Evan Burfield is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and regulatory hacker. He is the founder of four companies and has helped build startup ecosystems on six continents and in over 50 American cities.
His career has been shaped by the belief that innovative startups can drive inclusive economic growth, improve the lives of citizens and solve important problems in complex, highly regulated industries such as healthcare, energy, financial services and education.
Evan is a frequent speaker and leading thinker on the intersection between startup disruption and public policy. In his book “Regulatory Hacking: A Playbook for Startups” he shared his nuanced and strategic approach to successfully navigating complex markets and producing win-win outcomes for citizens, policymakers, and business leaders. Inc. magazine named it one of “the 10 Best Business Books of 2018.”
Evan began his career in the startup space right out of high school when he founded his first company netDecide. Within four years, it had become one of the leading providers of enterprise wealth management solutions in the financial service industry.
While studying at Oxford, he became Director of Strategy and Technology at Oakwood Global Finance in London. After graduating, he founded Synteractive, a Washington, DC-based technology consulting firm. During the Obama Administration, the firm built the Recovery.gov website, which brought full transparency to the government’s Recovery Act spending.
In 2013, he co-founded 1776, a Washington DC-based startup incubator and venture capital firm. Since its launch, the incubator has helped more than 1,600 startups in regulated markets, which have collectively raised more than $650M.
In 2016, the firm launched Union, a digital platform for startup communities. When Union was spun-out in 2017, Evan became its CEO. Today, Union powers incubators and accelerators on six continents supporting more than 10,000 startups.
As an angel investor and venture capitalist, Evan has provided funding for more than 40 startups worldwide from Silicon Valley to Nairobi, including Twiga Foods in Nairobi, MPOWER Financing in DC, HopSkipDrive in LA, and Guild Education in Denver.
Evan holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from St. Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two children.
Evan Burfield explains why silicon Valley's distaste for government and government regulated Industries is misguided. Bringing these markets into the 21st century can have enormous positive impact on people's lives—and provides the next great opportunity.—Tim O'Reilly founder of O'Reilly Media