Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the City of Medellin

This blog post is part of a series of  real-time blogs, which review and reflect upon the ideas and discussions which have surfaced during the sessions which GLI team members have been present at during the GEC.

By Winnie Liu


Jonathan Ortmans (the chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress) discussed the future of one global entrepreneurial ecosystem and GEC activities. In a city previously ridden by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, Medellin has transformed dramatically into a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports partnerships between new and old players, as well as educational institutions that encourage entrepreneurial mindsets. The importance of entrepreneurship to job creation and economic growth is widely recognised by policymakers; yet, one of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs today, is securing the funding to create or grow their businesses.

The fact that the number of diverse accelerators are growing rapidly and continuing to innovate,  is hugely encouraging. Although major KPIs include exits, survival, and satisfaction rates when evaluating new startups, more public founders also seek to identify what difference they make to the public ecosystem.

Entrepreneurs today are part of a revolution in value creation and are able to do much more with less resources.

Accelerators have made a huge contribution to growth in other nations and Medellin could follow similar successes. For example when looking on a wider global scale, there has been an increase in targeted small businesses receiving aid in developing countries such as through state venture capital programs to put new ideas, innovation and creativity into action. In Medellin, the improvements in infrastructure and transport have, in comparison to other Latin American countries, helped to propel this nation to promote startups, whilst launching appealing public incentives to attract FDI. Colombia already prides itself on being one of the most innovative startup ecosystems, yet massive potential is still waiting to be unlocked. The challenge is then, to let more people know just how much potential this land has.



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