it from Stavros first, “Endeavor really goes to work”