İstanbul is Ready for 10th Global Entrepreneurship Congress

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) will be host in Istanbul on April 16-19, 2018. GEC brings more than 3.000 delegates from 170 countries and more than 300 entrepreneurial eco-system experts to discuss economic and policy challenges around growing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

For the 10th GEC Istanbul press conference held in Hilton Bomonti in 5th of April, TIM Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi, GEC18IST İstanbul Organization Committee Head Ali Sabancı, The Platform's General Manager Didem Altop, Endeavor Chairman Emre Kurttepeli, Habitat Chairman Sezai Hazır and TOBB Vice Chairman Ender Yorgancılar meet the press members.

The slogan of the Congress that will take place on 16-19 April is "CONSTRUCT A GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM"

Chairman of Turkish Exporters Assembly Mehmet Büyükekşi emphasized that the “Representatives of more than 71 thousand exporters as Turkey Exporters Assembly, with high value-added export growth in 2023 in line with our goal to increase our share in global trade, we attach great importance to innovation and entrepreneurship. We are aware of the importance of entrepreneurship to reach our sustainable export targets.” He added: “We initiated a large number of important studies in order to bring many unicorn from Turkey until 2023 and to make Istanbul first a regional and then global entrepreneurship center, a hub. By GEC18IST, we will bring together all the stakeholders of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Istanbul on April 16-19.”

GEC18IST Platform President Ali Sabancı said in his speech: "After 2 year preparation process, GEC18IST has evolved into an important platform for collaboration on behalf of Turkey's entrepreneurial ecosystem. The strategic partners of the Congress were Koç Holding and Sabancı Holding, while the Airline Sponsor was Pegasus Airlines. The support of a total of 65 institutions, the congress takes place with a budget of 1.6 million Euros. On April 16-19, we will set the entrepreneurship agenda all over the world together in Istanbul. For Turkey to take part in the global entrepreneurship ecosystem actively and efficiently, this joint solidarity movement began with GEC18IST must turn into a real platform" He said.

GEC Platform General Manager Didem Altop said: "Throughout the congress, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Istanbul, international business and entrepreneurship world leaders like Muhtar Kent (Coca Cola Chairman), Guy Peri (P&G Chief Data Officer), Fadi Ghandour (Wamda Capital Chairman), Jeff Hoffman (Colorjar Chairman), Yossi Vardi (4 Years From Now Chairman), Daniel Isenberg (President of Babson University Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project), Christopher Schroeder (Investor and Writer of the “Startups Rising” book), Kristen Schrieber (President of the EU Commission on SMEs and Politics), Alex Salkever (Futurist and "The Driver in the Driverless Car" Book), Zainab Salbi (#MeToo Women's Movement Pioneer) will take the stage at GEC18IST.

In GEC, there will be more than 150 sessions and many different activities such as panels that will discuss the main sessions as well as industry and ecosystem trends, learning hubs that will share subject-based research and case studies, workshop hubs where workshops will take place and field visits to create networking opportunities ." said.

 About GEC:

The Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) is a gathering of startup champions from around the world—where entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other thought leaders work together to help bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. 

The GEC brings together thousands of delegates from 170 countries to discuss economic and policy challenges around growing entrepreneurial ecosystems. With live events featuring the latest, best-in-class programming and research, GEC is a unique opportunity to meet fellow practitioners and stay apprised of new ideas, insights and developments. This annual event – hosted by a new entrepreneurial city each spring - is designed so that delegates return home with fresh ideas, tools and connections to leverage in their pursuit of forward-leaning entrepreneurship support efforts.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the GEC will be host in Istanbul on April 16-19, 2018. Previous GEC city hosts have included: Kansas City (2009), Dubai (2010), Shanghai (2011), Liverpool (2012), Rio de Janeiro (2013), Moscow (2014), Milan (2015), Medellin (2016) and Johannesburg (2017).

This milestone event aims to raise the bar of the congress to position it as the “Davos of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders” for the next decade. The congress will feature numerous parallel tracks and networking platforms for sharing and inspiration, learning and exploration and aligning and reflection. Throughout the program, GEC 2018 will focus on three main themes, including:

  • Innovation Culture: From the individual to institutions to society
  • Zero Barriers: From personal mindsets to systemic discrimination to engrained cultural hurdles
  • Exponential Thinking: From incremental to disruptive innovations in how we live, work and interact

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, this year's gathering aims to honor past country hosts and raise the bar even further by designing and delivering a truly inspirational and robust program for peer-to-peer sharing, exploring, learning and networking among entrepreneurship ecosystem builders around the world. With roughly 3,000 participants representing 170 countries, GEC 2018 features something for everyone.

Detailed program and registration:

Turkish Web Site:

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