Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has delivered a successful bid to bring the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) to Melbourne in 2023 – the first time ever that the annual congress will be held in Australia. This gathering hosted in rising entrepreneurial cities will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, ecosystem builders and policymakers to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world.

Importantly, it will provide a significant platform for Melbourne’s most innovative minds share the secrets to their success on the global stage. Melbourne is Australia’s most innovative city, with almost a third (30%) of Australia’s top 100 young entrepreneurs hailing from Melbourne.

To be held over four days from 27 – 30 March 2023 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and managed by leading professional conference organiser MCI Australia, the GEC 2023 is expected to attract over 2,500 delegates from more than 170 countries, and foster collaboration to address challenges around growing entrepreneurial ecosystems and more effectively enable entrepreneurs everywhere. Julia Swanson, MCB Chief Executive said Melbourne has a proven track record in hosting world class business events and is renowned for its collaborative model.

“In addition to delivering $12.9 million in economic contribution to our State, the GEC 2023 will advance Melbourne’s already thriving entrepreneurial sector. It will bring the right people together to help get ideas off the ground and share insights and developments that will have a lasting impact on the community.”

As Australia’s knowledge, and innovation capital, Melbourne boasts more than 1,800 technology-based startups. The Victorian Government through LaunchVic, has led the development of a globally connected startup ecosystem in Victoria by funding programs that have played an instrumental role in driving this growth. Over $45 million is invested in grants, research, sponsorship, events and various programs, supporting more than 386 organisations and 4,800 entrepreneurs.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said, “Attracting large-scale international events such as GEC 2023 play a key role in helping to generate global attention for Australia’s world-class business events offering whilst also delivering short and long terms benefits to our tourism industry and economy more broadly.”

The GEC will highlight the strength and diversity of Melbourne’s innovation ecosystem, with themes for sectors including life sciences, manufacturing, space and defences, and agriculture, for technologies including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and Fintech, and areas of social impact including climate impact, food security, Indigenous and female entrepreneurship and investment, and regional entrepreneurship ecosystem sustainability.