17 Entrepreneurs came from 10 companies from Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey. They were chosen at Endeavor’s 49th International Selection Panel, held in Johannesburg in August.
Panellists deliberated the merits of each entrepreneur after a series of formal and informal interviews over the course of two days. Some of the questions they sought to answer were whether the entrepreneurs fulfilled the necessary criteria regarding:
- Leadership potential
- Entrepreneurial ecosystem impact
- Potential to scale
- Track record
- Investor appeal
- Whether the business is at an inflection point.
The SA entrepreneurs
Cognician, founded by brothers Barry and Patrick Kayton, specialises in people-development software, which is used by large companies who need an effective, scalable method for disseminating training materials to employees.
RubyBox, founded by Sylvia Gruber, strives to provide consumers with a complete product experience through the “Try”, “Discover” and “Buy” model. In addition to receiving the customised monthly box of samples, visitors to the RubyBox website can purchase premium beauty products from over 60 top brands, while also accessing beauty content.
The judging panel
The 18 panellists included high-profile business leaders such as:
- Google director Mike Cassidy
- Bain & Co partner John Smith
- Gyft co-founder and CEO Vinny Lingham
- 500 Startups founding general partner Dave McClure
- Microsoft senior director of Search Stefan Weitz
- Discovery Holdings Ltd. CEO Adrian Gore
- Barloworld Logistics HR strategy and sustainability director Isaac Shongwe