Startup companies looking to make impact in sectors such as healthcare, infrastructure, and education are finding, now more than ever, that to be successful they need to navigate complex regulatory frameworks and work with governments whose responsibility is to protect their citizens. As these business develop new technologies that impact our day-to-day lives in increasingly non-trivial ways, the challenges and consequences of failure increase as well. Those that truly separate themselves have found ways to scale in industries deeply intertwined with government: building public support, starting grassroots movement to impact regulation, and developing influence to overcome entrenched relationships between incumbents and governments. In this talk, co-presented with the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto, Evan Burfield (author of Regulatory Hacking: A Playbook for Startups and cofounder of 1776, a Washington, DC-based venture capital firm and incubator), will discuss the current landscape for startups and the need for business to engage in “regulatory hacking” in order to thrive in the era of regulated industries.
Evan Burfield is the co-founder of 1776 and CEO of Union, where he works with startups around the world tackling important challenges in areas like education, health, energy, transportation, food, and financial services. As an angel investor and venture capitalist, Evan has invested in more than 40 startups with world changing ideas, from Silicon Valley to Nairobi. His book Regulatory Hacking: A Playbook for Startups was named by Inc. magazine as one of the Ten Best Business Books of 2018.