The Digital Age: Opportunities for Start-ups and Scale-ups

This blog has been re-posted from the Global Entrepreneurship Congress website where it was originally featured. You can read the original blog here.

By Jon Harvey direct from the GEC, Medellin.

March 2016


In a rapidly advancing world where innovation is at the forefront of the entrepreneurial revolution, Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776, suggests we have merely scratched the surface of technology. Society is only grabbing the low hanging fruit of the technological tree.

Harris spoke about what’s next in global innovations during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Medellín, Colombia. She also serves as a Global Entrepreneurship Network board member.

Every second, three startups are formed all over the world, which equates to nearly one million per year. Entrepreneurs are having a much bigger impact today, and opportunities are there for those looking to upend the global economy, utilising a framework by which one solves their own economic challenges.

The formal institutions and regulations by which we work as entrepreneurs did not consider the current technological revolution – it is creating uncertainty in ways that could not have been predicted.

In fact, the global entrepreneurial society is recreating the rules of engagement that have applied since the industrial revolution. It now sees the world through an entrepreneurial lens of collaboration, transparency and creating social value through a bottom up approach.

Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles, spoke at the GEC on scaling business ventures. He furthered the conversation on collaboration by demonstrating the importance of age and maturity of a business with regards to scaling up. He notes that neither Apple nor Starbucks, both huge global brands, grew to anywhere near their current size before their 25th year of establishment.

From this, he deduces that the creativity and innovation required for businesses to scale up can therefore manifest itself much later in a person’s life. This presents a very real opportunity for the current generation of entrepreneurs to excel within the technological age.

With the required technological capabilities, the current generation has the opportunity to scratch beneath the surface of the revolution and pick the fruits from higher on the tree.

However, this can only happen provided that an entrepreneur’s patience shines through, in order to develop a mind-set that is both technologically aware creative at the same time.

About Jon:

Originally hailing from Bath, Jon is a Masters student studying Entrepreneurship and Management at Sheffield University. Jon has a particular interest in social entrepreneurship and sustainability, as well as the study of entrepreneurship in the economies of developing countries.



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