From more than 160 nations across the globe, entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and policymakers gathered in the City of Eternal Spring – where the weather is warm and spring-like year round, and the city's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and flourishing – to celebrate the city’s innovative progress and continue laying bricks on the path to building one global entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Now in its eighth year, nearly 4,000 delegates converged on the thriving startup city hub, exploring innovative approaches to helping entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses. The four-day Congress, co-hosted by Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI), and the City of Medellín mayor’s office, continues to expand as it more deeply engages all elements of the ecosystem.

During the Congress, co-host ANDI, the mayor's office, and other local entrepreneurial leaders made in roads to establish GEN Colombia in the country, pledging to continue promoting the development of young businesses in the country, and to take Colombian entrepreneurship to a global level. The country network will support Colombian entrepreneurs, foster entrepreneurship resarch and encourage public policy discussions.

"Having this network in the country is excellent news as we connect more with entrepreneurs around the world," said Bruce Mac Master, president of ANDI. "In this way, we learn about and implement best practices for the development of business initiatives, and have the foundation to be successful and build the economy and industries of the future."

Mac Master said that for the organization, it is of the utmost importance to support the development of an innovative ecosystem, and ensure the future of the Colombian economy as a continental leader. 

As Colombia began a new venture in establishing the GEN affiliate, world government leaders in entrepreneurship and small businesses gathered at the Congress for the second GEC Ministerial. Led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, ministers from more than 15 countries participated in a dialogue to share best practices, find collaborative solutions, and set a global agenda for promoting entrepreneurship worldwide. 

"In the same way that defense ministers meet to discuss security issues, that trade ministers define treaties, we are here to integrate a working agenda that allows us access to markets, to give us knolwedge on best practices globally," said Contreras-Sweet during the opening remarks of the Ministerial. 

The global discussion will continue at the 2017 GEC in Johannesburg, South Africa, after GEN President Jonathan Ortmans and Contreras-Sweet signed an agreement to continue the work of the annual gathering. 

Other highlights of the four-day Congress included international pitch competition finals, entrepreneurship workshops and high-impact sessions that covered a variety of topics, including:

  • Mapping and measuring entrepreneurship ecosystems;
  • Stabilizing and strengthening post-conflict economies;
  • Creating an entrepreneurial mindset and culture;
  • Enhancing early stage investment;
  • Catalyzing startup communities;
  • Disrupting traditional industries; and more.




Entrepreneurship leaders form 160 countries kick off the GEC with the GEN Annual Meeting.

The organizations that power the Global Entrepreneurship Network in 160 countries gather for their annual meeting each year at the GEC. It is a chance to examine new programs emerging as part of the network, identify opportunities for collaboration, review the successes of the previous Global Entrepreneurship Week campaign and set the agenda for the year ahead.


Jonathan Ortmans, GEN



Emcee: Buke Cuhadar, GEN

  • Uranik Begu, GEW Kosovo, Innovation Center Kosovo
  • Willy Asseko Allogo, GEW Gabon, Young Entrepreneurs Gabonese Association
  • João Melhado, GEW Brazil, Endeavor Brasil
  • Sonja Alt, GEW Germany, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy
  • Abdelraheem Abualbasal, GEW Jordan, Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Amanda Filipe, GEW Canada, Futurpreneur



Emcee: Peter Komives, GEN

  • Amisha Miller, Kauffman Foundation
  • Phil Auerswald, GERN
  • Saurabh Lall, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
  • Matthew Guttentag, USAID
  • Rhett Morris, Endeavor Insight
  • Victor Mulas, World Bank Innovation Labs
  • Malavika Kumaran, MaRS


Emcee: Cristina Fernandez, GEN

  • Mariano Mayer, Ministry of Entrepreneurs and SMEs, Argentina
  • Mari Vavulski, Startup Estonia
  • Walther Morales, Ministry of the Economy, Guatemala
  • David Moskovitz, Startup New Zealand


Zoltan Acs, The GEDI Institute



Emcee: Alana Ramo, GEN

  • Claire Munck, BeAngels
  • John May, Angel Capital Institute
  • Candace Johnson, EBAN


Henrik Scheel, Startup Experience



Ann Low, U.S. Department of State


Steven A. Rodriguez, GEN



Steven A. Rodriguez, GEN


  • Startup Open 2017: Steven A. Rodriguez, GEN and Ayla Matalon, GEN Israel
  • Get In The Ring: Jochem Cuppen, Get in the Ring
  • Creative Business Cup: Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, CBC
  • Challenge Cup: Donna Harris, 1776
  • Future Agro Challenge: Michalis Stangos, Industry Disruptors-Game Changers
  • Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition: Kevin Braithwaite, Cleantech Open


Steven A. Rodriguez, GEN


Emcee: Mark Marich, GEN


Genesis Lodise, GEN


Genesis Lodise, GEN


Eoin Costello, Startup Ireland


Jonathan Ortmans, GEN

Buke Cuhadar, GEN

Peter Komives, GEN


Moderator: Jonathan Ortmans, GEN

  • Fatiha Rachedi, GEN Algeria
  • Freddy Nurski, GEN Belgium
  • Ayla Matalon, GEN Israel
  • Kizito Okechukwu, GEN South Africa
  • Olesea Fortuna, GEN Moldova




GEN members and partners gathered together to celebrate the best and brightest policy innovations, research initiatives and Global Entrepreneurship Week campaigns.

GEN Country Champion: 

Finalists: Algeria, Ireland, Greenland, Italy, Kenya, Moldova, Namibia, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea

Country of the Year: 

Finalists: Russia, Ecuador, Philippines, Sweden, Bolivia, Jordan, Israel, China, South Korea

Brand & Community Champions 

Finalists: Cambodia, Canada, El Salvador, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, United Kingdom

Rookie of the Year 

Finalists: Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Qatar, Syria

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Partners

Finalists (in order): Algeria, Germany, United States, Poland 

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Partners Per Capita
St. Lucia

Finalists (in order): Curaçao, Poland, Gabon, Bermuda

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Events

Finalists (in order): United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Poland

Champion Catalyzers – Most GEW Events Per Capita

Finalists: Barbados, Mauritius, Algeria, St. Lucia

Most Promising Startup

Finalists: Disease Diagnostic Group (USA), Hop!App (India), Novalact (Chile), Pricelizer (Sweden), SALt (Philippines)



In the Colombian private sector it is important to support entrepreneurs to build society. We need to invest in innovation, it is necessary to believe in the entrepreneur.

"Entrepreneurship is a concept which should deepen, it is to accept the challenges and take risks, because at the time when the entrepreneur accepts it and lives it, they will be considered to have exceeded the valley of death."

