Hacking for entrepreneurs: a transatlantic go at designing policy – Bogdan Ceobanu

In September last year, startup ecosystem representatives got together at the MTB Innovation Center in San Francisco to “hack” policies in an effort to design solutions to global policy challenges facing entrepreneurs. Ahead of this year’s Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2SV) mission, Bogdan Ceobanu*, policy officer at the European Commission’s entrepreneurship & innovation unit, shares some thoughts on the Policy Hack.


Describe your experience with the Policy Hack in 140 characters.
A new, smart and creative way to experience how hard challenges can be overcome through a dialogue between policymakers, investors and founders.

Were you surprised with the outcome?
I was not expecting such a vivid discussion, such strong statements and arguments from the participants.  

Do you think policymakers talk enough to entrepreneurs, investors & members of the startup ecosystem?
Founders could definitely be invited more often to strategic discussions about policies and programs. Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley was actually designed with that in mind – to encourage more hands-on discussions between startup scene players.  

How about regulators – should regulators talk to startups? Any specific sectors?
There is a constant dialogue between regulators and startup founders, with some countries advancing faster than others. But there is progress when they work together, for example in fields like healthcare or fintech. 

What should that dialogue ideally look like?
The dialogue should be simple, and action oriented. Geared at moving the status quo without harming the business environment, so it enables growth, end-user satisfaction and safety. 

If you could pick an entrepreneur or investor to team up with and design a solution for a policy challenge you have come across-who would it be?

This is a hard question. There are many successful founders that have been able to provide amazing tech solutions within their industries. I’m pretty convinced that such solutions can also be implemented across big and small policy issues.


*follow @studios

Bogdan Ceobanu works as policy officer in the startups and innovation unit of the European Commission, within the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology. 

During Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2SV) 2017, Mind the Bridge and Dell will host a Policy Hack on 18 September at the MTB Innovation Center in San Francisco to pull together a set of transatlantic recommendations for policy solutions. These will feed into the Startup Nations Summit (SNS), a global summit to take place in Estonia in November 2017 that will discuss the challenges digital disruption brings to the public sector in its role to set the rules of the game for entrepreneurs and innovators.

The SNS Policy Hack will take place on 22 November in Tallinn. Hosted by the Estonian Presidency of the EU and the European Commission and powered by Dell, it will allow policymakers from across the globe to validate and test policies to make it easier for regulators and startups to talk to each other in their respective ecosystems.