Startup Nations Members


Startup Nations is a specialized, policy-focused community of the broader Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). 

The Startup Nations policy network is composed of individual entrepreneurship policy actors who are:

1. Working inside or in the close periphery of governments; and

2. Responsible for entrepreneurship policies as one of their core areas of responsibility, as shown in their samples on the Startup Nations Atlas of Policies; and

3. Interested in an open, thought-provoking exchange of policy experiences, ideas and lessons, as well as in learning about insightful new research and data to guide smarter policymaking.


Current active members of the Startup Nations policy network include:


  • Bruno Anagonou, Technical Consultant for SMEs of the Minister of Industry, Trade & Handicrafts, Benin
  • Junior Kalengula, Congolese Small & Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (OPEC), Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Anna Wadda, Principal Industrial Economist, Department of Small Business Development, The Gambia
  • Habiba Sumani, Director of the Women Entrepreneurship Development Department, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), The Gambia
  • Florence Kimata, SME Advisor to the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade & Cooperatives, Kenya
  • Andry Ravalomanda, Ministry of Industry & Private Sector Development, Madagascar
  • Adewale Bakare, Director of Industrial Development, Ministry of Trade & Investment, Nigeria
  • Shehu Abdulkadir, Special Assistant to the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Nigeria
  • Annette Karenzi, General of Industry & Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Trade, Industry & East African Community Affairs, Rwanda 
  • Mickail Turay, Ministry of Trade & Industry, Sierra Leone
  • Thulani Nzama, Head of Business Support, Tourism & Markets Unit, EThekwini Municipality (City of Durban), South Africa
  • Naomi Koeberg, Programme Manager, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), South Africa


  • Andrew Outhwaite, Government’s Incubator Facilitator for Western Australia, Australia
  • George Makris, Senior Policy Officer, Commercialisation & Entrepreneurship Policy Section, Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, Australia
  • Sodany Tan, Director of ICT Policy Department, Ministry of Posts &  Telecommunications, Cambodia
  • Sopheap Seng, President, National Institute of Posts, Telecommunications & ICT, Cambodia
  • Amitabh Kant, CEO, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), India
  • Hari Santosa Sungkari, Deputy Chairman of Infrastructure, The Indonesia Agency for Creative Economy (BEKRAF), Indonesia
  • Tri Rismaharini, Mayor of the City of Surabaya, Indonesia
  • Mumu Makinose, Startup Fukuoka, Fukuoka City Government, Japan
  • Rosli Azad Khan, Special Officer to the Minister, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development, Malaysia
  • Richard Walley, Manager of Science Policy, Ministry of Business, Innovation, & Employment, New Zealand
  • Senen Perlada, Director IV, Export Marketing Bureau, Department of Trade & Industry, The Philippines
  • Angelique Antat, Principal Secretary, Department of Industry & Entrepreneurship Development, Seychelles
  • Lee Jin Sheng, Regional Director, EnterpriseSG, Singapore
  • Kim Youngtae, Small & Medium Business Administration, South Korea
  • PeiTi Hu, Deputy Director General of SMEA, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan R.O.C.
  • Do Xuan Anh, Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST), Vietnam
  • Le Van Khuong, Ministry of Planning & Investment (MPI), Vietnam


  • Florensa Haxhi, Director General of Development Programs & Cooperation, Prime Minister's Office, Albania
  • Florian Frauscher, Director General for Economic Affairs, Innovation & International Policy, Federal Ministry of Digital & Economic Affairs, Austria
  • Bart Candaele, Head of the Entrepreneurship Department, Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Belgium
  • Efka Heder, South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL), Croatia
  • Irene Piki, Unit for Administrative Reform, Presidency of Cyprus, Cyprus
  • Kristin Schreiber, DG GROW, European Commission, European Union
  • Pēteris Zilgalvis, Head of the Startups & Innovation Unit, Directorate General Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG-Connect), European Union
  • Taina Kulmala, Ministerial Adviser, Head of Policy Analysis Unit, Prime Minister's Office, Finland
  • Sheelagh Daly, Entrepreneurship Manager, Enterprise Ireland
  • Siobhan Finn, Innovation Program Manager, Cork City Council, Ireland
  • Mikk Vainik, Startup Policy Expert, Ministry of Economic Affairs & Communications (MEAC), Estonia
  • Donata Gipiskiene, Adviser of Small & Medium-Sized Business, Policy Division Ministry of Economy, Lithuania
  • Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau, Envoy, TechLeap, The Netherlands
  • Pieter Waasdorp, Director for Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands
  • Lieke Vollenbroek, Strategic Advisor, City of The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Sylwia Marczyńska, Chief Expert, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, Poland
  • Carolina Rodríguez, Manager of the National Corporation for Innovatiovos & SMEs (ENISA), Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism, Spain
  • Cristina Santamaria, Ministry of Economy, Industry & Competitiveness, Spain
  • Marie Wall, Startup Director & Deputy Director, Division for Research, Innovation & Access to Finance, Ministry of Enterprise, Sweden
  • Martin Godel, Head SME Policy, Federal Department of Economic Affairs, SECO
  • Ozan Acar, Head of Sectors & Entrepreneurship Department, The Union of Chambers & Commodity Exchanges, Turkey
  • Luke Nightingale, Head of SME Policy, Business Growth Directorate, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom


