President, Global Entrepreneurship Network
Jonathan Ortmans is founder and president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), a platform of programs and initiatives to help new firms start and scale while working to create one global entrepreneurial ecosystem. GEN is headquartered in Washington, DC, and operates in 160 countries where it helps people unleash their ideas and turn them into promising new ventures—creating jobs, unearthing innovations for society and strengthening economic stability around the world. Ortmans launched GEN’s cornerstone initiative, Global Entrepreneurship Week, in 2008 alongside former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and leadership of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Each November since then, millions of people participate in GEW events, activities and competitions. Through the program, he quickly assembled the broad multi-disciplinary coalition that is the backbone of GEN, including entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and affiliated support organizations. Ortmans also created and chairs the Global Entrepreneurship Congress that assembles approximately 5,000 delegates each spring to collaborate on effective approaches to advancing entrepreneurial growth. He launched the first GEC in 2009 in Kansas City at the Kauffman Foundation. Since that time, he has chaired its gatherings in Dubai, Liverpool, Medellin, Milan, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai. Trained as an economist, with two startups and exits under his belt, Ortmans serves on the boards of several non-profits including the Center for Entrepreneurship in Moscow. He blogs regularly on high-growth entrepreneurship at genglobal.org and has emerged as a chief global strategist in building startup ecosystems around the world. Ortmans lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and three young children.