Global Entrepreneurship Week is now celebrated in 150 countries by millions of participants through more than 25,000 events and competitions, Global Entrepreneurship Week is the pump fuelling an emerging network dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses.
From the opening ceremony in Athens, Greece, to the official closing at the Startup Nations Summit in Seoul, Korea, GEW provided something for everyone. Inspirational speeches from successful entrepreneurs to encourage future founders. Pitch competitions to help entrepreneurs sharpen their skills and compete for resources. Networking sessions to connect nascent entrepreneurs with potential collaborators, mentors and investors. Summits and roundtables to explore effective policies and programs to promote entrepreneurial growth. And more.
Cities of all sizes around the world hosted multiple events throughout the week. Kansas City, home of the Kauffman Foundation which founded GEW in 2008, held an impressive 70 events for a mid-size city (population 450,000). Topping the charts for the world’s largest cities is London (population 8.3 million) with an amazing 240 events.
Additional facts and figures will be made available through the GEW Impact Report that is scheduled to be released at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress next March. In the meantime, here are just a few of the highlights:
Creative Business Cup
Creative entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries pitched their projects to an international jury during the Creative Business Cup finals in Denmark, as part of a three-day celebration of entrepreneurs in creative fields. CTAdventure, a Polish startup re-imagining education by involving users in a creative learning process in important areas such as chemistry, physics, and maths using modern technology like augmented reality, took home the top prize.
Get in the Ring
After battling some of the world’s most promising startups in one-on-one pitch battles, Indonesian startup eFishery won the Get in the Ring global finals in the Netherlands last week. The startup takes a data-driven approach to automatic fish feeding. Its smart aqualife feeding system can sense the fish’s appetite and be monitored and controlled through a smartphone or tablet connected to a network. The product is aimed toward large-scale hatchery operations that require efficient feeding solutions.
Global Entrepreneurship Index
A new Global Entrepreneurship Index that ranks 130 countries on the strength of their startup ecosystems and plots the data on interactive maps was a main topic of conversation at policy-driven GEW events in places like Seoul, Korea where the Startup Nations Summit is still winding down Global Entrepreneurship Week with leaders from 45 Startup Nations efforts among 2,500 participants.
Global Entrepreneurship Policy Survey
Each year, GEW Global conducts a survey of current and potential high-growth entrepreneurs to better understand the local climate to start and scale firms in more than 30 countries around the world. The GEW Policy Survey is currently collecting data in 19 languages. Results will be presented during next spring’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan.
Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs & Business Angels
Isreali startup Breezometer, an app that measures real-time air quality and provides health recommendations to its users, emerged from a field of more than 600 startups from 38 countries to win the 2014 Startup Open.
Fellow Israeli startup AutoAgronom won this year’s Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition. The startup has developed smart irrigation and fertilization control systems that allow the grower to significantly increase yields while saving up to 50 percent of water and up to 70 percent of fertilizers.
1776 Challenge Cup
The 1776 Challenge Cup is a global startup competition taking place in 16 cities across 11 countries to identify the most promising startups involved in solving the biggest challenges in four categories – education, energy, health and cities. The global tournament is in full swing with regional finals happening into the spring followed by global finals in Washington, D.C.
DECA Idea Challenge
The DECA Idea Challenge 2014 asked competitors to collaborate to generate a new item based on newspaper, this year’s mystery item, and then pitch their invention in a creative 3-minute YouTube video presentation. Winners will be announced in January.
Global Entrepreneurship Summit
In Marrakesh, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet were on hand at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco, to demonstrate U.S. government support for entrepreneurs around the world. Government engagement throughout GEW was at an all-time high with more than 150 heads of state and ministers from more than 75 countries actively involved.
VC4Africa &CofoundersLab GEW Meetups
On November 20, 2014, VC4Africa members and supporters came together in over 40 cities in Africa, Europe, the US and Asia – to talk Africa, innovation and investment. The VC4Africa meetupsmobilized 2,500 people around the world.
CoFoundersLab brought together entrepreneurs at all stages looking for co-founders to meet, mingle and talk shop.
Future Agro Challenge
Greece kicked off GEW with Disrupt Startup ScaleUP in Athens. The conference hosted a number of competitions including the global finals of the Future Agro Challenge which announced Bermuda Aerial, an innovative startup from Bermuda, as their champion.
The six winners of the 2014 Talent Unleashed awards flew to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg, South Africa for all-expenses paid, four-day entrepreneurship and networking workshop during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
World Series of Innovation
The World Series of Innovation called for participants to select one of NFTE’s seven innovation challenges, hosted by brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft and the International Red Cross, and come up with a new, unique, innovative product or service to address a market niche. Voting will begin in January 2015.
Global Startup Battle
During the weekend prior to and following GEW, hundreds of Startup Weekend events were hosted around the world with regional and thematic team competitions. Champion winners will receive two free trips to the GEC Milan from GEW. Follow the battle online for updates.
StartUp Cup launched WECreate Islamabad in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Global Entrepreneurship Program. WECreate is a women’s entrepreneurial center of resources, education, access and training for economic empowerment and is a physical community center. New WECreate centers were announced in three locations in Sub-Saharan Africa and one in the Lower Mekong.
Beyond a week-long flurry of activity, this globalization of entrepreneurship has brought an exciting explosion of programs, startup communities and investments. While GEW is now in our rearview mirror, the Global Entrepreneurship Network continues its work to support the world’s entrepreneurs and will gather next March in Milan at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.