At the Startup Nations Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, this November, policy experts and shapers from more than 60 countries will have the opportunity to turn their ideas into valid policy solutions, through the Startup Nations Summit Policy Hack. 

The Summit, which will be held November 20-22, brings together policymakers and experts, entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurial leaders from around the world to discuss the latest issues in how to help entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses. The policy hack is a collaborative way of developing policies and bringing together teams of startup representatives.

Throughout the hack process, participants will receive high-level feedback from hacking mentors through online discussions. At the in-person seminar prior to the Summit, hack participants will also meet other delegates and their extended team, and receive coaching from the mentors prior to pitching their policy solutions. 

As part of the hack, mentors will continue to support the team for six months after the in-person event in Tallinn, for solution implementation and support. Expert judges include: 


Evan Burfield
CEO and Cofounder of 1776 Startup Incubator
Unites States

Evan Burfield is the cofounder and CEO of 1776, where he works with startups around the world tackling important challenges in areas like education, health, energy, transportation, and cities. He is a frequent speaker and contributor to publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Huffington Post. Evan started his entrepreneurial career by founding netDecide in 1996, shortly after graduating from high school. netDecide was a leading provider of enterprise wealth management software to financial services firms such as Ernst & Young, Bank of America, Mutual of New York, and State Farm.  After leaving netDecide, Evan matriculated at St. Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford, where he received a first class bachelor’s degree in triple honors philosophy, politics, and economics. In parallel to his studies at Oxford, Evan was the Director of Strategy for Oakwood Global Finance in London, where he analyzed market opportunities in asset backed finance in markets across Europe and Asia.

Evan returned to Washington, DC in 2006 to found Synteractive, a consulting firm focused on Gov 2.0 solutions. Synteractive designed and built platform that redefined how government can operate, such as for the Obama Administration. Synteractive was acquired by Smartronix in 2011.

Evan currently serves as a Trustee of the Federal City Council in Washington, DC and is on the board of advisors to the Rothermere American Institute in Oxford.


Anne Veerpalu
Lecturer of Business Law, Estonian Business School

Anne Veerpalu has long-term experience in advising local and international clients on all aspects related to corporate law, private equity and M&A. She is a visiting assistant professor at the Univerity of Tartu IT Law programme. She runs a Tech Startup Legal Clinic and is a respected advisor of high-growth companies.

Anne is also a co-organizer of Estonian Legal Hackers Meetups and an avid blockchain technology enthusiast. She speaks and works in Estonian and English languages.  Anne also serves as a member of the Legal Committee of Estonian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

Anne is a member of the Estonian Business Angel Network and the Estonian Bar Association.


Eamonn Carey
Managing Director, Techstars Connection
United Kingdom

Eamonn Carey is the Managing Director at Techstars Connection in partnership with AB InBev. He was formerly an entrepreneur in residence on the Barclays/Techstars Accelerator in London and an advisor, mentor and occasional investor in multiple startups and accelerators around Europe. In the past, Eamonn started, succeeded and failed with several startups in Europe and the Middle East - including Farmvillain - an app which some described as the 'South Park of Facebook'. He first started building games (as an eight year old) to impress girls in the late 1980s. His efforts were unsuccessful. His love for games lived on in spite of that fact.Since then, he has worked with Kiip - helping them win their first clients and establish their footprint and offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Currently, Eamonn is a board member and advisor at Lingvist, where he helps with product, marketing and business development and a special advisor at Brandwatch where he helps with product and strategy.


Peteris Zilgalvis
Head of the Startups and Innovation Unit, DG Connect, European Commission
European Union

Pēteris Zilgalvis, J.D. is the Head of the Startups and Innovation Unit at the Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG-Connect). He is also Co-Chairman of the European Commission Task Force on Financial Technology.

He was the Visiting EU Fellow at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford for 2013-14, where is a Senior Member and Associate of the Political Economy of Financial Markets Programme.

From 1997 to 2005, he was Deputy Head of the Bioethics Department of the Council of Europe, in its Directorate General of Legal Affairs. In addition, he has held various positions in the Latvian civil service (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment). Previously, he was Senior Environmental Law Advisor to the World Bank/Russian Federation Environmental Management Project and was Regional Environmental Specialist for the Baltic Countries at the World Bank.

He has been a member of the California State Bar since 1991, completed his J.D. at the University of Southern California, his B.A. in Political Science Cum Laude at UCLA, and the High Potentials Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. A recent publication of his is “The Need for an Innovation Principle in Regulatory Impact Assessment: The Case of Finance and Innovation in Europe” in Policy & Internet.


Dane Stangler
Head of Policy, Startup Genome
United States

Stangler is Head of Policy at Startup Genome, where they conduct data assessment and analysis and policy consulting for startup ecosystems around the world.

He has worked directly with entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers, and ecosystem leaders everywhere to improve the success rates of startups by improving ecosystem vibrancy. Stangler has also written for many other print and online outlets, and is a frequent public speaker at events. Previously, he ran the Research & Policy department at the Kauffman Foundation.