The GEC is an open, four-day conference that gathers all elements of the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. At the heart of the Congress is a mix of large-scale plenary sessions for thousands of delegates and more intimate and in-depth parallel sessions conducted by leading global organizations helping entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses. Take a look at the 2017 program and agenda for information about sessions and speakers.

MONDAY

MARCH 13, 2017

8:30 am

REGISTRATION

9:00 am

GEN ANNUAL MEETING (invite only)

4:00 pm

REGIONAL MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE OF AFRICAN STATES (invite only)

7:00 pm

GEC 2017 WELCOME RECEPTION (invite only)

 

TUESDAY

MARCH 14, 2017

7:30 am

OPENING OF THE GEC EXHIBITION
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Government of South Africa

8:30 am

OPENING CEREMONY: AFRICA WELCOMES THE WORLD TO JOHANNESBURG

Jonathan Ortmans, President, Global Entrepreneurship Network and Chair, Global Entrepreneurship Congress

Welcome to Johannesburg by Herman Mashaba, Mayor, City of Johannesburg

8:47 am

LIGHTNING ROUND: A NEW VISION FOR STARTUPS + CORPORATE INNOVATION

Moderated by David Jarvis, Executive Strategy and Corporate Innovation, Industrial  
Nyeleti Shirilele, Board Chair, Global Entrepreneurship Network South Africa (GEN South Africa) and Executive, Hollard
Bernie Brookes, CEO and Managing Director, Edcon
Craig Bond, Chief Executive Retail and Business Banking, Barclays Africa
Seema Kumar, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson
Makano Mosidi, Group Chief Innovations Officer, Transnet

9:07 am

INTRODUCTION OF THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT
Lindiwe Zulu, Minister, Department of Small Business Development, Government of South Africa

9:12 am

KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Government of South Africa

9:25 am JOHNSON & JOHNSON AFRICA INNOVATION CHALLENGE ANNOUNCEMENT
Deputy President Cyril RamaphosaGovernment of South Africa

9:35 am

RIBBON CUTTING - LAUNCH OF GEN SOUTH AFRICA + GEN AFRICA
Presented by Kizito Okechukwu, Managing Director, GEN South Africa and Executive Head, SEA Africa

9:40 am

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT: AN INTERVIEW WITH JABU MABUZA
Jabu Mabuza, Serial Entrepreneur and Chairman of Telkom SA

9:55 am

DIGITAL DISRUPTION + BUILDING ONE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM
Jonathan Ortmans, President, Global Entrepreneurship Network and Chair, Global Entrepreneurship Congress

10:00 am

THE NEW GLOBAL: BRIDGING CREATIVITY & INNOVATION FROM WEST TO EAST & EAST TO WEST
Rishi Jaitly, CEO, Times Bridge; former Twitter Vice-President for Asia Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa

10:20 am

ACCESS TO DATA: LEAPFROG OPPORTUNITIES FOR STARTUPS GLOBALLY

Moderated by Lesa Mitchell, Managing Director for Kansas City, Techstars
Arvind Gupta, Head & Co-Founder, Digital India Foundation
Shivani Shiroya, CEO & Founder, Tala
Ali Faramawy, President of Microsoft Middle East and Africa, Microsoft
Yasaman Hadjibashi, Chief Creation Officer, Barclays Africa Group

11:20 am

THE FUTURE OF BLOCKCHAIN
Arvind Gupta, Head & Co-Founder, Digital India Foundation  

11:30 am LOOKING BEYOND SILICON VALLEY
Victor Hwang, Vice President of Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation 
11:40 am  DRIVING GROWTH THROUGH SCALE-UP ECOSYSTEMS
Daniel Isenberg, Founding Executive Director, Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project
12:00 pm

LUNCH

12:00 pm INCUBATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM // Exhibition Hall - Pitch Corner 1 (level 0)
12:00 pm LAUNCH OF THE GLOBAL STARTUP ECOSYSTEM REPORT // Exhibition Hall - Pitch Corner 2 (level 0)
12:00 pm PITCH STAGE 3: STARTUP HUDDLE // Exhibition Hall (Level 0)
12:30 pm ONE-TO-ONE INVESTOR SESSION// Exhibition Hall (Level 0)

1:00 pm

PARALLEL SESSIONS I
(all sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted  

MASTERCLASS: THE THREE PILLARS OF STARTUP SUCCESS 
Bob Dorf, Serial Entrepreneur & Author, "The Startup Owner's Manual"

DESIGN THINKING + ENTREPRENEUR-CENTERED SOLUTIONS (1 Hour, 50 Minutes)
Global Entrepreneurship Network and Kauffman Foundation

GRADUATING AFRICA'S INFORMAL BUSINESSES TO THE FORMAL MARKET 
GEN Algeria, GEN Senegal, GEN Kenya and GEN Mozambique 

