Endeavor Western New York (WNY) has announced that Sweetwater Energy Chairman and CEO Arunas Chesonis, President Jack Baron, CFO Al Chesonis, and CTO Scott Tudman have been selected to join the prestigious Endeavor Global entrepreneur network. These notable entrepreneurs are Endeavor WNY’s first candidates to be welcomed to this network, which will provide the Sweetwater Energy team with exceptional access to markets, mentors, customers, talent and capital.

Endeavor Global’s network includes 2,000 entrepreneurs from more than 1,200 companies in over 35 markets throughout Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America. Companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs generated combined revenues of $20 billion in 2018 and have created 3 million jobs in their local economies. Endeavor Entrepreneurs commit to mentoring and investing in the next generation of founders.

Sweetwater Energy, which is based in Rochester, NY, is helping to build a world that no longer depends on finite, non-renewable fossil fuels and food for chemicals, plastics, energy and advanced materials for products that we use every day. They use a unique technology to produce low-cost biomaterials, bioenergy, and biochemicals from non-food plant materials to help meet the modern world’s increasing demands.

The Sweetwater Energy team completed the final step in the Endeavor Global’s application process on May 19 when they went before Endeavor’s International Selection Panel (ISP), which included the following people:

  • Pietro Sella, CEO at Banca Sella Holding, Italy
  • Elise Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Communications Group, Arkansas
  • Scott Sobel, Managing Partner of Valor Capital Group, New York / Brazil
  • Stephen Ciesinski, Stanford Graduate School of Business, California
  • Firat Isbecer, Entrepreneur and Investor, Turkey
  • Brian Requarth, Chairman and CEO of Viva Real, California

“It is a great honor to be selected to join the Endeavor Global network,” said Sweetwater Energy Chairman and CEO Arunas Chesonis. “The relationships that Endeavor brings to the table for business development, talent attraction and access to capital will empower Sweetwater Energy to scale our business more quickly; further provide advanced materials, bioenergy and biochemical alternatives to the world; and increase our impact on Western New York.”

Endeavor WNY Board Chairman John Somers said, “Endeavor Global evaluates entrepreneurs on both their potential to scale their companies and their evidence of giving back to their communities. That’s why it’s perfectly fitting that the members of Sweetwater Energy’s executive team are Western New York’s first representatives in Endeavor Global’s network. Here we have a set of accomplished, seasoned, community-minded entrepreneurs helming a company that has an opportunity to create significant jobs and wealth in Western New York, while also having a profound impact on our world’s natural environment.”

Endeavor WNY is a nonprofit organization that supports founders and companies in WNY that have passed through the initial startup phase and demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale. Endeavor WNY identifies and selects high-impact entrepreneurs in and around Buffalo and Rochester and provides them access to Endeavor Global’s network to help expand their ventures into enterprises that can propel the local economy and have a large impact in the community. Endeavor WNY operates through the support of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, HSBC Bank USA, Wegmans Food Markets, and the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, as well as backing from local business leaders.

“Endeavor Global’s application process is highly competitive – each year, only a small fraction of the hundreds of candidates from around the world are accepted,” said Endeavor WNY Managing Director John Gavigan. “The Sweetwater Energy team’s selection to Endeavor Global’s network is a testament to their leadership and vision as businesspeople and their commitment to strengthening our Western New York region. It’s exciting to put a representative of WNY like Arunas on a global stage and, in the months and years to come, we look forward to shining a light on many more of WNY’s inspiring entrepreneurs.”

Alan Rosenhoch, Endeavor WNY Entrepreneur Selection & Growth Account Manager, added, “Congratulations to Sweetwater Energy’s executive team on being selected to join the Endeavor Global network. Their path to selection was a rigorous one that featured multiple rounds of vetting at the local, regional and international levels. I’m proud to say that over the months of preparation that led up to this moment, the team received robust coaching, guidance and support from our partners in both Buffalo and Rochester. This is precisely the type of collaboration we intend to expand on, in order to knit our two cities more closely together as one region.”