Snowboard Designer a Finalist for BDC’s Young Entrepreneurs Award

Endeavor Design Inc. founder Max Jenke | BCBusiness
Max Jenke at Endeavor Design Inc.’s Vancouver offices.

Vancouver snowboard products designer and distributor Max Jenke is in the running to win the Young Entrepreneurs Award. With a $100,00 purse, winning could mean exploding into the U.S. market

President and creative director of Endeavor Design Inc., Max Jenke is the B.C. finalist for the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Out of 350 applicants, the snowboard designer made the cut to become one of the final nine. The contest is not only a chance for entrepreneurs under the age of 35 to test their pitches with the public, but it also gives BDC the opportunity to engage with Canadians. If Jenke wins the online contest, the cash prize will help launch his company’s three brands in the U.S. Jenke currrently manages three action sports brands that are sold in both North America and Europe.

The flagship brand, Endeavor Snowboards, is sold in 24 countries and has seen sales grow by 235 per cent over the past four years. Jenke, whose company designs and brings the snowboards to market, has invested in a purpose-built research and design lab and a team of professional athletes to endorse the brand.

Endeavor also distributes and designs Airhole Facemasks, a line of patented action sports face masks that are distributed in 34 countries. Designed for snowboarding in cold air, Airhole has seen an 800 per cent increase in sales since 2009, including a strong rollout in Europe.

In recent news, Endeavor Design Inc. will soon be the official U.S. distributor for Colour Wear, a Swedish outerwear manufacturer. The brand will launch in 34 North American retail locations in September 2013, complementing its existing line of snowboarding products.

Endeavor’s brands have a common business structure and management team, strengths that will help their rollout in the U.S., says Jenke. A former professional snowboarder, Jenke is well of the importance of the U.S. for action sports brands. “The U.S. market is the trendsetter in action sports,” says Jenke. “If we get big in the U.S., we’ll have positive spinoff in Canada and internationally.” He adds that focusing on the right markets will keep Endeavor Design profitable as it scales up.

Michel Bergeron, senior vice-president, marketing and public affairs at BDC, says that Jenke’s strength is the clarity of his turning-point solution. The idea involves building customer service systems to fit a market increasingly driven by direct sales to retailers, hiring a dedicated U.S. sales team and developing and executing a U.S. marketing strategy.

“This would give us a nice energy boost that will hopefully make the launch quicker and a lot more effective,” says Jenke, who partnered with BDC in 2010. “In 2010 when we built our R&D snowboard lab, BDC was the one who bucked up and came up the the financing package that we needed to pull it off.”

BDC may have chosen the finalists, but Canadians choose the winner. The entrepreneur with the most votes wins the $100,000 prize in order to implement his or her project. The entrepreneur with the second-most votes wins $25,000 in consulting services. As of June 7, Max Jenke was ranked number one at You can vote until June 11 at noon (EDT).