July Intensive, 2018
At the end of July, Higher Ground Labs second cohort convened in San Francisco. This intensive, the cohort’s fourth and final, focused on fundraising, growth, and hiring; the week culminated with an Investor Demo Day where our companies pitched to and connected with a network of committed political-tech investors. Google generously hosted the intensive at their new Developers Launchpad Space. Here’s a quick snapshot of the speakers, coaches, and sessions that made the week a success:
Gisel Kordestani, Co-founder and COO of Crowdpac, led a discussion of fundraising and growth in the political tech space.
Greg Nelson, Advisor at the Parker Foundation, Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and a member of our advisory board, helped our entrepreneurs better understand the political investors’ perspective.
Jonathan McBride, Managing Director and Global Head of Inclusion + Diversity at Blackrock, to lead us through an eye-opening conversation on what it means to build and lead a cohesive, well-run team.
Alex Lofton, Co-founder of Landed, Dave O’Neill, Head of Internal Communications at Airbnb, and Ramsey Homsany, General Counsel at Dropbox shared their experiences on scaling and growth.
Michael Randall, former VP of Business + Marketing Partnerships at Snapchat and Marketing Solutions at Facebook, directed a conversation on user growth and growth hacking.
Ben Coffey Clark, Partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive, and Max Kamin-Cross, Advisor to Mobilize America, offered their experiences on selling to presidential campaigns.
The week-long intensive culminated in an Investor Demo Day where each company pitched to over 125 investors. Y Combinator President Sam Altman opened Demo Day by underscoring the importance of political tech innovation and the potential of this space. The energy at demo day was palpable; as soon as the official presentations ended, investors and companies broke out into one-on-one conversations over a happy hour. The last of these conversations only ended when we turned the lights off in the space!
While the programing for the second cohort now comes to a close, our companies are working on 2018 midterm campaigns, raising money, and building out their teams and products. Continue to check in here to follow their progress!