June 26, 2019

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 edition starts in The Hague

In the picture US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo participates in a meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

By Guido Lanfranchi.

On June 3rd, 2019, the Town Hall of The Hague hosted the introductory ceremony for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The gathering, co-organized by the Netherlands and the United States, is set to bring together 2,000 global leaders in entrepreneurship, innovation, investment, and policy.

Over a thousand talented entrepreneurs from 140 countries across the world, more than 300 large scale investors, a host of government leaders, and three days to build connections and networks among these different but interrelated, complementary worlds. This is the mission of the 9th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, set to take place in The Hague from June 3rd to June 5th, and aimed at fostering entrepreneurship all over the world. The final aim is nothing less than addressing the major challenges faced by our world, from health and water to connectivity and energy, from agribusiness and finance to women empowerment and innovative industries. 

The Hague, June 4th 2019 Opening plenary, dutch minister Sigrid Kaag. PHOTO MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS / MARTIJN BEEKMAN

The inaugural ceremony of the Summit took place in the Town Hall of The Hague, with top class keynote speakers. The Mayor of The Hague, Ms. Pauline Krikke, kicked-off the ceremony welcoming all participants to The Hague, “the city where the world feels home”. She praised the role of entrepreneurs all over the world, stressing their role in building a better future for all. In a moment in which the world faces many challenges – she said – “when I look around here, I am sure that we can meet those challenges”. 

Ms. Krikke then left the floor to the ceremony’s special guest, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Pompeo started by highlighting the role of the Dutch people in bringing entrepreneurship to the America, “including in a little settlement named new Amsterdam, toady’s New York”. A former businessman himself, Mr. Pompeo praised the bravery of entrepreneurs facing daily risks, and he called for governments around the world to create the right environment for entrepreneurs to thrive. Or, using his newly coined motto: “Let’s make entrepreneurship great again”. 

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2019, June 3-5 in The Hague

The introductory ceremony was then closed with the speech of Mr. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Noting the importance of entrepreneurial spirit for both the Netherlands and the US, PM Rutte welcomed the cooperation between the two countries in organizing the 9th edition of the Summit, which “has the longstanding tradition of building connections that make the world better, and at the same time make a healthy profit”. He stressed the importance of sustainability and innovation in facing current challenges, noting that “to solve tomorrow’s problems, we need fresh ideas and new solutions today”. 

The Hague, June 4th 2019 Opening plenary, Queen Maxima PHOTO MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS / MARTIJN BEEKMAN

After the end of the ceremony, the guests remained for a long time in the Town Hall, exchanging views on their fresh and innovative ideas, and building profitable connections among each other. Wondering around the Hall, one could find plenty of outstanding people and ideas. 

Alec Anderson, for instance, has pioneered a new milling system for the cereal industry. The aim of his company, Koolmill Systems Ltd, is to drastically improve rice production mechanisms, in order to satisfy the upcoming surge in rice demand worldwide. Newsha Ghaeli, President and Co-founder of Biobot Analytics, focuses instead on merging health issues and urban planning. By analyzing the presence of certain substances or viruses in sewage, her company’s aim is to map out diseases or drug consumption patterns in urban areas, with major potential benefits in terms of urban planning and health policy.

US Department of State Minister Michael Pompeo and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Nuno Muralha, from Portugal, also focuses on the health sector. The aim of his company, SurgeonMate, is to develop smart glasses for surgeons, which could dramatically improve surgeons’ learning capacity by creating a database with recordings of complex operations. The focus of Courtney Cole, a career in Fortune 500 businesses, is health too. His company, ForaHealthyMe Inc., develops software allowing patients to undertake pre- and post-surgery treatment from home, thus improving both the quality and the efficiency of Canada’s health sector. 

Mayor Krikke really had a point: looking around at the GES, one might really become more optimistic about the fact that the huge challenges we currently face can indeed be tackled. 

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