These are the words of Federico Gutiérrez, mayor of Medellín during his welcoming remarks at the GEC 2016. In his welcome, Gutiérrez said Medelliín, and Colombia, are two places where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and thriving, and where global entrepreneurship is blossoming. 

Medellín is the country's capital of new ventures and became home to the four-day Congress -- one of the most important meetings in the world on the issue of entrepreneurship, and the first Spanish-speaking host. According to Cecilia Alvarez Correa, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Medellin is growing as it is in Silicon Valley, as the two places share a wonderful networking and cooperative environment.


Our work is based on a deep conversation on economic growth, because we want to be more efficient and, at the same time, more useful.

The work around entrepreneurship and the 2016 GEC can be seen as an exercise based on an extensive conversation regarding economic growth, and the emerging social of new firm formation and innovative entrepreneurs. The conversation also covers new questions and challenges from entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial perspective. How can we use entrepreneurship to improve the life of citizens around the world? Where should entrepreneurs and entrepreneur support organizations start? Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) President Jonathan Ortmans helps kick-off the GEC with a throrough overview of the next generation entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In the presentation, Ortmans said that today, entrepreneurship is about people, whereas before it focused predominantly on making money. He argued that entrepreneurs are currently focused on introducing new ideas that have social value, which can enforce effective functions and meet needs in society, because finally the culture of entrepreneurship is transforming the world into a collection of community initiatives to create value and economic growth. That is, whenever you have a new idea, this should be developed by putting in place the social value axis to achieve the best out of the ecosystem.

The (GEN) network is currently comprised of millions of entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, policymakers and entrepreneurship supporters from around the world, who from a principle of intervention and interference in research and entrepreneurship policies, seek to transform business models and make creating a new firm easier and simpler. At this time, Colombia is positioned as a regional and international leader in entrepreneurship transformation -- as the country builds it's already innovatinve ecosystem that cancontinue to generate policies that strengthen the its social value and entrepreneurial ecosystem.


How to move from a consumer to a consumer cooperative?

Jerry Michalski, founder of REX, reflected on market methodologies around trust and cooperation. His presentation talked about how initiatlly, society went from trade expansion and market consolidation in many parts of the world, to then using marketing methods that became the language of war. The messages were addressed increasingly to ideas like capitalism, mistrust, politics and consumption. The market has been responsible for creating systems based on distrust pursuing effectiveness. "Do we know what trust means?" asked Michalski at the start of the panel.

Michalski invited the public to ask: How does the consumer consume? Does the word consume not seem violent?  Can we change the language in which we address strategies, and that this in turn, contributes to the transformation of consumerism?

Wikipedia is an examaple of a website that allows people to have a real interaction between the consumer and the site owners. Its operation allows editing of content and integration of knolwedge collaboratively between the site and users. This is an example of how you can integrate a good deal of trust with people when studies brand users and through communication exercises. If plans based on trust and methodoliges are designed, you can ensure that you are creating something different, engaging in dialogue with people, and creating allies or clients in a cooperative consumer. 

It is important that companies understand that trust is a new type of added value, and what Jerry Michalski highlighted in his presentation is the the need to change the DNA of companies and market methodologies, including such methods of cooperation and P2P, even taking examples of cooperation of non-Western cultures and systems shaping society. Therefore, it is urgent to pass humanized machining market, because it is the only way to improve the commons and public goods.




A thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem must also stem from the integration of community and support systems. Teshstars helps generate this integration.

Gustavo Álvarez outlined the key to development of thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems through a structure designed by Techstarts, which examines clusters of entrepreneurship support systems from Silicon Valley to London and elsewhere in the world.

The structure designed by Techstars has five pillars, including: the talent community, density, cultural aspects such as risk aversion, capital and regulatory environment, and the latter can facilitate or hinder the development of these ecosystems, says Álvarez. These pillars will help generate workplace ideeas that could then help develope entrepreneurial ecosystems. 

In conclusion, large corporations and governments seek to encourage entreprneurship and create stronger ecosystems, but the processes are isolated and not often integrated into the community. Techstars is working to generate this integration, and help create entities that work together to generate an healthier entrepreneurial ecosystem and make a real impact on the community.



The innovators of tomorrow can be anywhere, and at this time, when the culture of innovation is rising.

Where can innovation be found next? That is the question that Rebeca Hwang invited session listeners to respond to with the panel of guests including Luis Fernando Castro, president of Bancóldex, Elmira Bayrasli author of From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs and Unlikely Placesand Chris Schroeder, author of Startup Rising.

There is growing a network of innovators who are not just in Silicon Valley, but who are building startups around the world with video technology and other tools that foster a new understanding of consumer goods, and thus are transforming narratives where they live.

Chris Schroeder said something that has affected this distribution is that people with investment capital are taking care of each other, investing in projects. However, there is now an emerging new generation of sponsors seeking joint benefitit -- a look at the entrepreneurs of tomorrow -- because this model does not seek to replicate Silicon Valley, rather it focuses on taking existing references to create an ecosystem that solves problems and caters to needs. 

You need to do a scan of the producing abilities of each place, identify which companies may have the potential to migrate to a more sophisticated economy, because without a doubt, what is lacking is currently new funding models. In turn, there is something important about the perseverance of entrepreneurs, and knowing that the important thing is to recover in times of crises, and this is ultimately what strengthens and reaffirms a venture and the ecosystem itself, says Luis Fernando Castro, in regarding working logic used in Bancóldex.


Ministers who join our entrepreneurs to scale economies by improving productivity and fostering innovation to improve the quality of life.

For the second year, the GEC featured a Ministerial session, organized in collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Officials from 13 countries from Europe, Central America, South America and the Asia-Pacific region, spent a full day exchanging knowledge on emerging government practices with a focus on supporting startups through the growth cycle. This year’s dialogue was focused on four key pillars: creating jobs, building international collaboration, facilitating trade and promoting gender equity.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet led the Ministerial (see her opening remarks here) which was opened by Cecilia Correa Alvarez, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Colombia, who began the meeting saying that peace will generate opportunities for young people, entrepreneurs and SMEs -- and how the government of President Juan Manuel Santos had been strengthened with the creation of Innpulsa and increased activities undertaken by SENA.

The current challenges of SMEs in each of the participating countries was the subject of the first working session. In her speech, the representative of OECD mentioned some of the challenges and difficulties of SMEs globally, including the slowdown and reduction in the creation of new companies, the largest output gap between large and small companies, and concluding that better policies must be implemented to help SMEs -- as they are clusters of innovation for the future. Another intervention of note was the representative of Poland, who brought up an interesting discussion that is taking place in her country as the government stopped supporting large enterprises towards promoting SMEs and designed new programs that large companies cooperate with small. Overall, the financial gap between SMEs and large companies over-reliance on banks and loans and difficulties in accessing funding were identified as major challenges.

