Professor Scott Stern Leads Workshop with Team Caldas, Colombia (Cohort 8) for 115 Stakeholders

May 16, 2022
  • First training workshop with one of the experts from the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP)
  • More than 100 attendees from the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Caldas in Cartagena

As part of the celebration of Manizales Más’ first decade, the alliance conducted its first open workshop for the members of the ecosystem in Cartagena, Colombia, under the methodology of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP). It has been ten years of working articulately and betting on the creation of a consolidated entrepreneurial ecosystem in Manizales, which has grown to have wider impact on the entire department of Caldas.

This important event was attended by 115 stakeholders from Caldas including entrepreneurs, university representatives, mentors, trainers, strategic allies, and public sector employees.

The workshop was facilitated by MIT expert Scott Stern, David Sarnoff Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Faculty Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and MIT REAP Co-Director. Professor Stern led the group through a rich program of concepts and methodological frameworks which the region will begin to adopt in its next phase of work, as well as his expertise in measuring and assessing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

The event also featured experts Claudia Aparicio, Managing Partner, and Juan Carlos Guáqueta, Learning Experience Director, from SingularityU Colombia, who led sessions on exponential technologies and how to apply them to solve major business challenges.

Marcela Escobar, Director of Manizales Más, highlighted this meeting as the starting point for initiating a transformation of the ecosystem, boosting it with innovation: “This year, we celebrate ten years of joint work, of betting on Manizales and making this city grow through the alliance; ten years of working toward the dream of having a dynamic entrepreneurship ecosystem through Manizales Más, where we have all believed, created, and grown under the same umbrella.”

The work of Manizales Más began in Babson College, a great ally and worldwide leader in entrepreneurship, which led Manizales Más to develop new methodologies and thought models and laid the foundation for the vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem that it boasts today, in which institutions and entrepreneurs believe.

“With our admission to the MIT program, we will be able to broaden the approach that we developed with Babson College. Our new strategy will extend to the entire department of Caldas, making it visible worldwide as a region that creates impact,” Escobar explained.

This big step places Manizales and Caldas in a new context in which, as an ecosystem, we will learn from leading methodologies that allow us to build the right platforms and drive growth through the innovation of companies, institutions, and their actors.

The wide participation in the training workshop highlights the support and commitment of the actors who are part of this ecosystem, including the academy, entrepreneurs, the government, mentors and coaches, and allied entities that seek a new opportunity to build knowledge, the city, and the region.

The workshop was held on March 7–8 in Cartagena.

MIT REAP is a global initiative that engages with communities around the world to boost Innovation-Driven Ecosystems (IDEs) and transform economies. Caldas, Colombia, is part of MIT REAP Cohort 8, which also includes the following regions:

  • Eastern Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Los Angeles, United States
  • Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Wallonia, Belgium