GLOBAL SME MINISTERIAL (invite only)
U.S. Small Business Administration and the South African Ministry of Small Business Development

STARTUP ACCELERATORS: TRENDS & NICHES (1 Hour, 50 Minutes)
GEN New Zealand, GEN Egypt, Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), the World Bank, and the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN)

DEEP-DIVING THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECOSYSTEM: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES 
SAB Foundation, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the GEDI Institute and SEA Africa

INVESTING IN EMERGING MARKETS (1 Hour, 50 Minutes)
Nexus

BASE OF THE PYRAMID TECHNOLOGIES: BETTER HEALTH, GROWTH AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES (1 Hour, 50 Minutes)
GEN Israel and the MIT Enterprise Forum of Israel

PITCH STAGE 1: PITCH FOR ATTENTION // Exhibition Hall (Pitch Corner 1)

2:00 pm

PARALLEL SESSIONS II
(all sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted)

MASTERCLASS: DIGITAL IMPACT ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Facebook

THE GLOBAL SCALE-UP MOVEMENT
Global Entrepreneurship Network 

ECONOMIC + SOCIAL IMPACT OF ENTREPRENEURS MIGRATING FROM AFRICA
SEA Africa and Monash University

2:30 pm GET MENTORED BY BOB DORF // Boardroom 4
SEA Africa

3:00 pm

PARALLEL SESSIONS III
(all sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted) 

MASTERCLASS: HOW TO SCALE-UP YOUR COMPANY
Daniel Isenberg, Founding Executive Director, Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project

SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN A DIGITAL AGE
South African Department for Business Development

DESIGN THINKING + ENTREPRENEUR-CENTERED SOLUTIONS (1 Hour, 50 Minutes)
Global Entrepreneurship Network and Kauffman Foundation

CITY PERFORMANCE: METHODS FOR MEASURING & ASSESSING PROGRESS  (1 Hour, 50 Minutes)
Global Entrepreneurship Research Network 

TELLING AFRICAN YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP STORIES 
GEN South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Youngpreneur Media, CAYE and the Raymond Ackerman Foundation 

THE GLOBAL INVESTING PHENOMENON (1 Hour, 50 Minutes)
Global Business Angels Network

EDUCATED GIRLS TO EMPOWERED WOMEN: WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN THE AGE OF DISRUPTION
Opportunity International 

4:00 pm

PARALLEL SESSIONS IV
(all sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted) 

GLOBAL SME MINISTERIAL (public session) 
U.S. Small Business Administration and the South African Department of Small Business Development

MASTERCLASS: ENTREPRENEURIAL COACHING & CULTURE
Gil Oved, Co-Founder, Creative Counsel; Shark Tank

EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY IN STARTUPS
Telkom & Transnet

GEN STARTUP COMMUNITY PLATFORMS & PROGRAMS
Global Entrepreneurship Network

USING ALTERNATIVE DATA FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
AlphaCode

5:00 pm

DAY 1 SESSIONS CONCLUDE

7:00 pm -
11:00 pm

GEN COMPASS AWARDS CEREMONY (invite only)

 

WEDNESDAY

MARCH 15, 2017

8:30 am

OPENING

8:35 am

LEADING THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURS
David Makhura, Premier, Gauteng Province

8:45 am

ENTREPRENEURSHIP MINISTERIAL REPORT

Moderated by Ellen Olafsen, Global Product Specialist on Growth Entrepreneurship in the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank
Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, Government of South Africa
Assane Mayaki, Former Prime Minister of Niger; CEO, New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
Ghassan Alsulaiman, Governor, SME Authority, Government of Saudi Arabia
Tatiana Krylova, Head of the Enterprise Branch, Division on Investments and Enterprise, United Nations Conference on Trade & Development

9:30 am

ENABLING DIGITAL DISRUPTION

Moderated by Dave Moscowitz, Acting Managing Director, GEN New Zealand
Viljar Lubi, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia
Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Thailand
Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

  PARALLEL SESSION: GBAN ANNUAL MEETING // Ballroom 3 (invite only) (2 hours, 30 minutes)
Global Business Angels Network 

10:00 am

DISRUPTION IN INSURANCE
Adrian Gore, Group Chief Executive, Discovery

10:15 am

NEXT GENERATION GLOBAL STARTUPS

Moderated by Chris Schroeder, Author, Startup Rising; and Jeff Nuechterlein, Managing Partner, Nue Capital
Konstantin Berezin, Founder and CEO, BrighTap, Winner of Startup Open
Billy Hadlow, Founder, Khaya Power
Manshesht Sharma, Co-founder + Head of IOS Development, meetHere
Carolina Medina, CEO & Co-Founder, Agruppa
Mawande Mpungose, Co-founder, GheaLive, Winner of the Digital Pitch Competition
Simba Chimhandamba, Founder, Urban Growth, Winner of the Idea Space Fair