Meanwhile the representative of Colombia said that in the country the greatest barrier to accessing finance is informality, which is in his words is a "poverty trap" because if entrepreneurs cannot access credit, they cannot grow in this regard, the importance of second-tier banks mentioned as the first-tier banks are not interested in freely lending to entrepreneurs.

The theme of the second session was innovation policies; issues such as the digital society, electronic residences, financial inclusion, incentives, and the need for access to SMEs today were discussed in terms of their loans, and the search for other forms of financing through the creation of value chains.

The third session focused on women entrepreneurs, and how many venture capitalists are now watching female entrepreneurs and their ventures. The session also included a discussion on female entrepreneurs in the United States as models for others, and how to support women in starting and scaling their businesses and ideas.

The fourth session addressed the issue of internationalization of SMEs: how to benefit from regional integration agreements, alliances, and how to create value chains at a regional and global level. Among the ministers there was consensus on the value of the enterprise as a positive force to lift people out of poverty.

Finally, it was concluded that SMEs and SME policies are a critical aspect for development. They should create public policies, tools and methodologies to foster a good entrepreneurial ecosystem to identify gaps to make better decisions. The commitment to include a chapter of SMEs in trade agreements and interest to continue and increase exports among countries was made clear.



Taking a look at the future of wireless cities, global innovation, what's next in connecting people, starting a business and succeeding, scaling a business and a case study "nature in a bottle."

The Future of Wireless Cities

Speaker: Larry Alder 

"When you are an entrepreneur, you must find your wave and not get off it until you reach the shore," said Larry Alder, co-leader of Google's Project Link. Alder spoke at the GEC on the possibilities of connectivity in today's world, called "The Surf Report."

Alder expressed his enthusiasm for the current advances in connectivity through an analogy with the wave. Specifically, he recognized three current waves that provide opportunities to entrepreneurs: satellites, fiber optics and wireless connectivity technologies that offer the promise of easy living in cities and for those living in more rural areas.

Alder emphasized that the days of connecting devices are coming to an end, but the implementation is not massive. This is where he identified potential markets, saying that entrepreneurs may want to focus on various types of technology.

The Future of Global Innovation

Speaker: Donna Harris

How are we using startup services and products to benefit everyone? Donna Harris, co-founder of the D.C.-based accelerator and co-working space 1776, led the session on what's next in global innovation. Harris began the session discussing the need for expansion of startup ventures globally, and maximizing the economic and social benefits of these emerging problem solvers. 

There is now a network of more than 11,000 startups, and that number is growing every day. However, Harris said in her session that the power startups have may not be fully understood yet, because while you can work on technological development to solve deep social needs in health and education, only few are reaching the media industry, trade, pet and food applications. 

Harris notedd that there is a movement of entrepreneurship around the world, which not only focuses on providing services and products, but seeks to provide access to solutions to the needs of citizens. Finally, she said this can define the future of innovation, as it believes that one should think how and why it is innovating, not where it is innovating, because the companies with great impact can come from anywhere.

What's Next in Connecting People

Speaker: Pablo Aquistapace

The millennial generation is the need to consume experiences, not to acquire objects. In the panel "What's next for connecting people," Paul Aquistapance asserted that by constantly searching for an identity and a sense of belonging, this population is changing consumer trends as experience has become their capital.

Today, there is a growing widespread fear that people are missing something that is happening right now, and there is a strong need for immediate information, and through technology, people have the opportunity to live in real time as everything happens. 

Another phenomenon that Aquistapace referred to is the importance of living experiences. There are studies regarding this culture and artistic need to be live experiences in real-time. One study says that between 2008 and 2014, there was a plateau of album sales worldwide, but an inrease in concert tickets, because people wanted to have an on-site experience with t heir favorite artists. This invovled the transformation of the music industry, as it required them to implement new sales strategies and consumer satisfaction studies. 

In this sense we must understand the experience as social capital, which has transcended traditional investments of physical and human capital, which has caused a new economic development. We are now in a time to be outisde and experiencing live in real-time. 

Cook, Startup and Succeed
Speaker: Juan Manuel Barrientos


Juan Manuel Barrientos, restaurant owner of El Cielo, shared with the public several statements that summarize the basis of its success. He considers most important, it is to understand the opportunity to sell an experience, not a product. El Cielo is a venture that arose from the desire to co-create around food, in which the customers seek to live the experience from within, not as a spectator and not just as a consumer.

In his session, he illustrated to the public about the current need for consumption on the grounds that the generation of Milennials is seeking experience and discovery, and that Generation Z, which will be the generation that seeks happiness. Therefore, entrepreneurs should seek and develop strategies that contribute to changing consumption patterns.

What's Next in Scaling Your Business

Speaker: Verne Harnish

The scaleup model requires discipline and focus, but mainly experience. Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles, said in his session at the GEC, that you should invest in entrepreneurs with more than 20 years in the means to achieve a successful model.

In the panel "What's next in scaling your business" Harnish emphasizes 3 steps to be taken into account for scaleup: first, moving from known as the 4P marketing model, a new model known as the 4E (Experience , Exchange, Everyplace and Engagement); second, to establish a team and work to find regions that can ensure an agile model; and finally this set can establish competitiveness in the middle.

Steps says Harnish, if fulfilled, will lead the way for the success of scaleup model.

Nature in a Bottle

Speaker: German Schäfer

Colombia is the corner of the planet with more geo-diversity, as there are 3,500 species of plants that have not been researched and 1,500 of which nothing is known yet, says German Schafer of Nature in a Bottle. From this, he suggested you should do thorough research on natural resources and see how they can revolutionize, in this case, the cosmetics market.

This project has achieved, from research with natural resources, develop a model that constitutes a business plan as the raw material investigated. It has also contributed to the transformation of the raw material as a value-added product. Thinking of research of natural resources poses a social challenge, and how to integrate people living in the countryside to this type of productive ideas with research and advanced science.

So far Nature in a Bottle has managed to develop different products, one for skin care and another focused on solving skin problems, is Solanum Complex, SOPEX and IDONA a product for skin which dermatological tests were performed to people between 18 and 70 years old. This group of entrepreneurs are looking forward to products for skin cancer and other diseases.


What are the possibilities in the field of knowledge among Colombian entrepreneurs? In this activity some relevant experiences were observed.

This session, led by ANDI Colombia, was held in Spanish. To learn more about the sessions, please visit the Spanish GEC 2016 recap page.

