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In partnership with the U.S. State Department, InBIA is excited to bring BIG Summit back to the 33rd International Conference on Business Incubation.

What is BIG Summit?


During BIG Summit, the U.S. State Department will run its Sister to Sister matchmaking program, which matches attendees one-on-one with peers from international organizations to create key partnerships and collaborations to help startups expand into foreign markets. The goal of these meetings is to enhance international collaboration and draft new partnership plans while identifying potential areas of collaboration and exchanges with other small business assistance centers, especially those in the Western Hemisphere (there are grant opportunities currently available to supplement Latin American organizations’ travel).

In addition to the one-on-one matchmaking, this years’ BIG Summit will feature new interactive small group discussion sessions on 8 topic areas essential to entrepreneurship centers around the world.  In these sessions, small groups of entrepreneurship centers from around the world will gather around topics of interest to share best practices, success stories, shared struggles and offer solutions to each other.  After each group discussion, important findings will be shared with the remaining attendees.  Some topics to be included as focus areas of the small group discussion sessions will be: Marketing, Funding, Mentorship, Soft Landing, Center-to-Center Collaborations, Government Relations, Operations, and Developing programming for your clients.

Regardless of where attendees are traveling from, this is an unparalleled opportunity to establish vital connections with global leaders that will enable early-growth stage companies in your community to expand into international markets.


BIG Summit will be an interactive day to:


  • Learn about sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem models
  • Network with ecosystem builders from across the globe
  • Develop partnerships with peer entrepreneurship centers (attendees are encouraged to organize their profile with the U.S. State Department before BIG Summit begins)
  • Provide a bridge for entrepreneurs to access international markets


Target Audience:

Entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders who are passionate about building international connections.


Expected Audience:

Over 100 entrepreneurial economic development leaders from every region of the world.




8-9am: Morning Coffee and Registration

9am-9:15am: Big Summit Kick Off & Welcoming Remarks

  • Charles Ross, President & CEO, InBIA
  • Jack Henkel, Director of Programs, InBIA
  • Brett Hamsik, U.S. Department of State

9:15am – 10:00am: Small group round-table discussion session #1

10:00am – 10:30am: Break

10:30am – 11:15am: Panel: Innovation and Ecosystem Development Strategies Around the World

  • Miosotis Rivas Pena, CENPROMYPE
  • Alexandre Barros, São José dos Campos Tech Park
  • Brett Hamsik, U.S. Department of State

11:15am – 12:00pm: One on One Matchmaking #1

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch and Keynote

  • Javier Echarri, Executive Director, EBN

1:00pm – 1:45pm: Small group round-table discussion session #2

1:45pm – 2:30pm: One on One Matchmaking #2

2:30pm – 3:00pm: Break

3:00pm – 3:45pm: Small group round-table discussion session #3

3:45pm – 4:30pm: One on One Matchmaking #3

4:30pm – 4:45pm: Closing