The Global Entrepreneurship Network has announced that Melbourne will host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in March 2023. Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) delivered a successful bid to bring the annual congress to be held for the first time ever 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 to 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 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.
Melbourne’s leadership in startup policy and ecosystem development from around the world was recognised with LaunchVic’s CEO, Dr Kate Cornick was awarded the Global Policy Champion award at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Riyadh. The Compass Award for Policy Champions is given to the member of the GEN Policy community who has made the most significant contribution to advancing efforts to remove barriers to entrepreneurship through new policies, programs or changes to regulations at either the local, national or global level. Dr Cornick was selected for her exceptional leadership as the head of LaunchVic, the lead startup agency of Victoria, to accelerate the growth of the startup ecosystem through a broad set of policies to help startups grow and ensure a thriving early-stage investment landscape in Victoria
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.
MCB has an outstanding track record for securing and hosting some of the world's largest and most prestigious international conferences across a variety of fields, including health, medical, engineering, science, business, technology and community.
*The Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards 2020. 30 of the 100 Australian Young Entrepreneurs named come from Melbourne. Business News Australia