Speakers included Andrés Trjillo Zea from the Colombian Institute of Tropical Medicine - Colombia; Juan Fernando Botero, Ecoflora-Colombia; Joaquín Gamboa, Colographics - Colombia; Juan Pablo González, Hello Doctor - Colombia; Juan Camilo Jaramillo, Hybrytec - Colombia; Claudia Patricia Bravo Nohava, University of Antioqiua; Julián Gutiérrez, University Entrepreneurship Network; Olga Ruiz Correa, Metropolitan technological Institute; and Manuel Acevedo, EAFIT. 


"Building a startup community is a long-term task, it is more a marathon than a sprint," said Steven Rodriguez.

Creating communities of entrepreneurship is one of the primary needs for the development of an ecosystem of local entrepreneurship. Medellin is an example of this, said Steven Rodriguez, GEN's startup community manager, who also argues that one way to strengthen a network of entrepreneurs in a country, is to first strengthen the entrepreneurial network in a city, then expand connections nationwide. 

Rodriguez identified four key pillars that are important in building a strong startup community. First, communities must be managed by the entrepreneurs, so that the community does not rely on a single centralized entity; Second, the community must have long-term vision, because in many cases the development of a successful community may take up to twenty years; third, you should think in terms of inclusion, not just for people who know entrepreneurship, but for all levels of those intersted and engaged; for the more people interested in the venture linking communities, greater diffusion potential will; and finally, motivational activities that go beyond networking and social events -- like Startup Huddle -- that provide skills and a way for the entrepreneur to move their needle forward.  




"Efforts to map ecosystems holistically at local, national and even global levels, are a critical first step, as entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, and professionals, among others, need better data to guide their actions."

With the proliferation of resources available to entrepreneurs, there is a growing need for better diagnostic tools to identify gaps within any given ecosystem so that they can be addressed without undermining its strengths – as well as for more effective methods to assess the impact of any particular intervention. The session reviewed innovative ecosystem mapping efforts already underway and discuss new approaches for measuring the efficacy of startup ecosystems.


Methodologies Used to Map Ecosystems

Speaker: Arnobio Morelix

Entrepreneurship is more than designing a business model, managing, or making a business grow economically. The Kauffman Foundation has taken initiatives to measure the impact of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in a variety of areas. This session overviewed the various methodologies used to "map" ecosystems, including identifying key players and institutions that support and advance entrepreneurs, startups, and new firm formation. 

The model Morelix shared from the Kauffman Foundation has two objectives: first, to create local scalable and relevant economic indicators for each of the types of enterprises; second, create indicators that measure the general market conditions (density, fluidity, connectivity and diversity).

The representation of these variables is done through maps showing the number of startups, what is the impact of the startups on the economy, and how this varies from city to city. Morelix said this tool besides being useful for better understanding the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem, it is also a recipe for creating many more ecosystems. Finally, the speaker emphasized that these methodological constructions are possible if you really believe in the value they can have from governments and private enterprise to citizenship.

Measuring Ecosystems

Speaker: Zoltan Acs

The GEDI Institute uses data components to analyze ecosystem elements as a way to measure the health and visibility of entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. 

Zoltan Acs, or the GEDI Institute, referenced the problems found in places like Latin America and Africa to fully develop activities related to entrepreneurship and how to grow entrepreneurship. One of the first difficulties in Latim America, including Colombia, is imported technology -- the technology is not being created or is being made elsewhere. Another topic Acs referenced is that education is a negative indicator because there is a widespread poor quality of education and this limits the means to progress and innovate. 

Zoltan said the platform to measure ecosystem is a tool for analyzing city to city and country to country, because the model works with a comparative system in which the failures and successes of each case is observed equally. The system looks at the gaps between the two compared, and identifies specific issues that need to be improved locally and worldwide.

The GEDI Institute uses a variety of indexes to create best practices and methodologies for building a comprehensive and robust tool for capturing ecosystem dynamics. 

Deep-Dive in Mapping Cities

Speaker: Rhett Morris

Rhett Morris and Victor Mulas from Endeavor Insight, as well as, Malavika Kumaran with MaRs, also discussed tools to map entrepreneurial ecosystems, which serves as a comparative system between countries and cities. To start this process, 36 entrepreneurial initiatives in Canada were chosen for study, and how those compared had cooperation, networking and collaboration between them. 

The tool has a basic function to track investors, small institutions, innovation ecosystem processes and academic institutions, to identify key individuals and organizations in investment for ecosystems. To be more precise, the tool notes who invested, how much was invested and who participated. The goal of the tool is to map 130 cities around the world in the next five years, said Malavika Kumaran.

Several indexes in the ecosystem mapping tool include human capital, infrasturcture, economic assets, networking assets and startup incubators. Rhett Morris added that it is important that successful companies serve as "angel" investments, with also university commitments to support these initiatives. Victor Mulas meanwhile says that these ecosystems are often replicated unconsciously and have great importance in the economic development of each country.





Are you an entrepreneur interested in one of the models of acceleration? Already know them? Already compared them? The number of accelerators is growing rapidly, and it is important to be prepared.

Amisha Miller, from the Kauffman Foundation moderated the panel and began the session discussing the background of accelerators in Europe and the United States, where in the past three years the number of accelerators and hub has increased exponentially. 

It is important to note that many accelerators have different focuses and are increasingly fluid and chaning in what they do, focusing on specific areas including mentoring and education programs. The role of accelerators is providing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem a major public foundation. According to figures released by the U.S. nearly 92 percent of entrepreneurs who are part of these programs say they are satisfied and enjoy them. In short, the accelerators provide information to businesses to help them know what they should and shouldn't do to start and scale, so as to increase success and sustainability. 

Saurabh Lall, an expert and researcher on this topic, invited entrepreneurs to understand the practical effects of accelerators and know how how they look and how to apply for these accelerator programs. For this it is necessary to know that accelerators need effort, time and money, and are also often supported by agencies, corporations and public foundations. 

He also mentioned it is important to note the differences and similarities between the accelerators, as well as what their impact measurement, which models are working, and which are not, and to take into account other issues such as gender and equity investment; in short, understand that there are different models and it is essential to compare.

The session closed with an informational panel where expert company executives, founders and accelerator leaders, spoke about their experiences and accelerator models. 


Angel investors are not philanthropists, since your search is return on investment.

In "What's Next in Financing the Innovative Economy," session leaders discussed angel investments and the dedication of private investors to provide risk capital to innovative new ventures. John May, author of Angels Without Borders, discussed three fundamental factors of investing: viable ideas, active investors and strong leadership. 

This panel also featured the participation of different speakers representing various forms of angel investing, to help entrepreneurs seeking capital investment. 

Those participating in the session included representatives from Palestine, Belgium, Canada, Colombia and Catalonia, where the discussion revolved around the profiles, motivations and the nature of organizations that bring together angel investors in these areas.  Sergio Zuniga of Bavaria Foundation invited entrepreneurs to participate in seed programs, which receives proposals from those who have a business idea.

