What: Horizon has contributed in the launch of political match making App VoterGuru, which helps people find their top presidential candidate match.
Why it matters: VoterGuru Co-Founders, Ben Krakow and Ben Atkins, Seek to Educate Voters and Identify their Closest Ideological Candidate Match.
VoterGuru, a New York-based tech startup that matches users with declared presidential candidates, has announced the launch of its Web platform. The company has raised capital via Horizon Media’s Incubator program to fuel the launch of its new web-based platform across the United States ahead of the Presidential elections this year.
VoterGuru tracks voting records and public statements of political candidates, and compares user inputs with politician records to find the closest ideological match. In addition to matching users with candidates, VoterGuru educates users on political topics by explaining the ideological spectrum, from “very liberal” to “very conservative,” on specific issues, ranging from abortion laws, to education policy, to privacy and more.
VoterGuru educates users on political topics by explaining the ideological spectrum, from “very liberal” to “very conservative”
VoterGuru is the brainchild of Ben Krakow, who also works as a Digital Business Analyst at Horizon Media and Ben Atkins, a Software Engineer. Krakow and Atkins brought the idea to life through the Dunes of Dreams invention development program created by Horizon Media, the media services agency. Through the company’s Dunes of Dreams competition, its employees are invited to invoke the agency’s entrepreneurial fiber by submitting their business plans and ideas for the chance to receive start-up funding and development resources – those selected by the agency leadership are then invited to participate in Horizon’s five month start-up Incubator.
“We are at a unique turning point where, more than ever, Americans are paying attention to politics,” explained Ben Krakow, Co-Founder and President of VoterGuru. “We, at VoterGuru, are excited for the opportunity to educate the public and simplify the process of learning about candidates and issues.”
Key features of the web platform include:
- Issue education – Concisely explaining the spectrum of debate
- Interactive visualizations – Comparing candidate and user views on each issue
- Candidate conviction – Weighing how long and/or consistently a candidate has held a view and visualizing issue conviction for VoterGuru users
Krakow and Atkins submitted their idea to Dunes of Dreams and participated in Horizon’s start-up Incubator from May through October 2015. During this time, Krakow has assembled a team of experts to launch VoterGuru, bringing on Ben Atkins, Co-Founder and CTO, and Catherine Mayell, Creative Director and Web Designer.
Chris Kane, founder of Jounce Media and former Chief of Staff to Tim Armstrong at AOL, has signed on as an advisor to the VoterGuru team, alongside a team of mentors including Maria Freda, Senior Vice President and Controller at Horizon Media, Taylor Valentine, Chief Invention Officer at Horizon Media and Jeremy Shure, Director of Invention at Horizon Media.
“Ben’s team is the triple threat: they’ve identified white space and the ability to solve for a real problem with a captive audience, they’re incredibly bright and motivated, and they have created a scalable platform with many exciting opportunities,” said Jeremy Shure architect of and Director of Horizon’s startup Incubator. “We are incredibly proud of the platform that Ben has created and excited for Ben and his team to bring VoterGuru to market,” continued Shure.