Online civics engagement start-up Polco closed a $1.7M round of equity funding on April 19, 2019. Though based in Madison, Wisconsin, Polco, short for Policy Confluence, Inc. was launched through the Bryan, Texas-based Seed Sumo accelerator in 2015.
The company provides a communication platform that encourages community leaders to engage with the residents they serve by soliciting direct feedback on public policy through polls and surveys. Polco’s website describes its service as “more reliable than Survey Monkey, and more civil than Facebook”.
In an earlier pitch presentation to funders in Wisconsin, Nick Mastronardi, Ph.D., Polco Founder and CEO, who formerly worked at Amazon as an economist, described his company’s digital tools as “meeting citizens where they are”.
The software allows verified users to readily comment and vote on policies posted by government entities, civic groups, school districts, universities, news agencies, and other community organizations. Participants can voice their opinions in real-time providing input on proposals that impact their lives using their online spaces of choice – website, widgets or apps.
The intention at Polco explained in their blog posted April 10, 2018, is “to build an ecosystem that fosters a habit of civic engagement – a single place where everyone from a city manager to a state representative or a journalist can tap into the collective thoughts, ideas and needs of a broader community.” This resource of information is compiled into comprehensive analytics that decision-makers can use to better serve their communities.
According to their website, Polco is currently serving 46 active communities in over three dozen cities in over 16 states and growing. Their recent merger with survey research firm National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) better positions the company to further boost public engagement and delegative democracy.
Visit www.overview.polco.us.com to learn more about this company.
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