Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has delivered a successful bid to bring the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) to Melbourne in 2023 – the first time ever that the annual congress will be held in Australia. This gathering hosted in rising entrepreneurial cities will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, ecosystem builders and policymakers to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world.

Importantly, it will provide a significant platform for Melbourne’s most innovative minds share the secrets to their success on the global stage. Melbourne is Australia’s most innovative city, with almost a third (30%) of Australia’s top 100 young entrepreneurs hailing from Melbourne*.

To be held over four days from 27 – 30 March 2023 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and managed by leading professional conference organiser MCI Australia, the GEC 2023 is expected to attract over 2,500 delegates from more than 170 countries, and foster collaboration to address challenges around growing entrepreneurial ecosystems and more effectively enable entrepreneurs everywhere.

Julia Swanson, MCB Chief Executive said Melbourne has a proven track record in hosting world class business events and is renowned for its collaborative model.

“With support from the Victorian State Government and Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program, MCB and Global Entrepreneurship Network’s (GEN) Australian Chapter have brought together key stakeholders across the Australian startup ecosystem, including Startup Victoria, Invest Victoria, and Melbourne Connect, to deliver a successful bid proposition to the congress host association.

“In addition to delivering $12.9 million in economic contribution to our State, the GEC 2023 will advance Melbourne’s already thriving entrepreneurial sector. It will bring the right people together to help get ideas off the ground and share insights and developments that will have a lasting impact on the community.”

As Australia’s knowledge, and innovation capital, Melbourne boasts more than 1,800 technology-based startups. The Victorian Government through LaunchVic, has led the development of a globally connected startup ecosystem in Victoria by funding programs that have played an instrumental role in driving this growth. Over $45 million is invested in grants, research, sponsorship, events and various programs, supporting more than 386 organisations and 4,800 entrepreneurs.

Dr. Chad Renando, GEN Australia Managing Director said, “The GEC 2023 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring leaders from around the world to showcase Australia’s innovation ecosystem as we collectively leverage innovation and entrepreneurship to address global challenges. It could not happen at a better time, as Australia builds on year-on-year record venture investment coming out of a global pandemic.”

Tourism Australia is excited to be supporting the Global Entrepreneur Congress (GEC) in 2023 through its Business Events Bid Fund Program and congratulates Melbourne on its successful bid to host this high-profile event, which has the potential to deliver significant benefits for Australia.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said, “Attracting large-scale international events such as GEC 2023 play a key role in helping to generate global attention for Australia’s world-class business events offering whilst also delivering short and long terms benefits to our tourism industry and economy more broadly.”

Also commenting on the win, The Hon John Brumby AO, Chairman Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust said “MCEC is delighted to play a role in supporting Victoria’s entrepreneurial leadership and innovation; a cause close to my own heart. I believe this is a terrific opportunity to reinforce Victoria’s international reputation and standing, as a major exporter of ideas and innovation. This will be a cornerstone in MCEC’s events calendar, delivering vital capital not only in economic impact terms, but also knowledge sharing.”

The GEC will highlight the strength and diversity of Melbourne’s innovation ecosystem, with themes for sectors including life sciences, manufacturing, space and defences, and agriculture, for technologies including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and Fintech, and areas of social impact including climate impact, food security, Indigenous and female entrepreneurship and investment, and regional entrepreneurship ecosystem sustainability.

*The Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards 2020. 30 of the 100 Australian Young Entrepreneurs named come from Melbourne. Business News Australia https://www.businessnewsaustralia.com/articles/australia-s-top-100-young-entrepreneurs.html 14/12/2020

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Media enquiries: Laura Gleich, Melbourne Convention Bureau

T + 61 3 9002 2309/ E laura.gleich@melbournecb.com.au