Jessica Manins experiences the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Jessica at the GES Summit. Photo credit: Jessica Manins.

The Embassy was honored to send two of New Zealand’s leading entrepreneurs – Jessica Manins (ProjectR Director) and Alexia Hilbertidou (Founder of GirlBoss) – to the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India late last year.

In the coming week, we’ll highlight Jessica’s and Alexia’s personal experiences at GES 2017. First up Jessica…

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Guest blog post by Jessica Manins

I recently experienced the most diverse conference I’ve ever been to. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Jessica (left) and Alexia. Photo credit: Jessica Manins.
Jessica (left) and Alexia. Photo credit: Jessica Manins.

With over 50% delegates being females at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted in Hyderabad by the Indian and United States Government, I was extremely fortunate to be selected to attend and meet a handful of these incredible innovators.

Female entrepreneurs from across the globe met over biryani (Hyderabad’s famous local dish) shared knowledge during workshops and networked during evening dinners and incredible local performances.

Pitch time! At GES. Photo credit: Jessica Manins.
Pitch time! At GES. Photo credit: Jessica Manins.

I was lucky to meet over fifty people personally,  including a Fintech company from Italy making it easy to invest ( similar to New Zealand’s Sharesies) and an inventor of a surf life-saving robot to name just two!

Along with a number of talks, panels and a pitch competition there were a small handful of Indian entrepreneurs showcasing their work in the demo area.  One of these companies was focused on wellbeing, a topic close to my heart having been the Director of a wellbeing application and now leading a project to use VR to reduce anxiety, pain and depression.   It was great to experience their work and reflect on the high quality of content and ideas we have coming out of Aotearoa.

Virtual Reality was a major feature at GES 2017. Photo credit: Jesscia Manins.

Virtual Reality was a major feature at GES 2017. Photo credit: Jesscia Manins.
Virtual Reality was a major feature at GES 2017. Photo credit: Jesscia Manins.

I also had the pleasure of meeting several other companies working in the VR space including Ashutosh Jhaber from U.S. company Oculus, who gave some solid advice to the entrepreneurs working in the VR space.  He admitted it’s still very early, we are a few years away from mass consumer adoption and, as early adopters and leaders, we need to “learn on someone else’s dime” while we develop our own IP.  Exactly what the tenants in ProjectR are doing.

At one of the many GES sessions. Photo credit: Jessica Manins.
At one of the many GES sessions. Photo credit: Jessica Manins.

Keeping up with innovations that are happening on a global stage is vitally important.  I am very grateful to The U.S. Embassy for enabling me to attend. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year and this summit has given me the focus and energy to move forward into 2018 with a passion and drive to make a change.