Early stage financing is a key component of a startup’s success. The Global Business Angels Network (GBAN) presented a comprehensive session on the globalization of angel investing and key trends for the future. The session focused on the global early stage investment ecosystem and will included key case studies of specific measures currently being used to provide support for startup access to early stage finance, recent research to further understand business angel investment, and the process of encouraging cross-border investing.


El documental cuenta, en esencia, la ruta del emprendimiento que ha seguido Medellín para ser reconocida mundialmente en esta materia.

Over the last 10 years, Medellín propelled its transformation with science, technology and innovation. Lots of new entrepreneurs, startups, researchers and innovative projects have found in Medellín the best place to grow and make their dreams come true. This session included the stories of some people who are changing the route of the city with their innovative DNA. This session was in Spanish. For the Spanish recap, visit here



"We live in a society that does not create opportunities where we can share knowledge."

Jerry Michalski, director of REX (Relationship Economy Experience), invited participants to reflect on the definition of value -- because to him, it is important to go beyond the initial perception of the tangible and superficial definition of value is, and incited participants to explore invisible value, or values that are immersed in an activity, a purpose, an object, a brand, an idea or a company.

Along with this idea of invisible value, he said the definition of value is rooted in the economikc model in which society is bound, and Michalski highlighted the role of what he referred to as the various economies, and its impact on the development of social interactions and the value assigned to objects and experiences. 

Within "the various economies," Michalski makes a journey through economic models ranging from the current market-oriented model, which according to the speaker, has hindered generations of interactions and spaces that allow dialogue and exchange of knowledge. In contrast to the model of market orientation, Michalski recommends "The Relationship Economy" or economy of relations, where human interactions can help fill the knolwedge gap and inlcudes an integration of sources from multiple places. 


During 2015, venture investment in Africa was 220 million in 55 countries.

The session What's Next for Africa led participants to analzye and reflect on the myths and realities of capital investment abroad in Africa, as well as projects of entrepreneurship and innovation. International investors and African entrepreneurs served on the panel discussion. 

The start of the session kicked off by discussing the various financing mechanisms in Africa. The speakers discussed gaps in financing forms in Africa, as there are no clear paths to financing stages, as there are in Europe and the United States. Byron Sitawa, co-founder of Chura, said there was a lack of information and resources when he began his venture, and for example, said to boost his project he relied heavily on his family and friends. 

Another key focus of the panel was about investment in Africa. Panelists discussed ways that investing can be a way to pass across country borders and halt the African diaspora to other parts of the world, especially Europe. They noted that Nigeria is a lead example of a country with investment, and that has developed an important culture of entrepreneurship. Because it is difficult to network between countries based on politics, religious differences, military difficulties, and other factors, that it is sometimes difficult to think of investing in terms of regions, but typically in individual countries that provide the best conditions to do so. 

The above reflection on investment by region, led the discussion to the topic of innovation ecosystem in Africa. Panelists said the ecosystem of innovation is a buzzword, because in Africa cannot speak as one, for there is no joint work, no interconnections, and it is very difficult to work for its cohesion. One of the speakers insisted that rather than talking about ecosystem, the important thing is to support personal initiatives, specific projects that are measured by their specific weight and not in relation to others.

The conclusion of the panel was marked by a realistic and hopeful projection. Panelists said that cases of actual entrepreneurship in Africa mark an important inroad to further strengthening a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.


What are the challenges of startups that are leading emerging practices in the agricultural sector and what are they doing to succeed? Through the program-competition, startup teams discussed their value.

Future Agro Challenge (FAC) is the largest global competition that discovers innovative fundable food, agtech, and agriculture ventures from various corners of the globe addressing national, regional and global challenges. FAC provides key tools and opportunities to help them grow their business and expand them into new markets. FAC is working to make a difference on a global level by increasing interaction among agro innovators, entrepreneurs and stakeholders, by addressing national policies and challenges. The 2016 Future Agro Challenge winner was VACuCh, an anibacterial milk liner that mitigates Bovine Mastitis and reduces the amount of bacteria in milk. 

So far, in just two years, FAC has more than 40 countries from five continents, and has received more than 2,000 applications from startups all over the world. FAC has offered a podium to 20 startups to pitch their idea live in from of a global audience, while it has already awarded more than 10 innovative startups with 500.000 € of private funding. 
In 2015, the Global Winner of FAC 2014, was invited to the White House. Below are listed this year's finalists from 10 different countries: Chile, Greece, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Russia and Sudan. 
CowLar is a smart collar for cows designed to help farmers improve dairy herd health, optimize operations and boost milk yields, which has a positive impact on farmer incomes.
CropXis the world's first fully-automated software-as-a-service solution that boosts crop yield and saves water, applying just the right amount of water to different parts of the same field.
Jashyl Charba is a system which allows users to remotely follow the temperature, humidity and air atmosphere in a greenhouse.
Evaptainers is the world's first mobile "zero-energy" refrigeration systems that are ideal for low-income, off-grid areas.
Ava’s Farm is a business-to-peer (B2P) e-commerce website, focused on small-scale productions of food products. 
Kuchara is amobile app where with just one touch, consumers can order organic food, freshly harvested, directly from the farmer.
Elementaree is a service that creates personalized food plans based on customer's taste, biological and health needs, lifestyle and then delivers all the ingredients needed for the food plan, already washed and cut.
Harvesting is a harvesting machine specialized to harvest Gum hashab.


Get in the Ring is a showcase of talented entrepreneurs from around the world -- who battle for dominance and the title of world champion.

Get In the Ring is an international showcase of talented startup companies on three different valuation levels, ranging from less than $1 million to beyond $10 million. There is no monetary prize, but teams compete and gain immensely from the worldwide publicity that this opportunity entails. This experience connects some of the world’s best startup companies with potential high value investors, as well as gaining new connections and clients. Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network opened the ceremony with his support for all the competing teams and how they have brought innovation to Medellín and beyond.

The figures were staggering: more than 5,000 companies applied, from more than 80 countries, through 130-plus events and more than 20,000 visitors prior to the final pitch alone. This scale is inspiring and illustrates the opportunity of such a platform, in particular with the grand champions of judges of incredible success.

Five intense rounds enable the judges to fire questions, namely how the startups plan to provide the returns investors demand. This kind of platform also allows the audience to be better informed through their responses to any criticisms or vulnerabilities highlighted in the judges’ critiques. Team, achievements, market and financials form the basis of the 30 second rounds, leading up to the freestyle stage before a champion is crowned.

