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2023 Accelerator: HGL6 Intensive 2 in DC

This past September, HGL headed to Washington, DC for a week of sales training and relationship-building with our sixth accelerator cohort. Social Currant co-founders Ashwath Narayanan, Vidyut Ghuwalewala, and Ellie Artone detailed their experience below.

Social Currant’s Experience

For three friends who started a company in college, the Higher Ground Labs Accelerator has been a real learning experience. During our program week in DC, we got the chance to do everything, from meeting folks from party committees to understanding what the Biden Campaign expects from tech tools. It was a busy week, packed with insights and lessons.

In four days, we met with over 50 leaders who know a lot (basically everything) about political tech. They helped us figure out things like how to set up our sales approach, how to find partners, how to pitch ideas, and how to think about supporting the movement more.

The week started with us practicing our sales pitch on Monday. It was great catching up with the rest of our cohort (#dreamteam), sharing what we’ve achieved, and helping each other out with challenges we’re facing!

HGL6 founders and HGL staff at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Center, before pitching in front of 150+ political tech practitioners.

Over the next few days, we kept working on our pitch, getting tips from other teams and people who’ve been in our shoes before. Their advice really made a difference. We feel our pitch got a lot stronger because of it, especially as it came from founders who’ve done this before. 

One big thing we learned was about setting up our sales process. We’d been stuck for a while because our company has a two-sided approach – we work with both creators and organizations. Both are equally important and need our focus. As a result of discussions and brainstorming with experts in DC, we were able to draw a clear picture and set next steps.

We also had the chance to talk to both hard side and soft side groups. Understanding their needs was particularly helpful as we strategize our plan to engage creators through the 2024 election cycle. Being able to talk to decision-makers from committees and organizations one-on-one was tremendously beneficial and something we would have never been able to do ourselves – at least not in the span of a few hours! 

Social Currant Co-founder & CEO Ashwath Narayanan pitching at HGL’s 2023 Accelerator New Tech Showcase in DC.

We ended our intensive by celebrating each other’s successful pitches and a birthday (HBD Vidyut)!

But the best part? The HGL community and the shared values that we all hold. It’s pretty cool being around people who care about the same things we do and want to make a positive change in politics. We’re thankful for that.

—Ashwath, Vidyut, and Ellie

Social Currant co-founders Ashwath, Vidyut, and Ellie posing for a team photo at The White House.

About Social Currant

Social Currant matches impact organizations, nonprofits, and purpose-driven organizations with creators on TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube to drive awareness, get out the vote, and increase impact. Their all-in-one platform helps organizations find mission-aligned organizations, build relationships with them, and automate the busy work of contracts, payments, and 1099s.

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