ePluribus Crowdfunding Campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C. —My brother Liam and I grew up in Elm Grove, Wisconsin and are upperclassmen at Stanford University. We are the co-founders of ePluribus, a Civic Tech startup that equips democracy with 21st-century tools, better connecting people and their government.
Three out of every five Americans believe that Washington does not hear them. In many ways, they’re right. In the past 10 to 15 years, the number of messages sent to Congress has increased nearly 100 times, but technology on the Hill has barely improved at all. Your tax money pays to maintain a system that only made sense decades ago. Constituents with real concerns are being drowned out. The signal is lost in the noise as congressional offices struggle to keep up; they simply cannot read all the messages they receive. The problem, in the words of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is that: “What we’re seeing is a 19th century institution using 20th century technology to respond to 21st century problems.”
People need a way to cut through the noise and have real impact. ePluribus helps them do just that. It bridges the worlds of Silicon Valley and Capitol Hill, providing modern, intuitive technology to both citizens and representatives, saving time and headaches for both sides.
What we’re seeing is a 19th century institution using 20th century technology to respond to 21st century problems.
Two-thirds of social media users are politically active, but their opinions rarely escape their networks of friends; social media is a bubble. ePluribus breaks that bubble. It integrates seamlessly with social media so that engaging with politics is easier than ever before. Simply download the ePluribus browser extension, verify your identity in a one-time registration process, and send away. Every time you write an update on Facebook or Twitter, you will have the option to send your post as an official message to your representatives. This breaks the bubble of social media so that your opinions don’t just go to your friends and family but instead impact the people who represent you.
We recently released a promotional video showing how these integrations could be used. See it here:
The unique power of ePluribus lies in identity verification. By providing personal information and verifying your identity, you make your message vastly more influential. Your representative will know that you are a constituent, and your voice will be heard. Even better, ePluribus collects aggregate data about constituent messages and provides this information to media outlets, holding your representatives accountable to what you believe.
ePluribus is strictly nonpartisan, and can be used at any level of government — federal, state, and local. Every American can use ePluribus to influence the policies that affect them. Liam and I founded ePluribus in August 2016 and it has been highly awarded. We won the 2017 Stanford SEP Idea Competition and was selected for Cardinal Ventures, a top incubator program at Stanford. We also received an OZY Genius grant to pursue the company full-time in the summer of 2017. ePluribus is advised by Greg Rosston (Director of Public Policy at Stanford), Nick Troiano (Executive Director of the Centrist Project), and Riana Shah (Founder and CEO of Independent Thought and Social Action International).
We are launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on Tuesday, September 12 to raise $10,000. We’re seeking support from people passionate about improving the political system. Provided we raise sufficient funds, we’ll have a product ready to launch in a matter of months. Please support ePluribus by donating $1 or more to our campaign, and feel free to connect with us on Twitter or Facebook, or by visiting http://www.epluribus.io.