Over the past eight years, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress has grown into a premier annual gathering of startup champions from 160 nations dedicated to building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems. During the GEC, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, thought leaders and policymakers work together to help new firms start and scale. GEC+ fills a need for more in-depth collaboration on key issues emerging from the GEC.
Hosted by GEN and the Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation in Daegu, a city that features a world class creative economy, GEC+ explored exciting new thinking, research and tools for understanding the entrepreneurial mindset, teaching entrepreneurship, and building vibrant city ecosystems.
Multiple new projects resulted from the sessions and side meetings. Importantly, GEN’s Global Entrepreneurship Research Network and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation (AGO) heard from many leading global experts on entrepreneurial mindset, informing the framing of a joint pilot study of South Africans. The discussions helped to crystalize an approach for measuring mindset – the methodology will be presented at the GEC.
Day 1: Plenary Sessions
GEC+ Daegu began with two plenary sessions. The first, led by Anthony Farr, the Chief Executive Officer of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, focused on how best to equip future generations with an entrepreneurial mindset. He was joined by:
- Anders Rasmussen, Team Leader, Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship (Denmark)
Entrepreneurship Education for the Future Economy
Measuring the Impact of Entrepreneurship Education
- Phil Yunsock Lee, Entrepreneurship Education Team Leader, Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation (Korea)
Entrepreneurship Education for the Future Economy (in Korean)
The second featured four experts who have studied successful ways for catalyzing the development of startup ecosystems. Each offered a unique perspective on innovation ecosystems and compelling narratives on forging collaborative action.
- Jarmo Eskelien, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer, Future Cities Catapult UK (UK)
Local Government as an Ecosystem Catalyzer
- Victor Mulas, Program Lead, Innovation Acceleration Program, World Bank Innovation Labs (US)
Catalyzing Local Startup Ecosystems: A Tale of Two Cities
Understanding Startup Innovation Ecosystems
- Kyuhwang Yeon, Vice President, Daegu Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (Korea)
To Build a Global Ecosystem on Creative Economies
- Qian Wang, Vice Director, Zhongguancun Innoway Beijing (China)
The Function of Local Government As Part of an Ecosystem for Innovation
Day 2: Parallel Tracks
Day 2 of GEC+ was organized to facilitate smaller, roundtable discussions focused on Entrepreneurial Mindset and Building Startup Ecosystems. These sessions ran in parallel to each other.
Parallel Track 1: Entrepreneurship Education
As one study found, developing entrepreneurial skills as a student is a greater determinate of future success than having a PhD. With this in mind, Wael Bedda, the director of the Arab Academy for Science’s Entrepreneurship Center led a discussion about mainstreaming entrepreneurship education throughout secondary and high school curricula. Joining him were:
- Noam Band, Advisor, Israel Education Initiatives (Israel)
Educating the Youth
- Antonija Mrsic, Steering Committee Member, South East European Centre for Entrepreneurship Learning (Croatia)
Entrepreneurship Education in the EU: Overview of Policies and Practice
- Enrique Portillo, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Mexico)
Developing Entrepreneurship Education Curricula
- Johannes Linder, Head, eesi Entrepreneurship Education Center and Initiative for Teaching Entrepreneurship (Austria)
Entrepreneurship Education Curricula
- Kyu Dong Kim, President, SMB University Entrepreneurship Center
A session on international practices used to measure the impact of entrepreneurship education, moderated by Anthony Farr, spotlighted a variety of effective evidence-based entrepreneurship education policies, programs and practices. Discussants included:
- Gi-Hyun Kum, Secretary General, Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation
- Anders Rasmussen, Team Leader, Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship
- Fredell Jacobs, Head of Impact Assurance, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
- Yun-Sock Lee, Lead, Entrepreneurship Education Team, Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation
Jiang Peng, a senior project manager at the Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates moderated an in-depth session on successful techniques for training trainers to develop entrepreneurial characteristics. He was joined by:
- Gene Seow, Program Lead, Singapore Nanyang Technopreneurship Center, Nanyang Technology University (Singapore)
- Ivan Sandjaja, Director, Ciputra Entrepreneurship Foundation (Indonesia)
Project Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Ken Krull, Executive Director, Quatere (US)
Train the Trainer
Parallel Track 2: Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building
Kaitlin Shilling, who directs Platform Usaha Sosial, an online collaborative space for entrepreneurs in Indonesia, led a discussion on global best practices for building entrepreneurial ecosystems that included:
- Kei Yamagata, Manager, Japan Innovation Network (Japan)
Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
- Emanuele Santi, Lead Strategy Advisor, Africa Development Bank (Ivory Coast)
An Ecosystem Value Chain Approach to Entrepreneurship
- David Kuo, Co-Founder, iiiNNO (Taiwan)
Best Practices in Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building
- Sonia Lee, Operations Manager, Banks Foundation D. Camp, Seoul (Korea)
Best Practices for Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
- David Dukhwan Oh, Managing Partner, Seoul Networks
Robert Ogburn, a development specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Korea, moderated a session on building the infrastructure necessary to create an environment where citizens can pursue new economic opportunities among:
- Yo-Han Kim, City of Daegu’s Creative Economy Planning Division
- Sajid Islam, Founder, hubDhaka (Bangladesh)
Building a City Ecosystem
- Priyank Narayan, Director, Entrepreneurship Programs, Ashoka University (India)
Now and the Future of Entrepreneurship Education + Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in India
Phil Auerswald, GERN Co-Chair, moderated a session on mapping and measuring national- and city-level ecosystems with:
- Fiorina Mugione, Chief, Entrepreneurship Section, UNCTAD (Switzerland)
Developing an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: The UNCTAD Approach
- Victor Mulas, Lead, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Cities, World Bank
- Ainsley Lloyd, Global Operations Coordinator, GEDI (which develops GEN’s Global Entrepreneurship Index). The Index provides valuable insight into where critical gaps exist within national ecosystems, providing a starting point for policy and program strategy development.
Measuring the Digital Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
In addition to the open session presentations and discussions around entrepreneurial mindset, education methodologies and building local ecosystems, GEN convened an internal GERN meeting for members and prospective members to update on collaborative research projects.
Special thanks are due to our hosts: Yeungnam University Entrepreneurship Center, POSTECH Entrepreneurship Center; and to Korea’s Small and Medium Business Administration, Daegu Metropolitan City, Daegu Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, whose generous support made this event possible.
In addition to the open session presentations and discussions around entrepreneurship education methodologies and local government initiatives, GEN convened an internal Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) meeting for members and prospective members to update on collaborative research projects.
Official Hotel of the GEC+
Hotel Inter-Burgo Exco
Homepage image credit: Flickr, Ara Seong