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
  • Linton Mchunu, Chief of Staff, Department of Small Business Development, 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, 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 & Cooperative 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 and Entrepreneurship Development, Seychelles
  • Lee Jin Sheng, Regional Director, EnterpriseSG, Singapore
  • Kim Youngtae, Small & Medium Business Administration, South Korea
  • Dr. Chaowalit Limmaneevichitr, Ministry of Digital Economy & Society, Thailand
  • 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



  • Antonija Mrsic, Head of Innovation Policy, Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship & Crafts, Croatia
  • 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
  • Mikk Vainik, Startup Policy Expert, Ministry of Economic Affairs & Communications (MEAC), Estonia
  • David Mihalik, Deputy Managing Director, Digital Success ProgramHungary
  • Roberto G. Volpe, Junior Policy Officer, Directorate General for Industrial Policy, Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Italy
  • Mattia Corbetta, Senior Policy Officer,  Directorate General for Industrial Policy, Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Italy
  • Donata Gipiskiene, Adviser of Small & Medium-Sized Business, Policy Division Ministry of Economy, Lithuania
  • Pieter Waasdorp, Director for Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands
  • Lieke Vollenbroek, 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 and 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
  • Ozan Acar, Head of Sectors & Entrepreneurship Department, The Union of Chambers and 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
  • 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


  • Alan Plummer, Entrepreneurship Cities Coordinator, Secretariat for Entrepreneurs & SMEs, Ministry of Production, Argentina
  • Bruno Bonifacio, Startup Specialist, Funding Authority for Studies & Projects (FINEP), Brazil
  • Igor Nazareth, Undersecretary for Innovation, Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade & Services, 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
  • Tadashi Takaoka, Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), Chile
  • Andrés Galindo, Advisor to the Vice-Minister of Business Development Office, Ministry of Trade, Industry & Tourism, Colombia
  • Carlos Mendez, Director of Operations, Innpulsa, Colombia
  • Jose Checo, Director for Entrepreneurship, Dominican Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Dominican Republic
  • Ileana Rogel, Executive Director, National Commission for Micro & Small Enterprises (CONAMYPE), El Salvador
  • Ana Monge, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Specialist, ConQuito, Ecuador
  • Edgar Colman, National Director for Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Paraguay
  • Idelin Molinas, Executive Director, National Council for Science & Technology (CONACYT), Paraguay
  • Carolina Luzardi, Assistant Coordinator for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Office of the Presidency, Paraguay
  • Gonzalo Villaran, Executive of the Knowledge Development & Management Unit, "Innovate" Agency, Peru
  • Pamela Antonioli, Director of Innovation, Ministry of Production, Peru
  • Carmen Sanchez, Manager for Entrepreneurship Promotion, Ministry of Industry, Energy & Mining, Uruguay
  • Amalia Quirici, Head of Entrepreneurship, National Development Agency (ANDE), Uruguay
  • Sara Goldberg, National Agency of Research & Innovation, ​Uruguay



  • Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder and CEO, Startup Canada
  • Rebecca Palmer, Member, Simcoe County Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Committee, Canada
  • Craig Buerstatte, Acting 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, Drector 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:

  • Lucas Cornejo, former National Director for Entrepreneurial Capital, Secretariat of Entrepreneurs & SMEs, Ministry of Production, Argentina
  • Felipe Matos, former Director of Startup Brasil, Brazil. Currently, Executive Director at the Dinamo startup advocacy group.
  • Juan Carlos Garavito, former Director, iNNpulsa, Colombia
  • Marcia Montes, former Ministry of Economy, Industry & Trade (MEIC), Costa Rica
  • Rocio Fonseca, former Executive Director of the Startup Chile program, Chile
  • 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
  • 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).
  • Maria Miguel Ferreira, former Director, Startup Portugal, Portugal
  • Inês Santos Silva, former Policy Advisor, Ministry of the Economy, Portugal
  • 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