Nick Mastronardi is finding success in countering the negative trend of endless partisan bickering by helping local governments gather public sentiments through online polling.
Mastronardi (pictured above) is co-founder and CEO of Polco, a company based in Madison, WI, that he says is growing thanks to its ability to offer cities, counties, and other organizations a way around the polarizing arguing that can overwhelm the efforts of officials to make productive decisions.
There are myriad reasons for today’s often-toxic political discourse, but Mastronardi thinks a significant issue is governments haven’t come up with sensible ways to hear from constituents. Information too often reaches residents, he says, through a “fractured set of channels” that fails to help a community arrive at reasoned conclusions. Instead, people fall into echo-chamber-like silos that promote insults instead of solutions.
Mastronardi, 38, started Polco in 2015 with fellow U.S. Air Force veteran Alex Pedersen, 33. They moved it from the Austin, TX, suburb of Bryan to Madison the following year.
Since then, they’ve won several regional business awards and in March raised $4 million, half through a bank loan and half from angel investors. They used the money to buy Boulder, CO-based National Research Center (NRC), a 25-year-old polling and survey research firm. Combined, the joint operation has 24 employees. The sale was completed in April, Mastronardi says. Read the full story here.