Tuesday, March 15
11:15 to 12:15
Plaza Mayor - Gran Salon

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.

Speaker Bios: 
German Schäfer


Larry Alder

United States

Juan Manuel Barrientos
El Cielo


Pablo Aquistapace


Donna Harris

United States

Verne Harnish