At his first Endeavor Miami Board meeting, Abi Mandelbaum had a strange feeling. “I found myself seated beside the person who had been my mentor and close friend,” he recalls. “He had helped me rise as an entrepreneur and leader, and we were now at the same table, working together to take Endeavor, the leading global organization for high-impact entrepreneurs, to new heights. It’s amazing to experience the full cycle, and it’s a great testament to Endeavor’s multiplier effect.”
The defining moment of Abi’s entrepreneurial journey came while he was pursuing his MBA at the Wharton School of Business. Instead of taking a job at an investment bank, with the encouragement of professors Bob Borghese and Stew Friedman, he fully embraced entrepreneurship and co-founded YouVisit. The story of YouVisit’s birth starts with a chance meeting between Abi, Taher Baderkhan, and Endri Tolka in a college dorm, where they started brainstorming the idea of a walking tour technology that would eventually become a global business. Under Abi’s leadership, YouVisit became the leading engagement and interactive technology platform for top companies and institutions such as Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Starwood, Hilton, Carnival, the US Air Force, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and over 500 universities around the world.
In December 2019, when Abi was 37 years old, YouVisit was acquired by EAB and Vista Equity Partners, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious private equity firms with $100 billion in assets under management. However, this was not the dream come true that Abi had imagined. “Only months after hitting my life’s highest high, I was at my lowest low,” he says. “I did not see it coming. I felt as if I had lost a part of me. No longer having the title of Co-Founder and CEO and with no team to lead, I found myself with, well, myself. And the person in the mirror felt like a stranger, who am I?” The Covid-19 pandemic only made matters worse. This marked the beginning of a transformative period for Abi.
Although Abi describes this time as the toughest in his life, he now looks back on it with gratitude, as it forced him to delve deep into his soul and discover who he truly was and what he wanted to dedicate his life to. Abi also began working with executive coach Oswaldo Alvarez, who helped guide him in his post-YouVisit years. He committed to personal growth, living a purposeful life, and becoming not only an Endeavor Board member but also an advisor, mentor, and investor to high-growth companies, as well as the founder and chairman of The Foundation for Transforming Education.
“Abi’s service to the Endeavor Board is a testament to his unwavering commitment to supporting and uplifting high-impact entrepreneurs. With his wealth of experience and unique perspective, he undoubtedly plays a crucial role as we take Endeavor Miami to new heights.” – Claudia Duran, Managing Director of Endeavor Miami.
Abi has become intentional with his time and energy and only takes on projects or investments that align with his purpose. “I’m passionate about education, wellness, mental health, and technology as a tool to scale and reimagine education and wellness worldwide,” he says. He now sees himself as a “creator,” looking for three key factors – vision, people, and impact – in his next moves. He must have a shared vision with his co-founders, align with them as people, and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world.
Most recently, Abi acquired fast-growing wellness company, Opcion Yo, which has already helped more than 72,000 people across 69 countries through its personalized wellness and mental health programs. “My personal mission of empowering individuals to lead more authentic and fulfilling lives is completely aligned with Opcion Yo’s mission,” he explained.