As one of 28 companies selected to participate in the Tech Council Investor Network Track, Whitewater Innovation Center affiliate Polco pitched their polling and civic analytics platform at the Early Stage Symposium last week.
The Early Stage Symposium provides opportunities for emerging companies to connect with venture and angel investors through the Tech Council Investor Network track, the Elevator Pitch Olympics, and the Investor Intros. Polco attended the symposium to meet with regional investors, network with fellow entrepreneurs, learn about investing trends, and raise community awareness of the company.
Polco’s web-based platform connects citizens to their local governments and empowers citizens to provide input on proposed policy changes. Polling questions are posted by government officials. These questions are then geographically targeted to local citizens who can vote on the issue from their laptop, tablet, or mobile device. “Should the US ban the use of plastic shopping bags in stores?” is an example of a polling question targeted to citizens across the nation.
By asking questions through their software platform, local governments can reach a broader audience than those individuals who regularly attend a public hearing or Town Hall meeting. The local government receives real-time, secure, and validated polling data that can be filtered by location, age, and many other factors. The insightful and reliable data can be used to make decisions. Polco creates value by increasing citizen engagement while saving governments money.
Polco seeks funding to pave 12-15 months of runway to hire a development team, to relocate members of the development team to Wisconsin, and to hire a sales and marketing team. With $445k already raised, Polco hopes to connect with investors from the Early Stage Symposium to fulfill their current $500k seed round. These seed funds will be combined with grants, awards, and public loans to total $1M in working capital.
“The Whitewater Innovation Center and its programs really kickstarted the rate of growth we’ve been fortunate to experience over the last several months,” explains Nick Mastronardi, Co-founder and CEO. Polco has worked with the university, the city, and local investors, and the local community to grow their business over the last few months. “Everybody has been really helpful, and that’s exactly what’s needed to grow a business: everybody coming together with the right elements and positive attitude,” notes Mastronardi.
Published November 30, 2016 by Kristina Koslosky