Startup Nations Awards

Historically, the dynamics of traditional government and the innovative entrepreneurial sector could not look more different. The public sector has long been known as rigid in its approach while innovative entrepreneurs have disrupted every process and product along their path. Despite their differences these two groups have come together and are collaborating more than ever – even shaping innovative public-sector-driven programs and policies. These efforts have an outsized impact on the economy – enabling startups to scale, create new jobs and push the entrepreneurship frontier forward.

To celebrate this convergence, Startup Nations recognizes innovative public sector leaders and policy approaches through the Startup Nations Awards. To nominate a policy leader who deserves global recognition, please submit information about their entrepreneurship policy footprint via the Startup Nations Atlas of Policies (SNAP).

Selection Criteria:

Each year, a high-level Selection Committee rates nominations on the following criteria:

  • Clarity in the identification of the bottleneck(s) affecting the ecosystem
  • Level of innovativeness of the specific policy lever(s), program idea(s) or policymaking approach
  • Extent to which the nominee helped shift public discourse on startups and scale ups in the public sector 
  • Availability of metrics or evidence to show the impact of the policymaker’s efforts


Award for Local Policy Leadership
Jorge Lawson
Director, Argentinian National Bank, Argentina

Award for National Policy Leadership
Mariano Mayer
Secretary of Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Argentina

Award for Groundbreaking Policy Thinking
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team
World Bank


Award for Local Policy Leadership
María José Vengoechea
Executive President, Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce, Colombia

Award for National Policy Leadership
Pichet Durongkaveroj
Minister of Science and Technology, Thailand

Award for Groundbreaking Policy Thinking
Dr. Hugo Kantis
Director, Entrepreneurship Development Program (PRODEM), Argentina


Award for Local Policy Leadership
Bart De Wever, Mayor, Antwerp, Belgium

Award for National Policy Leadership
Dr. Choi Yanghee, Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, South Korea

Award for Groundbreaking Policy Thinking
Neelie Kroes, Former VP of European Commission and Special Envoy for Startups, Netherlands