Endeavor: The Heart of Giving Back
By: Bea Castaneda
Acceleration and high-impact, these are two words etched in the vocabulary of Endeavor and perhaps the essential keywords of the organization’s core purpose. So when asked what Endeavor is during our interview, Managing Director Manny Ayala goes the unexpected route and asks us what we think it is - an organization that helps entrepreneurs achieve success through mentorship and connections, plus providing talent and access to capital. They envision to catalyze the growth and mentor high-impact entrepreneurs, to launch them in accelerated success by offering high quality guidance and networks.
Endeavor opts to cultivate minds with the right potential in order to stimulate a much needed development in our country’s economy. They acknowledge the importance of consolidating the aspiring individual as an entrance to building a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. Mr. Ayala points it out beautifully that the “high-impact” factor they look for isn’t just in solving a huge problem but in giving back, in paying it forward.. He characterizes the high-impact entrepreneur to be someone who can create something big and successful, someone with the audacity to create something transformative, innovative, or even disruptive, and last is someone who is for others - a very Atenean thing he said (“Be a man for others.”)
Now by accelerating these kinds of people, the economy gains a possible solution to unemployment with big companies offering a big number of jobs, revenues, and a tweak in our country’s usual combination of low GDP per capita plus low number of big companies. Endeavor not only aspires with vision but also has their foot in the ground with data and numbers to back it all up. The perfect combination you would want to find in a mentor and maybe they’re looking for you.
The Man Behind The Scenes
Manny’s wide-ranging career has included being a founder of a number of undertakings- a boutique invesment bank, an animation company and more recently, a tech incubator called Hatchd. Prior to his entry into the world ot entrepreneurship, Manny worked as a senior executive for a number of global media companies including Discovery Channel and Turner Broadcasting. He is known to be a “go-to-guy” for all things SE Asia, well-connected, a philanthropist, a humble problem solver, and overall well-liked guy. With his youthful smile and sunny disposition, he stepped down from a high position in his company Hatchd in order to pursue a new journey with Endeavor, all for the desire to help as many companies as he can - a heart truly connected to giving back.
As far as he remembers, Manny started honing his entrepreneurial skills when he was in high school when he started a newspaper route for a nearby neighborhood. Since he couldn’t drive at the time, he found someone to do the driving and agreed to split the business 50/50. It was the first time he thought about business and making money. I don’t think he had a “down” moment because you can describe Manny to be a cool, calm, collected, and heavily armored guy in the face of adversity and never lose a single thread of wit.
Another endearing thing about Mr. Integrity, as Steven Herman of Voice of America suggests you to call Manny, is that he knows who has passed through the doors of Endeavor and left to pursue greater things. He knows what they have done before Endeavor and what they continue to achieve after their experience. He answers the question asked about Endeavor’s reality checks, challenges, or purpose through the experiences of the high-impact entrepreneurs they have taken under their wing and there is nothing but pride in his voice. Truly it is the actions of Endeavor’s entrepreneurs that speak for itself and it definitely doesn’t hurt with such trust and support coming from people like Manny.
Pratitya-samutpada - I am, because of you.
Manny shares the fourth element of success he read from his favorite book, Adam Grant’s Give and Take. It says that the fourth element to being successful is the reliance on the people around you. The acknowledgement of the need for the support and presence of other people to be able to build something out of your potential is important. You are what you are because of the help coming from other people. And this is what Endeavor does - connect you to the people who knows the best way to develop your business; this is what Endeavor is - the group of people striving to lay the foundation of high-impact entrepreneurs in the country; this is what Endeavor wants to become for years to come - a place of catalyzation, a haven for the high-impact business people, and a refinery for the future entrepreneurs of the Philippines.
It goes full circle because Endeavor also cultivates the idea of being grateful once you have reached the top, to give back to those who will take your place in the developmental stage whether it be time, effort, or money. This is a big factor to Endeavor’s selection process, they need to see that you will eventually take whatever you have learned and mentor the new generation.
When asked about his advice for aspiring startup entrepreneurs he said that they should find their individual sweet spot and this spot is where these four things converge: what you’re good at, what you love, what the world needs, and what the world will pay for. He was hesitant to say something about passion because so much has been written about it so he just puts emphasis on finding the purpose and making sure to put in the right kind of hard work in the endeavor (pun intended) of starting something.
So to the future of entrepreneurship, build a heart that looks beyond the needs of one and strive to reach the top in order to pay it forward - to the country, to Endeavor, and to the kid who dreams of being someone like you.