Governments of India and the United States of America announced the eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad on 28-30 November 2017. The summit was adorned by Shri Narendra Modi, Prime minister of India and Ivanka Trump, Advisor to President of The US, who also headlined the US delegation to the summit. GES is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world.
The theme of this year’s GES was Women First, Prosperity for All, and it focused on supporting women entrepreneurs and their role in fostering economic growth globally. GES 2017 has created an environment that empowers innovators, particularly women, to take their ideas to the next level. Through two and a half days of networking, mentoring, and workshops, GES empowers entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, build partnerships, secure funding, innovate, and find their target customers; creating new goods and services that will transform societies.
The 3 days of GES inspired thousands of entrepreneurs, of which 53% were women, around the world to create and search for solutions, and in the process pave the way for innovation for a better future. The event generated terrific energy with 53 sessions, over 250 speakers, super-investor/entrepreneur interactions.
GES’17 served as a vital link between the two governments and the private sector and convened global participants to showcase projects, exchange ideas, and champion new opportunities for investment. This year is the first time GES was hosted in a South Asian country, and the event has highlighted India’s enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. Hyderabad, capital of Telangana state and the home to T-Hub, India’s largest startup incubator, has a robust startup ecosystem, the presence of major U.S. tech firms, and supportive government policies in place to facilitate emerging entrepreneurs.
The participants for this year GES had representation from every region of the world. Investors and representatives from organizations that support entrepreneurs were hand-picked to catalyze investment, networking, mentoring and hands-on activities. There was special emphasis on women entrepreneurs and the role they play in making communities more prosperous and secure through enterprise. There were a lot of interesting topics discussed at GES 2017, but what stood out most is the interest in India’s growth potential amongst the delegates for Education, Healthcare, Exports, New Age Technologies – Drone, Onset of the Smart Devices Era, Internet of Things (IoT), and Rise of the Renewables — Electric Vehicles
We At Z Nation Lab also got an opportunity to announce how we have entered into a consortium with Naya Ventures and BootUP Ventures to accelerate and fund startups in Telangana. Dallas based Venture Capital firm Naya Ventures, BootUP Ventures: A Silicon Valley Accelerator and Z Nation Lab – a startup accelerator in India have formed a consortium partnership to accelerate and fund technology startups from India. The Consortium backed by the Telangana Government is inviting startups from the state to apply for their Acceleration Program. Startups applying for the program will be first selected for a one-week bootcamp in India where they will be evaluated by experts from India and Silicon Valley on their product market fit, go to market strategy and ability to scale up globally. Each participant will get an opportunity to pitch their product and interact with the mentors and investors from across the globe. From the participants, 15 startups will then be picked up for the Bootcamp program in Silicon Valley, USA. The Selected startups will receive the following benefits during the program.
ZNL will bring in experience, mentors, and connections for startups to lean in and take advantage of opportunities, fast. With BootUP and Naya Ventures joining us, we will be able to do all that on a bigger scale and provide much wider connections across the globe.
We had a great experience at GES 2017. Entrepreneurship is essential to a thriving economy. It’s a good sign that India has taken a step forward in promoting entrepreneurship in this rapidly growing economy. I believe that more people will be encouraged by the initiatives taken by the government of India and become successful entrepreneurs. I personally came out of this, enriched and invigorated. Some thoughts on and for us women entrepreneurs that I brought back with me, and which encouraged me further:
It is very important that women support other women. It’s the only way ahead in terms of our own efforts – Kristina Davison, Co-Founder & MD iEurope Capital
Women’s labor force participation needs to be formalized so that it can contribute to the economy to its full potential – Manish Sabharwal, Chairman TeamLease
Women empowerment should be pursued like an agenda, especially in rural India. When one woman does well, a generation of inspired young women gets created – Dipali Goenka, CEO & JMD Welspun Group
And something for the other half to ponder over as well:
As men, we need to recognize barriers women face – like access to credit, the digital divide & certain stigmas that lock them out of the marketplace – USAID Mark Green
Relationships formed at past GES Summits have transcended industries and sectors and transformed ideas into enterprises, I would expect nothing less coming out of this.