To inspire the world's most adaptive citizens.
When we first dreamed of Endevvr in 2013, we couldn't have imagined the depth of the impact it would have on over 100 high school students today.
Back in 2013, we were mid-way into our careers, climbing up our professional ladders, and realized that high school had not tactically prepared us for the world as it was today. We needed a dramatically different mindset and skillset to thrive in today's economy. We needed to be adaptive, resilient, creative, and fast learners - and we were frustrated that the typical school curriculum wasn't focused on such core objectives.
At the same time, the tech industry was experiencing massive, unprecedented, exponential growth. The story of the lone Silicon Valley entrepreneur who made it big was becoming closer to reality for many more people, thanks to the commoditization of the internet and the shrinking of the upfront costs of getting a new company off the ground. We knew there was an opportunity for more people to become entrepreneurs.
And yet, when we decided to start Endevvr, it was in large part an emotional decision. We deeply felt like the world didn't take youth seriously. We knew there was (and still is) incredible potential in young adults. And we wanted to help.
With our rigorous corporate experience and training fully at the top of our minds, we first focused on designing a highly structured, analytical, hypothesis-based way to truly teach entrepreneurship. We wanted to create a method that taught lessons not by sitting in a classroom, but by actually having our participants build real companies.
We studied the best thinking on business from institutions like McKinsey and Harvard, and the best thinking on entrepreneurship from people like Eric Ries (who joined us via Skype!). We distilled the lessons, taught quickly, and immediately had our students implement.
The structured curriculum became only a small portion of the program, however.
The bigger, and more important portion came from the agile, iterative nature of the teaching itself. Mentors and leaders provided personalized coaching to our students. Our focus, as a team, became more on building personalized resilience, while pushing our students to answer tough questions like: "How do you define success?" This focus has become the foundation of the culture that we are so known for today and it has led to 100+ mini-transformations, like this one:
"Endevvr undeniably and permanently changed my life. It opened me up to an amazing community of young entrepreneurs that I'm still close to today. The power duo of Martin and Mary Winn gave me a learning experience I'd never had before, and their lessons are still sinking in 4 years later. Beyond building a company, Endevvr also teaches you how to build an impactful and intentional life, and I'm so grateful for that gift." — Netta Wang
We are still, years later, on a mission to inspire the world's most adaptive citizens. We're creating entrepreneurs. Our entrepreneurs are building incredible companies. But we're creating personal transformations that matter more deeply than even the most innovative startup.
And that, we think, will change the world.
Mary Winn & Martin Miller
Co-Founders; President and Executive Director