POV: You’re in Endeavor’s Selection Process (Part II)

To say time is always at a premium for an entrepreneur, especially one leading a high-growth company, is a comic-level understatement. While the benefits of joining Endeavor are clear to 2,400+ entrepreneurs around the world, the thought of what it takes to get there can be daunting for those considering shooting their shot. How does an entrepreneur deep into scaling their company make the mindset shift from working less “in” their business to working ‘on” it? The Endeavor team spent time with selection candidates across the U.S. to hear about Endeavor’s formidable selection process from their point of view.

Entrepreneur: Kim Lewis, Co-Founder & CEO
Company: CurlMix
Sector: CPG, Beauty
Selection Stage: Newly Selected (July ’23)/Endeavor Portfolio Entrepreneur

Founded in 2018, CurlMix is a premium haircare brand designed by and for Black women. The company offers a four-step hair care solution using natural flaxseed gel, designed to help Black women easily care for their curls in 21 days. CurlMix has established a strong customer base and community following with over 19,000 active Facebook group members and has been featured on Shark Tank, Forbes 30 Under 30, Oprah’s Favorite Things list in 2020, and ranked 93rd on the Inc. Top 5000 fastest-growing privately owned companies in the US. The company has raised $9 million in equity financing, with $4.5 million crowdfunding by 7K of the company’s most loyal customers. CurlMix’s Chicago-based Co-Founders Kim and Tim Lewis were selected at Endeavor’s 96th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Bali, Indonesia.

How is Endeavor’s process different from other programs you’ve participated in?

It was a pretty incredible experience. You don’t just walk into a room where founders have accomplished what they accomplished in terms of funding or size of business they’ve built. And then to have people like Joanna [Rees], who has advised billion dollar companies, give you feedback….I couldn’t pay for that kind of consulting.

"To have people who have advised billion dollar companies give you feedback…it was a pretty incredible experience — I couldn’t pay for that kind of consulting!"

Kim Lewis
Co-Founder & CEO, CurlMix
Entrepreneur: Charu Thomas, Founder &. CEO
Company: Ox
Sector: Software, Supply Chain
Selection Stage: ISP Bound

Ox is the world’s first Human Centered Automation company. Human Centered Automation is wearable technology that directs frontline operators through artificial intelligence. Ox’s technology is the only automation that can be deployed at scale in 12 weeks and offers a payback period 3x faster than traditional forms of automation because it’s software, rather than physical infrastructure. Ox has raised $16.2M in venture funding from world-class investors such as BBG Ventures, MaC Venture Capital, and AOL Founder Steve Case‘s Revolution. The Company has been showcased in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Forbes, and The New York Times.

Time is always at a premium for an entrepreneur, but post-pandemic how and with whom we spend our time feels more selective than ever – what makes this process worth the time? 

The caliber of the people that we have met through Endeavor has been awe-inspiring and exciting! I really appreciate you all working so hard to get us connected with experts across Product, Supply Chain, Technology, Operations, and more.  I am a huge fan of having best-in-class, seasoned mentors and advisors. It helps me think about problems in a completely new way, and I do think it becomes significantly more meaningful as we are deluged with more and more information on a daily basis.

"The caliber of the people that we have met through Endeavor has been awe-inspiring and exciting! I really appreciated everyone working so hard to get us connected."

Charu Thomas
Founder & CEO, Ox
Entrepreneur: Kirsten Moorefield, COO
Company: Cloverleaf
Sector: HR Tech
Selection Stage: ISP Bound

Cloverleaf uses assessment data to provide digital nudges to everyone in your organization to improve performance, increase managerial effectiveness, strengthen cross-functional collaboration, and inspire personal development. It’s the all-in-one-tool for Talent, Learning and Development leaders to unleash your people to be their best selves, everyday. 

What would you tell an entrepreneur who is thinking of going through Endeavor’s selection process? 

We’ve gotten connected to folks that we otherwise never could have found. For years, I compared our go-to-market strategy to Slack’s and tried to find someone there who could talk to us about some of the hurdles we hit in our price-per-user, land-and-expand strategy. Endeavor made it happen and we learned tactics that drastically improved our entire company’s strategic focus. It also removed friction in our sales process, helping us as we expand faster.

To entrepreneurs thinking of going through the process – be clear on where you need help and which mentors are most relevant. Endeavor has such a vast network, it’s OK to turn down introductions with feedback on what kind of people would be even more helpful. They’re all here to help you!

"We've gotten connected to folks that we otherwise never could have found. Endeavor made it happen and we learned tactics that drastically improved our entire company's strategic focus."

Kirsten Moorefield
COO, Cloverleaf