By Jonathan Ortmans
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 17, 2014) — As the day started in Washington, DC, the first of day of the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress came to a close.
The entrepreneurship communities from 153 countries came to Moscow to bond on their common cause to unleash new ideas, remove roadblocks and solve problems in almost every imaginable realm. Following a welcome from Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, the GEC kicked off with thousands of delegates at the Research + Policy Summit.
The summit continued the conversation about smarter policymaking started at last year’s GEC and explored topics such as Entrepreneurial City Leaders, Championing Legislation for Early Stage Capital and Moving Toward Evidence-Based Policymaking.
Vivek Wadhwa, Vice President of Innovation and Research at Singularity University, provided the keynote address, leaving delegates with a hopeful message for entrepreneurship but also a warning. We live in the most innovative time in human history and have the potential to solve global problems, yet many of the companies based in Silicon Valley are creating apps that don’t come close. The next 10 – 20 years promise to be incredible, as entrepreneurs focus their energy on problem solving. We won’t need governments to solve our problems anymore; we will have entrepreneurs for that.
But entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones that can work toward a solution. During “Entrepreneurial City Leaders,” policy leaders from Argentina, Columbia, Italy and more highlighted government efforts to do more to create entrepreneurship-friendly policies.
Echoing the idea, Badlisham Ghazali, CEO of Multimedia Development Corporation of Malaysia, reminded delegates that they no longer need to convince governments that entrepreneurship can have a positive effect on economies—the argument has been accepted. Ghazali was highlighting the Kuala Lumpur Policy Roundtable paper developed in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation.
This year’s GEC marks the first time that the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) convened. Announced during last October’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur, GERN was formed to fill the gaps in entrepreneurial research as we move towards having more robust discipline towards helping entrepreneurs.
Beyond the Research + Policy Summit, there are more fringe events at this year’s GEC than at any Congresses before.
Entrepreneurs Who Are Heroes brought together experienced entrepreneurs nominated by GEW hosts, providing them with tools and inspiration to strengthen their ecosystems in their home countries.
Unleashing African Entrepreneurship featured 10 entrepreneurship advocates detailing the rapid advances being made throughout the continent.
The Startup Nations gathering was the latest conversation between startup communities and startup savvy policymakers looking to assist their growth through more evidence-based research. It was announced that a Startup Nations Summit would be held in Seoul, Korea later this year around Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.
There were many others—and there will be many more throughout the week. You can follow the conversation on Twitter using #GEC2014.