LIK in no way claims to have invented the advertising industry, however, its simple yet efficient concept gives people free call credit while giving companies direct exposure to publicize to target markets. At the moment, the startup founder is asking for $1.5 million in return for a 20-percent equity with a planned exit strategy should investors have any hesitation. Currently, the confidence lies in the tested model that has proven to be of success due to geo location and specific targeting – which has already caught the support of large companies such as P&G and Coca Cola.

In contrast, SpeekEZ, another one of the competing startups in the final competition, was asking for a much higher sum of $5 million, was considered more innovative in the sense that it is a revolutionary concept of real-time human translation. For example, the founder criticized Google for its lack of accuracy in translating more complex and colloquial language.

Although both companies are clearly different in their aims, value and mission, there is no denying the fact that their founding teas are central to their passion and desire to be a success. In the freestyle round, when asked why they would be better than their opponent, it was the contrast of safety and practicality in keeping supply and demand balanced with ongoing innovation, versus LIK’s higher “sure bet” nature and exit strategy contingency.

In the end, Lik was victorious – a worthy victory given its innovative and clever stance on a simple concept, while still providing connectivity for the local community.

Congress in Medellín, Colombia


Four challenges in innovation and entrepreneurship for cities and businesses.

Dane Stangler, vice president of policy and research for the Kauffman Foundation, addressed in this session the current challenges and four changes that companies and cities in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation must take.

He first mentioned technological changes and how to understand technological opportunities. Second, he spoke of demographic changes, referring to the current phenomena of migrationand the aging population. Third, Stangler spoke about climate change, which must be assumed as a massive challange, and a challenge to innovate through adaptation. It is an opportunity for companies and entrepreneurs to resolve issues of agriculture and climate change.

Fourth, Stangler said in regard to political change, he argued that entrepreneurs do not like to deal with political issues, but it is necessary that governments have an open dynamic to the entrepreneurial industry; that is one of the objectives of the ministerial meeting held under the GEC 2016.

These changes are often viewed as challenges, and Stangler invites people to address them through entrepreneurship.


How should you think as an entrepreneur?

How do you think like an entrepreneur? How do you teach entrepreneurship? How to educate students about entrepreneurship at a higher level? These are questions that Bill Aulet, managing director at the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT, began his keynote presentation with. He said an entrepreneur must have three essential characteristics: they need to be open and use common language; be systemic and presscriptive; and also to be rigourous but practical. 

Aulet emphasized entrepreneurship as a merit-based system, and he spoke of the need for technology transfer that may lead to the creation of new products and technology-based companies.  

Similarly, the Aulet also said that entrepreneurship is more viable when entrepreneurs have all of the relevant tools, and also hopes that entrepreneurship will be taught to everyone all over the world to provide them with paths of exploration that will improve their -- and the world's -- quality of life. 


GERN is carrying out joint projects seeking to assess the effectiveness and measure the positive impact of entrepreneurship programs, in turn share and validate research methodologies that are being carried out.

Mapping Connections Between Ecosystems 

Victor Mulas, with the World Bank, discussed in his session that it is not enough to have incuabation and accelerator programs to strenthen entrepreneurial ecosystems.

He said that in cases of developed countries, they show a smaller number of startups compared to underdeveloped countries, which have a higher quantity and also include a large number of incubators. However, he said, this does not reflect either progress or quality of a startup, because alhough in developed cities like New York City where there are fewer startups, they have more institutions interested in investing, while in underveloped countries, startups may have a harder time receiving seed money and starting and scaling. 

Business Culture and Education

Anthony Farr, with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, discussed in his session the importance of working with educational indicators. 

He argued that incubators and accelerators are important in entrepreneurial ecosystems, as they can create incentives that allow students to grow and want to start their own businesses. 

Farr explained the importance of working with educational indicators, where deployments are being made in this training system so we can analyze how this issue affects a city to be more entrepreneurial than others.

Ivan Sandjaja, stated that incentives and models for entrepreneurship in the education system must exist for both formal education and for non-formal education. In some universities, it has been entrepreneurship has been emphasized and consolidated, student startups have generated more jobs. The most important thing is that companies have been created primarily from students seeking to solve social needs. To conclude, Sandjaja states that this can only be achieved if these courses encourage business creation from the collaboration.

Laborator Growth of Innovation

Amisha Miller, with the Kauffman Foundation, presented an investigation being carried out with measuring indicators called Randomized Control Trials. These indicators are used for experimental tests that measure the feasibility of a startup.

Initially, it was an experiment with startups in three cities. The first startup was placed in an incubator, the second with a mentor and the third startup was in a city without any assistance. 

From this, the differences in growth and behavior of each startup, in order to observe the viability of any project related to entrepreneurship were sought.

Government Data Infrastructure

Government Data Infrastructure is a project made by the United Nations, the OECD and the Kauffman organization. The project seeks to establish a guide for national public policymakers. Has two additional objectives on the one hand, measuring the impact of policies on entrepreneurship and secondly, how to package this (massify, scale) a way to provide advice as to measure the impact of these policies within the framework of the sustainable development goals set by the UN. The idea is to adapt these initiatives to create public policies to sustainable development objectives.

Tatiana Krylova focuses her research in developing countries mainly because it seeks entrepreneurship contributions to economic development of each research currently focused on Africa. The project will have a platform that has obtained data from the WTO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD. The result of this open platform is that any group can register there and get information about any economic sector. Finally, the initiative seeks to establish a connection between governments and their citizens, involving them in the development process of these policies.



What does disruption do to the industry?

In this panel the issue of disruption was discussed and how this may affect the industry. Disruption comes from people who imagine things from scratch, they are people who think freely, reinvent themselves intellectually, look at the world for ideas, to be pioneers and bring proposals from one industry to another.

In general, the speakers, Jeff Hoffman and William Shaw, talked about their personal history as entrepreneurs and industry disruptors, and how to make a successful business disruption. Jeff Hoffman has been a disruptor of processes in the aviation industry through the implementation of printing module check ins at airports; the speaker also redefined the way to shop in the hotel industry with the creation of websites such as

Another guest was William Shaw, founder of the airline Viva Colombia, who as an entrepreneur wondered how to fly cheap and how to bring Colombian culture to airlines. Shaw says that we must find a different way of doing things as they have always done; "Stay away from those who say you can not do ... the real failure is not to fail, but it is to not try."




Can you imagine a world with a billion entrepreneurs? Alfonso Prada, General Director of SENA, exposes us to his vision.

Alfonso Prada is convinced entrepreneurs can change the world in many ways. 

Prada, who is Director General of SENA, head of the Colombian government's seed capital grant fund, made the case for public policies that create entrepreneurs in exponential numbers. He invited the audience to imagine more than 1 million students in the country today having the opportunity to approach entrepreneurship through their education, and find new opportunities for personal and social development. 

