Braden Pan T’15 hosted the Entrepreneurship Club at Endurance Companies in downtown Hanover. Located in the old Rosey Jekes building, which has been a coffee shop and high-end women’s clothing store, Endurance shares space with startups Picaboo and Vidigami.
Endurance is a holding company with the mission to empower good people to build meaningful companies. The three Endurance partners are the CEOs of fintech startup Funding Circle, edtech startup Vocate, and emergency room software company Collective Medical. Becoming part of Endurance allows companies to mitigate risks and benefit from network effects by gaining access to capital and advice. Endurance Companies has a small portfolio of opportunistic investments as well. Braden said, “We bet on the jockey, not the horse. We care more about the people than their companies.”
Braden is a Principal at Endurance but spends most of his time in his role as Marketing Director at Vocate, an education technology startup that provides career services for college students. In the world of entrepreneurship, ideation is about identifying points of frustration and addressing them in creative ways. Alex Tonelli was frustrated by the difficulty of deciding what to do after college, so he founded Vocate. Headquarters are in San Francisco with development in Poland and operations in Hanover.
Braden advised us to determine whether there is a product market fit before we start our own companies. He encouraged us to found companies around our passions and gave examples of three entrepreneurial Tuck students from his class: one is running a successful company, one sold his company to Google, and one gave up his company and works at Facebook. Though they’ve taken different paths, they’re all doing well, so we shouldn’t be afraid to go for it.
Endurance Companies is not an incubator, but Braden is always excited to have conversations with Tuck students who are committed to entrepreneurship. I walked away thinking that Endurance Companies is one more example of an amazing resource right in Hanover.