Two years ago, we founded Higher Ground Labs to build a center of gravity for progressive political technology. We know political technology is a broken part of the campaign ecosystem. We hope Higher Ground Labs is part of a solution.
Since launch, we have seeded 24 startups through our accelerator program, brought together hundreds of stakeholders to best understand the current state of political tech, launched our 2018 Political Landscape Analysis report to help everyone navigate the market, and have taken a hands-on approach in identifying gaps and priorities in the space. By serving as a central hub for experts in tech, politics, business, engineering, product design, and data, the HGL ecosystem is helping overcome the cyclicality and risk-aversion that have plagued progressive tech.
Today, we open applications for our 2019 accelerator cohort.
Applications will be open through February 22. Our 2019 accelerator program will start in July 2019 and go through November 2019. This is our last opportunity to invest in new tools before the 2020 federal, state, and local elections. Companies that will push us forward as a movement in the coming cycle need rigorous, real-world testing and validation before scaling up. We are looking for start-ups who are committed to furthering Democratic and progressive outcomes and are particularly interested in the following focus areas:
- Generating, tracking, and optimizing cross-channel media: Progressive campaigns and causes need tools that provide a more transparent, KPI-driven cross-channel media planning and reporting. This includes improving transparency in media efficacy; integrating media spend reports across channels; shifting more of our communications to digital media and lowering production costs for high-performing creative content affordably.
- Integrating and measuring organizational performance: Our practitioner interviews uncovered repeated requests for tools that help organizational leadership digest, visualize, and make decisions based on real-time, integrated performance metrics across a campaign or program. We seek management systems that are bespoke to the needs of political work.
- Fighting disinformation and false media: We anticipate increasing sophistication in fake news and misinformation and are searching for technologies can help uncover truth, provide proof of authenticity, and provide campaigns with actionable corrective measures.
- Empowering people & programs to unlock a broader electorate: Tapping into new and under-reached audiences is key to increasing civic participation among Americans. We need a paradigm shift in data, survey, and outreach tools to include those who haven’t been heard, registered, engaged, and served.
If we want our politics to change, we need to elect more Democrats into increasingly competitive seats. Doing so will require us to run better campaigns . Modern winning campaigns meet voters where they are using cutting-edge technology to buttress their efforts. Higher Ground Labs is focused on making that possible.