11:00 am

 

DIGITAL HEALTH: MEGA TRENDS & OPPORTUNITIES
Yossi Bahagon, Managing Partner, OurCrowd

11:10 am STARTUPS RISING IN THE MENA REGION 
Moderated by Larry Jacob, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, Kauffman Foundation
Chris Schroeder, Author, "Startup Rising;" and Ali Sabanci, Chairman, Pegasus Airlines
 
11:40 am THE FUTURE PATH FOR GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURS
Jeff Hoffman, Serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder, Colorjar

11:50 am

GEC 2018: FROM JOHANNESBURG TO ISTANBUL

Jonathan Ortmans, President, Global Entrepreneurship Network and Chair, Global Entrepreneurship Congress
Ali Sabanci, Co-Chair, GEC 2018 Istanbul
Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, Government of South Africa

12:10 pm LUNCH
1:00 pm

PARALLEL SESSIONS I
(all sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted)

BUILDING CONNECTIONS THAT COUNT
Facebook

DESIGN THINKING AND ENTREPRENEUR-CENTERED SOLUTIONS (invite only) (3 Hours)
Global Entrepreneurship Network and Kauffman Foundation

ACCESS TO MARKETS FOR WOMEN ENTREPENEURS: INHIBITORS & SUCCESS FACTORS
Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and United Nations Women

STARTUPS PROMOTING TECH SOLUTIONS FOR AFRICAN BUSINESSES
Microsoft and Telkom

STRATEGIES FOR SCALING A STARTUP
Endeavor, Shanduka Black, Umbrellas SiModisa and SAB 

ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION AND TRADE LOCALIZATION IN STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES
Transnet

MASTERCLASS: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE ENTREPRENEUR
Kelly Shaver, Founder, MindCette, LLC

INNOVATIONS IN EARLY STAGE INVESTING  (1 hour, 50 minutes)
Global Business Angels Network 

REGISTERING A BUSINESS? KEEP IT SIMPLE
Global Enterprise Registration

LAUNCH OF RÉSEAU DES ENTREPRENEURS FRANCOPHONES
Hosted by International Organization of La Francophonie

2:00 pm

PARALLEL SESSIONS II
(all sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted)

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Industrial Development Corporation

INNOVATION & HIGH GROWTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP
World Bank

POLICIES FOR DIGITAL DISRUPTION
Microsoft

PRIORITIES AHEAD OF POLICYMAKERS 
Startup Nations 

TOWNSHIP ECONOMY IN A DIGITAL AGE
Gauteng Province (MEC)

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET: A PIONEERING NEW STUDY  (1 hour, 50 mins)
Global Entrepreneurship Research Network, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and MindCette

EMPRETEC GLOBAL SUMMIT IV  (3 hours) *separate registration required
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 

3:00 pm

PARALLEL SESSIONS III
(all sessions are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted) 

THE NEW VISION FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN AFRICA
GEN Africa

EO ACCELERATOR
Entrepreneurs' Organization

LEVERAGING THE GEI: POLICY FACILITATION WORKSHOP  
Global Entrepreneurship Index 

SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT IN THE PUBLIC & PRIVATE SECTORS
SOEP and Transnet

FUTURE GLOBAL CITIES 
City of Johannesburg

COLLABORATING ON GLOBAL INVESTING OPPORTUNITIES (3 hours, 30 minutes)
Global Business Angels Network

4:00 pm

FUTURE AGRO CHALLENGE: GLOBAL FINALS // Ballroom 1 (Level 2)
Industry Disruptors/Game Changers

STARTUP HUDDLE // Boardroom 6 + 7 (Level 2)
Global Entrepreneurship Network

TRAIN THE TRAINERS: HOW DO WE TEACH AND COACH THE WORLD'S ENTREPRENEURS // Ballroom 2 (Level 2)
Gordon Institute of Business Science

6:30 pm CONCLUSION

6:30 pm

CELEBRATING THE LAUNCH OF GEN AFRICA (invite only)
Gauteng Provincial Government, Department of Small Business Development, GEN Africa and GEN South Africa

 

THURSDAY

MARCH 16, 2017

(Thursday sessions are intended for GEN delegates only)

10:00 am

GEN ANNUAL MEETING BREAKOUTS 

5:45 pm

GEN ANNUAL MEETING CONCLUSION

7:00 pm

 

GEC 2017 CLOSING DINNER

 

FRIDAY -
SATURDAY

MARCH 17-19, 2017

(By invitation only)

 

GEC+ CAPE TOWN: ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET IN ACTION