The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), a brainchild of former US President Barack Obama, has come under the spotlight with President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka set to lead the US delegation for the eighth edition of the event that will be held in India later this year.
The summit, which was first organised in Washington DC in 2010, has since been hosted in Istanbul, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Marrakech, Nairobi, and the last one in 2016 in Silicon Valley.
A senior Niti Aayog official told The Indian Express that the dates and venue of the upcoming edition of the GES have not been finalised yet and that a call will be taken by the Union Cabinet.
Speaking at the White House after his meeting Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Trump said Ivanka had been invited to lead the US delegation of entrepreneurs. Later, Ivanka Trump posted on Twitter saying, “Thank you, Prime Minister Modi, for inviting me to lead the US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this fall.”
The plan to host GES 2017 in India was first announced during Modi’s US visit in June 2016 in a joint statement. “Recognising the importance of fostering an enabling environment for innovation and empowering entrepreneurs, the United States welcomes India’s hosting of the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit,” the statement said.
Later, in August, during the visit to India of then US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, a statement of intent was signed between India and the US to co-host the event. “India and the USA have agreed to co-host the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India, which will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, educators, government officials and business representatives from around the world, creating new opportunities for investments, partnerships and collaborations,” a joint statement by Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Prtizker said.
An email query sent to a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, seeking details about the dates and venue of GES 2017, did not elicit any response.
According to the US Department of State’s website, GES attempts to showcase entrepreneurs and investors from around the world, and connect American entrepreneurs and investors with their international counterparts. The information on the website adds that the summit typically includes a wide range of workshops, panels, ignite talks, pitch competitions, mentoring and networking sessions.
As per the GES 2016 agenda, the summit was addressed by Obama, along with other big names of the tech industry including the then CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Among the Indian names speaking at the summit, were Radha Ramaswami Basu, CEO of Bengaluru-based data services company iMerit; Sandhya Hegde, Sandhya Hegde of Vinod Khosla’s investment firm Khosla Impact; Neera Nundy, co-founder of Mumbai-based non-profit organisation Dasra; Sanwar Oberoi, co-founder of Bombay Hemp Company.
India’s own startup and entrepreneurship programme — Startup India — was held in January 2016, and was attended by global tech entrepreneurs and investors such as SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl, Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal, Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, among others.