Involved is a civic tech startup that is developing an application that allows elected officials to gather real-time feedback from their constituents through micro-polling.
Involved is a mobile application for people and elected officials to communicate with each other. You will be able to drive democracy, conveniently, by contributing your opinions to upcoming decisions in your town and state. Here’s how it works:
- You receive a question on your mobile phone from your government representative (mobile app, text message, or email)
- You share your opinion with the press of a button
- Your government representative is informed of your and your community’s opinions
- They share the data and provide feedback
Currently, communicating with our representatives is not optimized by technology, and the conversation is usually only one-way. We believe that community decisions, at all levels of government, should be community driven. We all have a voice and it is time that we share it.
The Market Opportunity
Involved is positioned to disrupt a $3 billion U.S. survey research industry and an $8 billion election cycle. The opportunity for this tool is ripe in today’s political and technological landscape. Americans are already positioned for it:
- 181 million American are registered voters
- 50 million Americans contacted their elected official in the last two years (2014)
A Princeton University study revealed that 90% of Americans have near-zero influence on the likelihood of a bill passing. Our online experiences are saturated with political opinion, unwrung and often unproductive. Involved makes opinion actionable.
- Social media is not a proper substitute for Involved:
- Many people are not comfortable publically sharing their political views
- Elected officials cannot verify constituents
- People often don’t know or follow their representatives online
- People may not want all the additional updates and campaign information associated with following an elected official
Other political applications are not direct competitors for Involved:
- They market to political activists through curating news and bills, or tracking campaigns
- Do not work directly with the towns and offices to provide a line of communication
- Many have partisan agendas
We aim to be the community engagement tool for the everyday citizen; knowing who your elected officials are and staying up-to-date on every issue is not required.
- Fall 2016: We began building Involved under the guidance of the Boston University BUzz Lab.
- April 2017: We worked with four key leaders in the State House to participate in an alpha test with ~100 constituents to help us improve our initial product. What we find is that the initial entrance of Involved is best suited for the state and smaller municipalities, because they often lack technological communication systems beyond sticky notes and spreadsheets.
- May 2017: The team graduates Boston University (hooray!).
- June 2017: We began working under the guidance of the Boston University Summer Accelerator. Our advisors and mentors are part of an extensive network of professors and alumni across the fields of entrepreneurship, political science and technology.
- July 2017: We connected with local elected officials in Massachusetts in preparation for our launch for Android and iOS in the coming weeks. Responses continue to flood in as we lined up nine cities and ten state elected officials to sign up, as well as connections with mayors, city councils, and the Massachusetts Department of Municipal Technology.
- August 2017: We launch the mobile application to gather the early adopters, particularly in the municipalities we are working closely with. In order to spread the word, we are partnering with government offices and agencies, as well as non-profits, community groups, and advocacy groups of all kinds to bring their members on the platform.
The long-term vision for Involved is to be a virtual office for elected officials in democratic societies around the world. Once in the application, any user can directly invite their elected officials to get involved. We will create this application with mobile, texting, web, and widget capability, implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology for direct messaging, and provide constituent relationship management (CRM) systems for elected officials to manage all of their interactions.
Boston University Accelerator
Involved is currently working under the guidance of Boston University through the BU Summer Accelerator. Our advisors and mentors are part of an extensive network of professors and alumni across the fields of entrepreneurship, political science and technology.
The strongest use cases for the micro-polling are at the local executive level and include asking people to prioritize issues, using the geographic data to gain a better understanding of patterns for issues (such as safety, traffic, construction), or posting questions to gather feedback on whatever the hot community issue is.
Our mobile application is just the first step in a larger vision for how democracy should operate in the 21st century. The long-term vision for Involved is to be a virtual office for elected officials in democratic societies around the world. We will create this application with mobile, texting, web, and widget capability, implement AI technology for direct messaging, and provide constituent relationship management (CRM) systems for elected officials to manage all of their interactions.
