WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) is excited to celebrate Startup Huddle chapters around the world during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2019.
Since its launch in 2016, Startup Huddle has provided a platform for hundreds of entrepreneurs to share their challenges with their local communities. It all began as an idea at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Medellin, Colombia. Entrepreneurs around the world were eager to connect with one another and share their challenges with one another, but there was a lack of opportunities to meet up and connect on a regular basis.
GEN decided to test out a model and conduct pilots in select cities through 2017. In 2018, we slowly introduced new cities and committed to the model. To date, we have launched more than 40 chapters in 30 countries and growing.
Startup Huddle educates, engages, and connects entrepreneurs on a regular basis. The format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators, and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
“One presenter learned about the Entrepreneurship World Cup through a Huddle, applied, and received coaching from our team, participated in Get in the Ring, won the pitch competition at the Caribbean Startup Summit in Barbados, and was selected as a global finalist for the Entrepreneurship World Cup. Three of our past presenters were also selected as semi-finalists for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) 2020 Fellowship.” shared Michelle N. Samuel, Lead Organizer of Startup Huddle St. Lucia.
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be honest and open about their businesses and the challenges they face. It is also a valuable experience for the community, providing a unique opportunity to network with people from backgrounds one might not typically meet.
“Many Startup Huddle attendees have landed internships and jobs at the presenters’ companies. For many, it’s a rare chance to meet the founders and CEOs of the most promising, innovative businesses. Twenty attendees have even started their own ventures because of their experience. People have become so confident in the quality and value of Startup Huddles that they even rely on them as a resource for learning about the latest investment, mentoring, and business opportunities,” shared Aasif Iqbal, Lead Organizer of Startup Huddle Dhaka in Bangladesh.
Startup Huddles are organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event. As a part of our onboarding process to train new chapters, we have a group of ambassadors who are committed to sharing their insights with other ecosystem builders around the world.
“Working with GEN on Startup Huddle the last 2 years has reinforced my belief that anyone, anywhere, can change their life, their family’s lives and their community’s future through innovative entrepreneurial effort. Startup Huddle provides an open, inclusive and diverse community space where all ideas are welcomed, supported and celebrated,” shared Tyler LeCompte, one of our Startup Huddle Ambassadors, also an organizer of 1 Million Cups Daytona Beach in the United States.
“As a founder of a company focused on finding and discovering “gaps” in ecosystems around the globe, I can attest, first-hand, the value of Startup Huddle. The program brings communities together to genuinely support startups in generating revenue instead of hyper-focusing on raising investment,” shared Lana Zumbrunn, another ambassador, also CEO and Founder of LevelUp Economy.
In the spirit of GEW, more than 20 chapters will be hosting Startup Huddles this week, including:
- Antananarivo, Madagascar
- Barcelona, Spain
- Bogotá, Colombia
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Dubai, UAE
- Islamabad, Pakistan
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Manila, Philippines
- Mohali, India
- Moscow, Russia
- N’Djamena, Chad
- Port Harcourt, Nigeria
- Quito, Ecuador
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- St. Lucia
- Veliky Novgorod, Russia
GEN also announced a new partnership with Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts this week to scale Startup Huddle into other chapters next year.
To learn more, visit startuphuddle.co or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.