We are thrilled to announce our 2018 accelerator cohort! These 13 start-ups address a broad range of challenges in politics, ranging from polling solutions to psychographic mapping & persuasion testing to volunteer engagement. Selected from a pool of over 90 applications, these companies are strong signals of what is possible.
In addition to receiving capital investment, our portfolio companies will participate in a four month program designed to accelerate product and business development and to promote connections to potential clients and customers. The program centers around monthly intensives – 4 day “boot camps” in cities around the country. They will receive mentorship from HGL’s advisory board of campaign experts, technology gurus, and political entrepreneurs and investors.
With the tailwinds of successful elections in 2017 and a rising Democratic tide, our team is energized to further the momentum heading into the 2018 midterms. We are excited for our new class of entrepreneurs to learn from the inaugural cohort’s engagement in 2017 elections and to strategize, refine, and maximize the impact of their technology in 2018. We will kick off with this group at our first intensive in Chicago in a few weeks.
Higher Ground Labs’ second investment cohort includes:
5 Calls: 5 Calls is an easy and effective way for citizens to make an impact in local and national politics. With 5 Calls’ affordable, user-friendly platform and its strong base of activists, every progressive campaign from School Board to Senate has access to phone banks and advocacy tools that influence volunteers, voters, funders, and representatives.
Avalanche Strategy: Avalanche Strategy creates resonant communications that inspire action in support of progressive candidates, causes and companies. Our unique approach leverages advances in cognitive science to yield deep insights into the values, emotions, and attitudes of your community. Based on these insights, we craft positioning and messaging that resonates and wins. Our mission is to empower progressive leaders to drive action today and change what’s possible tomorrow.
CallTime.AI: CallTime.AI is making telephone fundraising faster, smarter, and more successful through automation and artificial intelligence. Candidates and campaigns are spending far too much time researching potential donors, and struggle to optimize the time spent dialing for dollars. CallTime.AI tackles these critical problems by aggregating millions of social, political, and public data-points into comprehensive donor profiles, and then using machine learning to analyze call and donor metrics. The result: candidates are always calling the right people, at the right time, with the right ask.
Change Research: Change Research provides fast, accurate public opinion polling at 80 to 90 percent less than traditional polls. Since launching in 2017, Change Research has worked with dozens of campaigns and organizations, from Alabama to Maine, and New Mexico to Pennsylvania, to provide public opinion insight quickly and affordably, with the goal of ensuring that every forward thinking candidate and campaign has access to the actionable insight they need to win.
Civic Eagle: Civic Eagle is a political technology company that helps organizations win their policy campaigns. The platform eliminates the inefficiencies of legislative discovery and tracking, improves member and donor engagement, and activates community stakeholders. This innovative and integrated approach results in an increase in the success rates of our customer’s policy advocacy campaigns while saving them time and money.
Factba.se: Factba.se lets you own your opposition and live inside their decision curve. It is a transparency engine, allowing any PAC, campaign, organization, or company efficiently track and search every word a person has ever said, publicly or online, in real time. This lets you immediately identify discrepancies, changes in position, tonal shifts and areas of weakness. Every word spoken by your opponent makes your campaign stronger and the opponent weaker.
GiveMini: GiveMini is a tool for progressive political campaigns and non-profits that lets your supporters roundup to the nearest dollar on everyday purchases, sending your campaign the spare change. For donors, it’s a way to participate in the political process without breaking the bank. For campaigns, the small trickle of micro-donations amounts to serious change.
Grow Progress: Grow Progress gives campaigns and causes the power to persuade more voters by predicting their personality traits. Our new tool helps them to tailor their messages based on each individual’s personality and then send the right message to the right person.
Humanize: Humanize is a platform that democratizes the tools of advertising, Our aim is to empower individuals and organizations with similar goals to effectively advocate for their shared values and give normal people access to a communication methods currently exclusive to businesses and individuals of extreme wealth.
New/Mode: New/Mode is putting the powerful tools used by the world’s leading campaigns into more campaigners’ pockets. Our engagement tools target the right decision-makers across communications channels and activate grassroots power to help you win your campaigns. It’s how modern campaigns stand out: your supporters’ stories, everywhere decision-makers look.
SameSide: SameSide is a platform for accessible grassroots political action through events in music, arts, and culture. SameSide focuses on the power of engagement, allowing campaigns and advocacy organizations to leverage supporters who are already doing cool things. By activating these people to create interesting experiences, organizations can unlock political activism
Swayable: Swayable lets political campaigns and brands measure how content changes people’s minds. Campaigners using Swayable increase their impact on opinions by 100% or more by measuring persuasion instead of just optimizing for engagement and clicks. Swayable’s data science platform delivers results in hours instead of weeks, and breaks down exactly which kinds of people respond to which content. The platform is being used to power new forms of rapid-response digital campaigning expected to play a growing role in the lead-up to the 2018 elections.
Voter Protection Partners: Voter Protection Partners works with Democratic campaigns, state parties, and committees to protect voters’ rights. VPP’s proprietary tools manage voter protection teams and track, analyze, and respond to voting incidents and election administration problems. VPP provides unparalleled voter protection experience and institutional knowledge to advise on program design and implementation, organizing, Election Day operations, and rapid response.
We are excited to begin the next chapter of Higher Ground Labs. The newest additions to the portfolio are coming into the program with great early traction and momentum gearing up for the 2018 midterm elections. We look forward to supporting this cohort over the next four months and beyond!