"Entrepreneurship is possible with accompaniment," said Prada. His proposal of extending the training of entrepreneurs is based on clear objectives: close gaps to attack poverty, create universal opportunities and, above all, create hope for development.


Entrepreneurship in Latin America increasingly requires the presence of active governments to become co-creators and help link economic development with social development.

The OECD is studying policies to support entrepreneurship in Latin America, and this panel session featured representatives of entities related to the ecosystem in Latin America. The panelists reviewed progress, identified barriers and visible ways to strengthen and innovate support initiatives. 

Daniel Quintero, of Innpulsa, explained the situation in Colombia, where tax incentives and funds have been allocated from royalties for the promotion of innovation.  explained the Colombian case, where defined tax incentives and funds have been allocated from royalties for the promotion of innovation, leaving the conclusion of the national experience, you need to focus on the entrepreneurial culture more in the provision of instruments.

Mariano Mayer, emphasized the need to encourage startups to become scale-ups, stressing that taxation and finance are the key issues on the continent.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Cabrol, with the Inter-American Development Bank, said there are three key points for a long-term vision: states must set the table, meaning provide tax and regulator policies that give viability to innovation, the market must be supported by the private sector, and finally, it should be understood in context, taking into account the heterogeneity of the Latin American territory. 

Faced with the conclusions drawn from each participant's experience in this panel, highlighted a common idea, and that projects of social impact and the subject of gender in entrepreneurship are two topics that are very important to shaping the continued conversation of entrepreneurship in Latin America.  

Panelists include:

Mariano Mayer, National Secretary of Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises

Daniel Quintero Calle, CEO of iNNpulsa Colombia

Marcelo Cabrol, Manager of the Office of External Relations, Inter-American Development Bank


Social entrepreneurs present their ideas developing entrepreneurship and wide potential impact on society, from their experiences dealing with local problems whose solutions can be replicated globally.

At the GEC, six outstanding startup from around the world, led a discussion about the challenges of creating their own company, the importance of social entrepreneruship and ways others can seek to change their environment through bright ideas that bring about significan change in the world. 

These entrepreneurs are part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network's first cohort of GEN Starters Club, an initiative by GEN support and provide resources to promising startups around the world. The entrepreneurs during the session shared their motivations for creating their companies -- focusing on the determination to meet a self-imposed mission, which was to solve real-world problems locally, with the potential for global replication.  


"Governments must understand how the world works now and take the fast pace of things," Chris Schroeder, Startup Rising.

Ambar Amleh, program director for Palestine for a New Beginning; Angelo Burgazzi, president of Accede co-working space and incubator; and Christopher Schroeder, author of Startup Rising, joined GEN President Jonathan Ortmans to discuss the role of entrepreneurship during conflict and post-conflict peace processes. 

Colombia is working toward a peace deal in the country, thus the panel on entrepreneurship and the peace process was relevant and applicable to current situations in the country. Amleh, Burgazzi and Schroeder discussed their own experiencces working and speaking with entrepreneurs in high-conflict areas, and how entrepreneurship can be a great unifer -- bridging conflict gaps with job creation, investment opportunities and successful ventures. 

Amleh, who works to help Palestinian entrepreneurs with their ventures, recounted her experience working with founders in Gaza who held onto the business tightly and continued to show up to work every day even with the threat of bombings. She said there is so much hope in the entrepreneurs in Palestine to succeed and make a difference. 

Burgazzi, who is also a Venezuelan entrepreneur, notes that in the case of his country's main need is located in transcending welfarism that has prevailed in recent governments to restore people's confidence that ideas have an impact on social development.

The panel focused on the great potential for entrepreneurship to be embraed by both the private and public sector in various countries who are amidst conflict situations -- to help resolve issues and help provide social and economic stability. 


"No need to make financial projections, but able to explain the future dynamics of the business," Camilo Botero, CEO of Veronorte.

Entrepreneurs seeking leverage and the need to learn to review plans for financial growth for their companies, was the main topic addressed by Veronorte and Bancóldex, companies in the financial and investment sectors, which presented key points on this important issue.

This session, from Startup to Scaleup: Financing Growth, covered the essentials to understanding the company in early and mature stages, what is important to convey to investors and how to do that, as well as the time of investment and mitigating risk. The session also focused on how to reduce the maximum risk, and ways to convey that to investors and potential investors.  

The workshop focused on how to prepare a financial growth plan, financing alternatives for growth, as well as how to access funding by learning to prepare key information about your business.


What is the future of Empretec? What are the key points that make an entrepreneur successful? Are there common factors among successful entrepreneurs? That's what the Empretec Summit at the GEC explored.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is held its third Global Emprete Summit, which gathered entrepreneurs from around the world, including graduates from UNCTAD's Empretec Program, as well as directors and representatives of Empretec centers. The Summit allowed for participants to exchange entrepreneurhsip experiences, connect with other entrepreneurs from around the world, and explore and think about new market opportunities. 

Empretec is a flagship capacity-building initiative of UNCTAD, which aims to promote entrepreneurship and competitive micro, small and mid-sized businesses (MSMEs) for the benefit of sustainable and inclusive development, poverty eradication, as well as women and youth empowerment. 

Tatiana Krylova, head of the Enterprise Branch at UNCTAD, led the interactive session to help facilitate cross-country business ventures. The Summit previously took place in Moscow and Milan. 



Entrepreneurship is now thought of as a hot topic worldwide. However, it is an issue that is of great importance in developing economies because new businesses and jobs are starting to develop.

The Director General of Amway opened the Colombia AGER Report session, and emphasized the importance of understanding entrepreneurhsip holistically, as a philosophy of life, and as a value to develope at different levels, where love an dpassion are inherent aspects to the entrepreneurial spirit. 

The second part of the session inlcuded the presentation of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, and was followed by a panel disucssion. This is the sixth year for the AGER report by Amway. In the report, 90 percent of Colombia says they have a positive attitutde toward entrepreneurship, with the most appealing aspect of the space that motivates a person to start a business is about becoming their own boss. For Colombians, the report showed that they have a fear of failure -- including the threat of an economic crisis, high financial charges, as these are seen as as major obstacles to the creation of a company. 

Panel discussion topics included Amways' interest in participating in a study of entrepreneurship globally, the importance of generating tax incentive initiatives to motivate entrepreneurs, recommendations for enterprises mentioned in the current context, values and characteristics of an entrepreneurial spirit, and the importance of an ecosystem supported by universities, companies and public entities to support entrepreneurial projects. 


"Why is it difficult to get a partner to support a good idea?" In the Grand Challenge Investment, several Colombian entrepreneurs will have time to tear down this scenario, and incidentally take a trip with all expenses paid to LAB4 +, the event was led by the Pacific Alliance which this year will take place in Peru.