Our team is comprised of four Boston University graduates; two of us are business students and two are computer engineers. What makes us special is our youth and ambition, which guides our unique global vision for societal change, and our willingness to dedicate ourselves to an idea for how the world should be, but is not yet. After completion of the BU Summer Accelerator, both Jacob and Caleb will be working full-time, while John and Chad work part-time until more funding can be raised.
Jacob Dansey has experience in application development and government contracting research. After getting recruited to Boston University to play lacrosse, he decided to pursue computer engineering in order to learn the necessary skills to develop Involved. He has worked as a developer for a government contracting company, CACI, and holds TS/SCI security clearance. He has recently found his passion in entrepreneurship and business development and is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu engineering honor societies.
Jacob was the original visionary for Involved, and used that passion to help bring together the current team. He handles client relations and acquisition, as well as front-end mobile development. He will take on a larger role in development during the interim while John is part-time and before funding is secured for additional developers.
John is a software and web developer. His work experience includes software development for Amazon’s Alexa AI, web development with MathWorks, and Cloud Computing research with a BU research lab. He is very comfortable with web development, as well as usage of cloud computing and machine learning. John is also familiar with the current political landscape, and has worked on side projects that draw from and analyze political news and speeches.
John’s experience covers mobile development, full stack web development, and system administration. He strengthens the team by bringing a skillset that covers the entire range of technical challenges which Involved may face. John will be working part-time alongside his position at Amazon until Involved can secure more funding.
Caleb has experience in marketing strategy and business development with startups and marketing firms; he also has experience in design and business strategy. He is a musician and enjoys volunteer and charity work. His creativity, passion for public service, and love of startup culture drives his work for Involved.
Caleb makes the business stronger through his creative approach to business problems; his ability to convey ideas through empathy is a tool that balances the team. His work focuses on branding, community management, copywriting, advertising, and design.
Chad previously worked for a healthcare startup specializing in student health care plans where he worked in the corporate finance department. There he focused on corporate budgeting, reconciliations, and forecasting. Personally, Chad works on investment management conducting company valuations, market research, and stock selection for multiple portfolios. Currently, Chad is attaining his level 1 CFA designation and a continuous learning of finance.
Chad creates a more efficient business model and back office process management through diligent attention to detail. His ability to provide structure and organization creates a business foundation for the team. Primarily, he works on the "back office" processes including financial reporting, budgeting, accounting, forecasting, and strategy management.
Be a part of Involved
This is an offering of Common Stock, under registration exemption 4(a)(6), in Involved, Inc.. This offering must raise at least $10,000 by November 6, 2017 at 4:00pm ET. If this offering doesn’t reach its target, then your money will be refunded. Involved may issue additional securities to raise up to $100,000, the offering’s maximum.
If the offering is successful at raising the maximum amount, then the company’s implied valuation after the offering (sometimes called its post-money valuation) will be:
4,854,944 stocks × $0.25 per stock = $1,213,736 implied valuation
The minimum amount raised will be used to allow Involved to continue operations full-time with two of their members for another six months and part-time (unpaid) from the the other two. We anticipate that this will allow us to launch the application fully by next year and validate the business model in a local setting.
If we raise the maximum amount, the money will be used for the same items noted above with the following allocations for a nine-month runway: $36,000 for salaries of two full-time members, $5,000 for design consulting, $20,000 for hosting costs and additional development, $30,000 for marketing, and the remaining $4,000 for miscellaneous operational expenses.
Involved’s SEC filings
The Offering Statement is a formal description of the company and this transaction. It’s filed with the SEC to comply with the requirements of exemption 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act of 1933.
We’re also required to share links to each of the SEC filings related to this offering with investors.
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The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, which are, in some cases, beyond the company’s control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects the current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties, and assumptions relating to operations, results of operations, growth strategy, and liquidity. No obligation exists to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.