|Name: Jessica Riegel
NYU affiliation: Wagner
NYU status: Graduate
|Did you enter last year?: No
Do you have any teammates?: No
How many, including yourself?:
High Concept Statement
Our civic engagement app makes voting fun, social and competitive. Friends team up, make monetary pledges, and get their money back IF everyone follows through.
Society: 18-29-year-olds vote less than any other demographic; democracy suffers and government doesn’t represent constituent interests.
Politically engaged, regular voters: frustrated they can’t get friends to vote with traditional approaches.
Occasional, civically-oriented voters: believe voting matters but feel guilty when they don’t, due to lack of information and competing priorities.
Citizens learn about voting from public, nonprofit and political sources, from city-based guides to campaign canvassing. From established actors like Rock The Vote to newer, tech-based efforts like HelloVote, the voter-mobilization space spans efforts that lower information barriers (ex: BallotReady aggregating news) and streamline logistics (ex: TurboVote sends reminders about polling places. Other platforms tap into peer networks, such as letting users send links to friends but don’t ensure follow-through with financial and social accountability.
motivote stands alone: No other tool enables civically-minded individuals to effectively hold their friends accountable for voting.
motivote makes voting seamless: We offer personalized services that provide reminders and deadlines tailored to each user.
motivote is fun: motivote features competitive elements and tangible incentives to make voting enjoyable and engaging.
Revenue: Our app will make money in three ways: 1) transaction fees, 2) advertising, and 3) data sales. First, we will keep 90% of forfeited deposits from users who do not follow through on their pledge to vote (with 10% going to get-out-the-vote nonprofits.) Based on initial user testing, we are estimating that in the first year, 30% of users will not fulfill their commitment to vote. Second, we will sell advertising to companies, organizations, and political candidates that are closely aligned with our social mission. Third, we will sell the user data generated by our app to third-parties who seek to learn about the political behaviors and preferences of young Americans. Social metrics: We will start by measuring interaction with our platform, such as number of users and the number of referrals (to measure the power of social networks). We will then measure the outcomes of this engagement by tracking whether participants are voting in the elections they have committed to and how often they are voting in the long term. We will also track overall changes in voting rates and behaviors in the areas in which we are active. In the long term, we will seek to measure how these rates have affected election and policy outcomes (see attached theory of change).
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