Global Entrepreneurship Congress Recap

What happens when you gather 2000 delegates and changemakers from 123 countries along with 150 Government agencies and 40 Government Ministers from around the world? You get inspiration, ideas, innovation and very importantly cross cultural, border and diverse connections. 

Over 3 days from Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 September 2023, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) was held in Melbourne. The GEC is hosted in different countries where attendees work together to build one global ecosystem – creating a community for entrepreneurs and supporters. It strengthens and connects local and national ecosystems, brings huge amounts of human capital and global resources together in one place – connection local entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem builders with their global counterparts. 

Nine (9) of the Canberra Innovation Network team were amongst a team of 20+ that represented Canberra to learn the power of entrepreneurship and innovation, how to harness the entrepreneurial spirit and open pathways to global collaboration. GEC was a catalyst for firmly placing Australia and Canberra on the map for innovation and ecosystem building.  

Participants had an opportunity to attend lectures, panels and fireside chats that were of interest to them with the opportunity to make valuable connections in networking events. Panellists spoke on topics from public policy to hating failure but doing it anyway. From how Greek mythology can create the pathway for future technology trends and how to celebrate the unsung heroes in your story. 

On the last day, three of our own, Kelly, Irene and Petr shared some insights from Canberra about how collaborative innovation can invigorate a community and help bring creative solutions. The session was well attended and the connections that were made at GEC and since the end of the Congress have been amazing. CBRIN is looking forward to what local, national and international collaborations will eventuate. 

Keep reading to learn the key takeaways CBRIN team took from the Congress.


  • When building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, we want to ask, “Who’s NOT in the room?”  Work out how to find them and invite them! 
  • The rise of technology is happening concurrently with a rise in meditation, breathwork, etc.  As we position ourselves in the virtual world, we are also exploring a heightened sense of “self” in space. 
  • Sci-fi and storytelling is a way for humans to build a “tech wish list”.  (What do humans want, what do we build our stories around) 
  • CBRIN is already far down the road of innovation ecosystem building; I was generally able to mentally tick off every recommendation for action or development offered in the sessions.  Like, “yep, we’re already doing that!” 


  • Its powerful to talk to our peers about how we directly and indirectly help entrepreneurs, conversations lead to new insights. 
  • I was particularly inspired by the launchvic 30×30 program with ways to further develop how we engage with scale-up companies 
  • I was reminded the power of purpose and values as the cornerstone of thriving communities 


  • “Traction is the key that unlocks the kingdom” – I loved this quote as it really emphasises the importance of taking action, doing customer conversations and focusing on putting an idea under pressure. 
  • Canberra is a great place to build a business! It was really inspiring to hear about how other places around the world support entrepreneurs and we came away with lots of new ideas, but it also helped solidify that the Canberra ecosystem is really fortunate to have such support from local government, engaged education institutions and fantastic people who are genuine about helping others. 


  • How important it is to have “connectors” who can help people build their networks 
  • Less gatekeeping, more collaboration will help the innovation and entrepreneurial world thrive and grow 
  • Being experienced in business does not always translate well to exec roles in a startup/scaleup – there are different challenges, or the same challenges, but need a different approach  
  • Overall, I found the conference validated that CBRIN is ticking the boxes but also going above and beyond. I would say we’re ahead of the curve in a lot of ways. We are constantly looking to understand our community  
  • One talk mentioned the quote by Jeff Bezos “All overnight success takes 10 years”. I love this as a warm reminder to entrepreneurs that it takes hard work and perseverance, find your network who will support you and encourage you through the harder times on the path to success.  


  • Deep tech is an emerging trend globally as the startup ecosystem evolves beyond SaaS – which is exciting for the Canberra innovation community.  
  • It was validating to hear about challenges and methods from ecosystem leaders around the world – we have similar challenges in Canberra, but we’re actually doing the right things and having the right ingredients in place to support our community. 
  • Canberra is starting to build our reputation as a city of innovation! I met a lot of investors and ecosystem leaders from across Australia and internationally. People know about the great companies and people coming out of Canberra.  


  • I found these quotes quite inspiring: “An invention isn’t an innovation until it is commercialized” and “Disruption doesn’t come from innovation, it comes from adoption” 
  • Meeting people from around the world with a similar focus and drive was highly motivating! It made the idea of reaching out to the world feel tangible. 
  • How prevalent AI will become in every industry and how quickly this will be adopted.
  • There are so many connections out there and so many people willing to help, it is just being able to make those connections, which was a huge benefit of the GEC.


  • Our planet is in trouble and needs help. Entrepreneurship is now more important than ever before to offer more rapid and more impactful solutions. 
  • We are entering a new era of shared value creation. Open sourcing technologies and application of collective impact will be critical in tackling some of the biggest challenges our planet faces. We need to challenge the current “tall-poppy – jelousy – protectionism” thinking by creating an antipole of “trust and positivity”. 
  • Entrepreneurs are propelled, enabled and empowered by the magnitude of the problems they focus on solving. The impact of the size of our goals on our performance, motivation and purpose is profound. 
  • Every company will be an AI company. 


  • We should FIND, FUND & FOLLOW the entrepreneurs of the future. Get out of their way and let them do what they need to with through capital, support and advice. 
  • Connect your values with how you make decisions. This will help to drive your passion. 
  • Everyone has a story to tell … there is always an individual uniqueness. 
  • Impact can be measured by proving, showing and demonstrating. 


  • You can know a lot, but you can always know more
  • Entrepreneurship is the human desire to control your own destiny
  • Building a company is like a full-contact sport
  • Make sure you appreciate the “unsung” heroes in your entrepreneurial journey. Your first investor, past employer who supported you, family and friends who believed in you.
  • Attending community events as a founder is great for the following reasons:
    • Visibility for yourself and your brand
    • Get inspired
    • Learn and refine soft skills
    • Create long lasting connections
    • Sense of comfortability
    • Join a community