The first global peer exchange meetup at InnoCampus in Biel brought together managers of business/startup support organisations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, Switzerland and Vietnam. The meetup provided a unique platform to exchange on hands-on experiences to drive entrepreneurship in different countries, to exchange on international best practices, share ideas and to get to know other like-minded people.
The program included several thematic sessions – from building a successful entrepreneurship ecosystem, mentoring, designing acceleration programs, financing startups and how to establish meaningful cooperation with existing companies, to storytelling about entrepreneurship. Swiss peers joined each session and enriched the workshops / peer discussions with insights from the Swiss ecosystem and personal experiences. In return, the Swiss could see efforts made in other countries to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs.
The mentoring afternoon was also open to interested members of the diaspora to learn more about the program’s mentoring approach and to get to learn business support organisations in their home countries who set up mentor networks. A good / impressive number of interested diaspora members made use of this possibility and as a result fist good steps for a continuing collaboration were defined.
The participants highly appreciated the networking opportunities and to be able to share experiences and ideas, as well as to learn more about the Swiss ecosystem. In particular, the deep exchange with the Swiss peers and their hands-on and unvarnished exemplification of what is takes to build a successful accelerator model. The matter that most participants suggested to have more experts on board next time, shows the eagerness to absorb lessons from others.