In advance of every G20 Leaders’ Summit, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20YEA) brings together hundreds of the world’s top young entrepreneurs, to advance youth entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth and innovation.
The Summit is a critical opportunity for attendees to advance their businesses, make international connections, and explore international growth. This week, Newfoundlander Dana Parsons will be one of 35 young Canadians to participate in 2017’s G20YEA summit in Berlin, Germany.
Parsons believes a knowledge-based economy is key to NL’s future. She’s a chapter lead with Ladies Learning code in NL, and works with Genesis Labs to accelerate company development in NL’s technology sector.
Dana is also a co-founder and CEO of Brownie Points Inc., an app that helps you “stay in the loop with your favourite places, and rewards you for supporting them” that has evolved to “a machine learning and AI powered customer relationship management software.”
The app has over 24,000 users. “We are on year four and couldn’t be more excited about what we’re quietly building behind the scenes. Stay tuned.”
2017’s G20YEA summit is titled, Digital Trends for Future Business. Each year, exports make up about 30% of Canada’s gross domestic product, but the vast majority of Canadian companies do not trade globally. The G20YEA Summit was established to help young entrepreneurs explore expansion and growth opportunities outside of their local markets.
Over four days, these 35 young Canadian entrepreneurs will participate in a variety of business-building, policy-making and networking activities.
“There’s also some pretty cool opportunities like German Tank Driving I am personally eyeing,” Parsons says, “but the Business to Business meetings are invaluable. While we all work in tech, there’s still nothing which replaces good old face to face meetings, especially with an ice cold Hefeweizen!”
For Parsons, this opportunity was an opportunity to leverage one trip for three organizations: Genesis: An Innovation Hub for High Growth Technology Ventures, where she is the Venture Lead, Ladies Learning Code, of which she is the Chapter Lead for NL, and the aforementioned Brownie Points.
“For LLC, which offers beginner friendly coding workshops, the G20YEA’s focus on Digital Trends globally will enable me to bring back information to our organization … the information we gather on a global basis can be used to guide our national organization.”
“At Genesis we aim to create globally competitive technology ventures, so it’s important to have a good understanding of what’s going on across the globe. We will be visiting Techstars Berlin, SAP’s European headquarters, and participating in a real boxing ring — no kidding!”
Get in the Ring is a world class boxing match of sorts for tech start ups. “You go smack for smack with other start ups on elements of your business idea, it’s a cool spin on traditional pitch competitions. Like LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out, blaring between company pitches.”
She’s also excited about going to expand her network and business opportunities for Brownie Points. And of course, to take in Berlin. She went there for a solo vacation earlier this year.
“I know the lay of the land, and I can help out other Canadian delegates planning. Berlin is an amazing city, lots of history, culture, and the River Spree means you’re never too far from water.”
“Two awesome facts about Berlin,” Parsons says, “The S-Bahn and U-Bahn (public transportation) runs on the honours system: there are no ticket checks or turnstiles in the stations. And graffiti is everywhere, and it’s beautiful.”