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:


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.


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:​


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:


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:


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:


Phil Auerswald, GERN Co-Chair, moderated a session on mapping and measuring national- and city-level ecosystems with:


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.



If you would like to learn more about GEN’s research work, please visit or contact Cristina Fernandez, GEN’s Vice President for Research and Policy at



Official Hotel of the GEC+
Hotel Inter-Burgo Exco

Official Venue of the GEC+
Exco (Daegu Exhibition & Convention Center)
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Homepage image credit: Flickr, Ara Seong