Jonathan Ortmans, chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, discussed the future of creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem and GEC activities during opening remarks Tuesday. In a city previously known for its violent past and drug lord Pablo Escobar, Medellín has changed dramatically to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports partnerships between new and old players, as well as educational institutions that encourage entrepreneurial mindsets.
The importance of entrepreneurship in job creation and economic growth is recognized by policymakers as one of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs today – as well as receiving funding needed to create or grow their businesses.
The fact that the number of diverse accelerators is growing rapidly is encouraging, as is the steady innovation. Although major KPIs include exits, survival and satisfaction rates when evaluating new startups, more public founders also seek what difference they make to the public ecosystem. Entrepreneurs today are part of a revolution in value creation and are able to do much more with fewer resources.
Accelerators have made a huge contribution to growth in other nations and Medellín could follow similar successes. For example, when looking on a wider global scale, there has been an increase in targeted small businesses receiving aid in developing countries – such as through state venture capital programs to put new ideas, innovation and creativity into action. In Medellín, the improvements in infrastructure and transportation have, in comparison to other Latin American countries, helped to propel this nation to promote startups, while also launching appealing public incentives to attract FDI. Colombia prides itself on being one of the most innovative startup ecosystems, and there is still massive potential waiting to be unlocked. The next step is then, to let more people know just how much potential this country has.
Winnie Liu is a student at the University of Sheffield, who reported at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Medellín, Colombia.