Endeavor - Image of JP, Hotmart's CEO, and Matheus, Hotmart's CTO.


How Hotmart got on Endeavor’s network of entrepreneurs

Understand how João Pedro Resende and Mateus Bicalho were approved for the Endeavor International Selection Panel.

Barbara Santos

08/21/2018 | By Barbara Santos

What will we see in this post

If you’re an entrepreneur, you have probably heard about Endeavor, a global non-profit organization that seeks out entrepreneurs with a high impact on the world to strengthen their network and increase networking among them.

One of the goals of bringing these people together is that Endeavor believes they have great potential to impact and even change the world. So, if they are nearby, the exchange of knowledge will be much greater, which also increases the chances of these changes occurring.

On June 29, 2018, João Pedro Resende and Mateus Bicalho, Hotmart’s CEO and CTO, respectively, joined Endeavor’s network of entrepreneurs.

But what does this mean for Hotmart and especially for JP and Bicalho?

In addition to the recognition for their work, which impacts thousands of people every day, joining the Endeavor list of entrepreneurs opens doors so that Hotmart can be known by others and so that João Pedro and Mateus can contact others who also want to make a difference in the world.

With this, entrepreneurs can exchange information to make their companies have a positive value for the world.

How it all began

To understand how João Pedro and Mateus got on Endeavor’s network of entrepreneurs, you need to know their story and Hotmart’s.

With a degree in Computer Science from PUC-MG, and an MBA from FGV, João Pedro started an online business in 2004 as a gamer, and opened a mobile phone app company with Mateus Bicalho, his friend from college.

But by that time, their ideas were too advanced, and because of this and other reasons the business didn’t work out. After two and a half years of operation, the company had to close.

For this reason, both JP and Bicalho had to get jobs to work with computers.

Mateus specialized in the technical part and João Pedro went all the way to become a project manager, which gave him a great knowledge about processes.

But since they always had an entrepreneurial mindset, even after closing their first company, the two still tried other types of business, such as importing nerdy shirts from China.

In 2010, João Pedro went back to his idea of ​​what would become Hotmart. The platform came about because of an e-book he developed a few years ago, in 2006, about traffic.

While trying to put it on the internet to sell, JP noticed the obstacles of the area. But in 2006, he realized that he would not be able to cover all perceived gaps because of the lack of available resources.

That is why, upon running into Mateus again, João Pedro explained his idea and, even though they had failed several times before, the two started Hotmart as we know it today.

Since then, the company has kept growing and with that, their desire to turn Hotmart into a company with an impact not only in Brazil, but throughout the world, also grew.

How Hotmart works

Hotmart is a leading Distance Education platform in its Latin American segment and specialized in digital products such as online courses and e-books.

Our main goal is to allow people to make a living with their passions, in other words, they do what they truly love and can increase their income.

And how do we do it?

  1. Producer: Someone with specific knowledge in a certain area creates a digital product to share what they know;
  2. Affiliate: A person who knows how to relate well with others and has a knack for sales, contacts the Producer and creates a bridge between the Producer and the end consumer;
  3. Hotlink: Customers interested in obtaining more knowledge about a certain area can buy a product on our platform by using a Producer or Affiliate link.

In short, Hotmart unites these three points: Producer, Affiliate and consumer.

But in addition, the platform presents yet another series of features to help people who want to work with digital products even more.

Among its features, we can mention the following:

  • HotPay: a payment system designed to increase conversions from Producers and Affiliates;
  • Customizable checkout: customizes payment pages to have the visual identity of each product;
  • Hotmart Pocket: an application that allows Producers and Affiliates to visualize the evolution of their business;
  • Hotmart Club: free and unlimited membership area so Producers can host their online courses;
  • Playbox: a checkout integrated with an exclusive Hotmart video player;
  • Hotmart Analytics: a tool that allows Producers to find new information about their business;
  • And another series of products designed exclusively for our Producers and Affiliates.

As you can see, Hotmart is a platform created to help people do what they like, without having to worry about technological resources they probably didn’t know. And that’s one of the main reasons Hotmart is so successful in its market.

Of course, to get where we are, there was a lot of preparation and an entrepreneurial vision of two people who are currently references in their area: João Pedro Resende and Mateus Bicalho.

The expansion project

In 2013, Hotmart generated 1 million BRL (approximately U$ 500,000) in a month, which increased discussions regarding the company’s expansion project.

However, because they didn’t have any examples of other Brazilian startups with headquarters outside the country, João Pedro and Mateus were concerned about being the first to leave Brazil.

But remember we said that both of them always had an entrepreneurial mindset?

That’s why they decided to go forward with the idea, but not on their own. They knew they’d need someone who had knowledge outside the Brazilian market.

At the time, JP and Bicalho met Kees Koolen, an investor and CEO of booking.com.

During a conversation, Kees Koolen asked them why Hotmart still wasn’t a global company. João Pedro and Mateus explained that their biggest problem was the lack of experience in the foreign market. But since Koolen had such experience, he soon volunteered and said he could help them from then on.

This meeting kicked off so that the expansion plans could begin to be put into practice.

Of course, the path wasn’t easy, but with the help of Kees Koolen and the experience gained, Hotmart was able to leave Brazilian borders.

Nowadays, not only did the platform expand to Colombia, Spain, and moved its headquarters to the Netherlands, but it also brought along the company’s organizational culture and its values.

And do not think that internationalization stops there. Soon, Hotmart will also explore the Mexican market.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs

Now that you’ve got the whole story about Hotmart, you have probably realized why João Pedro and Mateus are on Endeavor’s list of entrepreneurs.

Do you recall that we mentioned that one of the goals of this organization was to put people in contact with companies that have a high impact on the world?

The Hotmart platform impacts society in a positive manner. After all, it allows several people to make a living while doing what they like, as well as helping bring more information to various parts of the world.

Currently, Hotmart has already managed to help about 90,000 Producers who work with what they love. With such a high number of people impacted positively, Endeavor realized that JP and Bicalho were entrepreneurs who made a difference in their market.

About 2 years ago, the Endeavor team noticed João Pedro and Mateus and invited them to participate in a lengthy qualification process. The goal was to know if they had the qualities to become Endeavor entrepreneurs, which is the end result of this entire process.

Overall, it took approximately a year and a half in contact with the organization until they were approved on the list at the 80th International Selection Panel (ISP).

The importance of meeting other entrepreneurs

You’ve noticed that after João Pedro and Mateus met Kees Koolen, what they imagined as being a distant dream came to fruition sooner than they imagined.

When we are in contact with others who have ideas similar to our own, we become inspired by what they have done, which is great for us, our business, and especially for the world.

Networking is essential for those who are, or want to be, entrepreneurs. So you always need to be on the lookout for ways to be in contact with people who work in the same area as you, and also in different areas.

One of the most effective ways of meeting new people is participating in events which are related to what you do.

If you are a digital entrepreneur or if you are interested in the digital market, you should definitely check out FIRE Festival, the biggest event for people who do business online.

In 2018, the festival will take place on September 27, 28 and 29. Besides João Pedro and Mateus Bicalho, there will be more than 2 thousand people participating and discussing about the future of digital marketing.

What are you waiting for?

Access the FIRE Festival website to secure your spot!