  • Shaikha Abdullah Al Fadhel, Director of SMEs Development, Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism, Bahrain
  • Pakiza Abdulrahman, Manager, ICT & Startups, Economic Development Board, Bahrain
  • Rasha ElTantawy, Head of Business Support & Entrepreneurship, Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, Information Technology Industry Development Agency, Egypt
  • Mohammed Al Ariefy, Director of Entrepreneurship Hubs, Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha'at), Saudi Arabia


  • Nadia Zanardi, Coordinator for Productive Innovation, National Directorate for Technological Development & Innovation, Ministry of Science, Technology and InnovationArgentina
  • Alan Plummer, Adviser, Sub-Secretariat for SME Financing & Productivity, Ministry of Production, Argentina
  • Jose Maria Rodriguez, Director, Province of Cordoba's Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Argentina
  • Pablo Ignacio Peralta, Head of Entrepreneurship, Province of Cordoba's Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Argentina
  • Bruno Bonifacio, Startup Specialist, Funding Authority for Studies & Projects (FINEP), Brazil
  • Igor Nazareth, Undersecretary for Innovation, Ministry of the Economy, Brazil
  • Leonardo Freitas, Deputy General Coordinator of Business Environments, Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations & Communications, Brazil
  • Otavio Caixeta, Director of the Digital Policies Secretariat, Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation & Communication, Brazil
  • Paulo Puppin Zandonadi, Assistant Manager, Innovation Unit, SEBRAE, Brazil
  • Rocio Fonseca, Chief Innovation Officer, Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), Chile
  • Ignacio Gaitan Villegas, CEO, Innpulsa, Colombia
  • Jose Checo, Director for Entrepreneurship, Dominican Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Dominican Republic
  • Edgar Colman, National Director for Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Paraguay
  • Yenny Marin, Director for Innovation, National Council for Science & Technology (CONACYT), Paraguay
  • Gonzalo Villaran, Executive of the Knowledge Development & Management Unit, "Innovate" Agency, Peru
  • Katia Leonor Samanamud, Director of Innovation, Ministry of Production, Peru
  • Carmen Sanchez, Director, National Development Agency (ANDE), Uruguay
  • Amalia Quirici, Head of Entrepreneurship, National Development Agency (ANDE), Uruguay
  • Sara Goldberg, Chief Operating Officer, National Agency of Research & Innovation, ​Uruguay


  • Craig Buerstatte, Director, Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce, ​United States
  • Eric P. Smith, Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce, United States
  • Loren Nadres, Director of Economic Development, Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, City of New York, United States


Government changes after elections result in a continuously changing composition of our policy network. If your government's current entrepreneurship policy official is not yet listed above, please contact

Former startup-savvy government officials may remain engaged as mentors for Startup Nations activities, such as for the Policy Hack. Startup Nations policy network alumni include (in country alphabetical-order):

  • Lucas Cornejo, former National Director for Entrepreneurial Capital, Secretariat of Entrepreneurs & SMEs, Ministry of Production, Argentina
  • Patricio Gigli, former National Director for Entrepreneur Support, Secretariat of Entrepreneurs & SMEs, Ministry of Production, Argentina
  • Felipe Matos, former Director of Startup Brasil, Brazil. Currently, Vice President at the Dinamo startup advocacy group.
  • Juan Carlos Garavito, former Director, iNNpulsa, Colombia
  • Marcia Montes, former Ministry of Economy, Industry & Trade (MEIC), Costa Rica
  • Antonija Mrsic, Head of Innovation Policy, Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship & Crafts, Croatia
  • Tadashi Takaoka, former Head of Entrepreneurship, Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), Chile
  • Andrés Galindo, Advisor to the Vice-Minister of Business Development Office, Ministry of Trade, Industry & Tourism, Colombia
  • Anders Hoffmann, former Director, Danish Business Authority, Denmark
  • Ezrra Orozco, former Vice Minister, Ministry of the Economy, Guatemala
  • Walther Morales, former Policy Advisor, Ministry of the Economy, Guatemala
  • David Mihalik, Deputy Managing Director, Digital Success ProgramHungary
  • Mattia Corbetta, former Senior Policy Officer,  Directorate General for Industrial Policy, Ministry of Economic Development, Italy
  • Roberto G. Volpe, former Junior Policy Officer, Directorate General for Industrial Policy, Ministry of Economic Development, Italy. Currently Policy Analyst at OECD Trento Centre for Local Development.
  • Adriana Tortajada, former Director General for Entrepreneurship & Financing, National Institute of the Entrepreneur (INADEM), Mexico
  • Liliana Reyes, former Director for Entrepreneurial Capital, National Institute of the Entrepreneur (INADEM), Mexico. Currently Director General at the Mexican Association of PE & VC Funds (AMEXCAP)
  • Idelin Molinas, former Executive Director, National Council for Science & Technology (CONACYT), Paraguay
  • Maria Miguel Ferreira, former Director, Startup Portugal, Portugal
  • Inês Santos Silva, former Policy Advisor, Ministry of the Economy, Portugal
  • Dr. Chaowalit Limmaneevichitr, former Secretary to the Minister, Ministry of Digital Economy & Society, Thailand
  • Doug Rand, former Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, United States
  • Heather Stafford, former Assistant Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Startup Oregon, United States
  • Maria Contreras-Sweet, former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, United States
  • Ileana Rogel, former Executive Director, National Commission for Micro & Small Enterprises (CONAMYPE), El Salvador