The Great Investment Challenge 2016 was a conversation designed by iNNpulsa Colombia to recognize the work of seven Colombian startups that competed to obtain investment for their businesses. This session was in Spanish. To read more about this session in Spanish, visit here


Build trust among stakeholders of an ecosystem of entrepreneurship is vital to strengthen and integral growth.

During the Startup Nations Policy Unconference, Startup Nations members created a number of themes to help guide the conversation and provide a system of sharing best practices and ideas for public policy issues in their countries. 

The themes revolved around ways to help entrepreneurs finance their startups, how to help and encourage incubators and accelerators -- and looking and the impact of each in comparison -- how to gather entrepreneuurs and government leaders together to solve problems, attracting foreign talent to your country and ways to level the market between multinationals, startups and entrepreneurial cities. 

Among the highlights, great importance was given to the task of preventing the loss of talent, and in return, promoting the arrival of new entrepreneurs into local ecosystems, and monitoring ecosystem stakeholders to replicate good practices.

Ireland also presented on the country's startup ecosystem and the Startup Nations Summit in Cork, Ireland, which will be held during Global Entrepreneurship Week this November. To learn more about Startup Ireland, watch the video presented at the meeting and can be found on the web:


What is the importance of public-private partnerships in the context of business initiatives?

The session featured a panel of speakers from both public and private organizations, and the conversation focused on the topic of public-private partnerships and their importance to growing and strengthening the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. Panelists provided examples and expressed the benefits of these partnerships through examples from Colombia, Israel and the United States. 

According to the guests, building such partnerships help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and improve their processes. The panelists also emphasized the need to clarify goals, objectives and expectations of both the public and private parties prior to entering into a commitment for a successful partnership. 

After the talk, the speakers shared some of their experiences and lessons learned related to their work in public-private partnerships, where they highlighted the search for a team and relevant partners according to the needs of entrepreneurs, as well as the importance of being flexible and having a sense of adaptability that enables them to contribute to build relationships and stronger and successful partnerships.

SPARK Global Entrepreneurship was born out of the White House Global Entrepreneurship Summit as a way to convene the world’s leading voices in supporting entrepreneurship. The global coalition commits to supporting open dialogue and cross promotion, to contributing resources and networks, and uniting to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to thrive. 


EO Accelerator takes a group of new entrepreneurs through the steps of forming their startup.

Entrepreneurs, founders, investors and supporters took a step back and focused on intentionally designed direct business-browth factors for their ventures long term. 

The session, which was a hands-on class, worked on defining the culture and strategy of businesses to ensure the stability of it years from now. Participants developed a strategic compass in the form of their business' mission, vision and values, and worked to develop a "brand promise."


The session focused on how women entrepreneurs can become empowered, and through education and support at home, become confident decision-makers and innovative dreamers.

It has been well documented that women are under-represented in both high-growth entrepreneurship and in angel investing. As communities and countries are increasingly encouraging entrepreneurs to create jobs, women can be a catalyst for large-scale economic growth. The panel discussion on What's Next for Women Entrepreneurs focused on promoting the equal integration of women into the business venture space -- and to continue encouraging high-impact programs to train and support women entrepreneurs.

Although these high-impact programs, and initiaties to connect women founders to mentors and investors worldwide have flourished, the panel discussed needing to significantly increase women's participation in the space. Susana Garcia Robles, director of programs of investment in capital funds from IDB, and Alicia Robb, a senior researcher at the Kauffman Foundation, agreed that beyond install capabilities, society needs to change negative gender stereotypes deeply rooted in many cultures.

The panel also discussed education, both at home and in school, plays a prominent role in encouraging women to become entrepreneurs and enter the business creation space. Education has the potential to increase young women's decision-making skills, passion for creating and leading, as well as empowering them at an early age to do whatever or be whomever they want to be.


Connect investors, raise awareness and develop networks are the primary objectives of GBAN.

The Global Business Angels Network held its innagural meeting at the 2016 GEC, after the organization's creation last year. GBAN is a network of angel investors from all over the world, who are working to share best practices and utilize tools and resources to help encourage new firm formation everywhere. 

The meeting served to ratify primary objectives of the network, and establish direct contact between its members to help further promote the organization and connect entrepreneurs to sources of capital, research and competitions across the world. 

During the meeting, it was recognized as a primary task of collecting timely information of each country to form a global database that can allow a comprehensive reading of the conditions in which innovation is developed. To achieve this, it has made a call to members of the network, inviting them to participate in the creation of this database, so that they can further strengthened the tools available to help investors in all matters related to your role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Global Business Angels Network (GBAN) is a global community of business angel networks and organizations coordinated by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). GBAN brings greater public awareness and engagement to the role that business angels play in helping new firms start and scale. GBAN interfaces with entrepreneurs, policymakers, other early-stage finance actors and leading entrepreneurial support programs to strengthen the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. Whether helping local entrepreneurial ecosystems recruit more investors, expanding geographic investment arenas beyond local markets or amplifying the angel “voice” to regulatory issue discussions, GBAN seeks to provide an inclusive, supportive community of early-stage investors around the world.


The closure of the Congress to pass the torch to the next hosts: Johannesburg--a city that, like Medellin, is building an ecosystem of strong and active entrepreneurship.

The stage rose representatives of Johannesburg, Thaninga Shope-Linney, Ambassador of South Africa, Kizito Okechukwu, the SEA Africa and Ruby Mathang, representing the city. Representatives thanked the hospitality of Medellin as hostess and left manifest the promise of being reciprocated. It also highlighted the importance of bringing this event to South Africa, the first opportunity to attend an event of this type. Africa being one, full of natural resources and huge potential for social development young region, the next Congress promises a new world approach to content on this continent.

The next hosts promise an experience of impact, based on the great potential that can be identified in African societies and inspiration received to know the city of Medellin, which is, in turn, a significant achievement of the Global Entrepreneurship Network ( GEN).


Thank you to Medellín and its inspiring entrepreneurs for hosting the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Congress, and giving us a taste of Medellín's entrepreneurial spirit.

During the last day of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, the international delegation met at Télemedellín, the city's public television station, for a look at entrepreneurs and startups from the city and surrounding areas on Antioquia, as well as a variety of GEN working sessions. 

From delicious food and excellent coffee, to fine leather wear and technology companies, the entrepreneurs at Télemedellín showcased a selection of the bright talent and entrepreneurial spirit in the city. Entrepreneurship support programs, like ANDI Colombia, Creame, Parque E, Endeavor Colombia, and others also attended to explain to international delegates what Medellín and Colombia are doing to encourage new firm formation. 

GEN working sessions were led by GEN staff members, and covered a variety of topics, including website tutorials, a social media question and answer session, best practices for fundraising and a GEN country information session.