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Our Global Meetup is more than just an event. It’s a celebration. It’s a chance to build connections, to learn and to share knowledge. It’s a place where business meets pleasure, and much more. But what does Global Meetup mean to the people who have built it? Why does it exist, and where it is heading? Today we sat down with co-founder and global director of Get in the Ring, Jochem, and asked him 10 questions about what Global Meetup means to the people who built it, and how it can unlock business opportunities.

This is what he had to say…

Q1: Jochem you just got back from Portugal, the big question of course is: is Cascais ready for Get in the Ring?

Cascais is definitely ready. It’s incredible to see how much work is being put into making this edition of the Global Meetup a great success. After the Global Meetup last year in Singapore we directly started working on this years meetup. Together with the team of DNA Cascais we’ve been discussing the exact program, arranging the locations, inviting the first speakers and so on. This and next month is all about having the final startups to be selected and visitors to be registered and then we can really kick-off.

Q2: What does the Global Meetup mean to you?

Everyone has a different reason for joining Global Meetup. But one thing that stands out for me is the incredible international character. In one place you can meet so many different people from different places. That is what makes it so unique.

I believe that our true focus is on the startups – they are the most important participant of the event. That differentiates us a lot. For many events startups are a nice add-on or by-product of the event. For us our success is the success of the startups. They are the people that we believe to be our heroes.

Q3: Why is the Global Meetup hosted in a different place every year?

I’m lucky enough to see the impact innovation has around the world. I believe in building international networks and have experienced first-hand the value in experiencing other cultures and collaborating with entrepreneurs from different countries. After our first meetup in Rotterdam we realized that not only the startups should travel to experience this, but also our meetup. This would bring an extra dimension to the meetup. Making it much more a community event, giving our network the opportunity to explore new ecosystems every time they join us.

Q4: Why did we choose Cascais this year?

When we’re deciding where to host Global Meetup, we look for local Governments and partners who are dedicated to supporting an entrepreneurial ecosystem and want to show the world what opportunities they have on offer. This is exactly why we’re in Cascais this year. Our partner is totally committed to hosting what will be the entrepreneurial retreat of the year.

Q5: A big part of the Global Meetup is about unlocking business opportunities, what does that actually mean?

Everyone who attends has a reason for being there – either they are looking for collaborations, they want to invest, they want to learn, they want to make connections… every conversation you have is a potential business opportunity. But there’s a lot more to building connections than just introducing random people and hoping there’s a spark. At Global Meetup you make lasting business partnerships because our team work hard to make sure that happens. Before the event we put effort into getting large organizations and governments interested in working together with startups and unlock business opportunities by making them ready to collaborate.

We schedule meetings for all participants upfront based on their interest to increase the chance of a good match. We put a lot of effort in having fun with each other, since we believe this is the foundation for a good relationship.

We do all of these things to increase the chance of people doing business together and solving real challenges. That’s what unlocking business opportunities is all about.

Q6: We’ve seen a session on Public procurement of Innovation..Boring. Why are we doing that?

Governments play a huge role in stimulating innovation ecosystems and giving startups opportunities to scale. I wanted to create a session where public procurement professionals, policy makers and startups come together to share experiences, discuss challenges and co-create input for developing effective frameworks. I hope that by doing this, more organisations will realise the benefit of working with startups and will give startups the insights needed to successfully deal with governments.

Q7: What are you most excited about?

I like to surprise people. We’re experts in finding solutions you never knew existed, then convincing Governments, organisations and investors that they need to work with them. Some of the best partnerships are sparked between people who never would have met without our help. These are the collaborations that are making a true impact.So I’m excited to introduce ideas that make people stop and think.

Q8: Do you already have a favourite startup?

I don’t pick favourites… but we have some really cool startups coming from all over the world. One team in Sudan has create a glove that translates sign language into spoken languages – so those with difficulty speaking can communicate to the rest of the world. How amazing is that?

Q9: Why is the Global Meetup not an event with thousands of visitors?

People are always surprised by how selective we are when it comes to Global Meetup attendees. We do this because we want to add real value to everyone who joins. We want to give people access to real opportunities and create a cohesive group with people who are willing to make change.

Q10: Any last advice for people that didn’t register yet?

You don’t want to miss out on the fun. So register.