7
May

Kuorum.org, a tool for a new age of political leaders

Escrito el 7 mayo 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

 Author: Matias Nso, CEO & cofounder of Kuorum

Kuorum.org is a social company aimed at improving communication between politicians and citizens through technology. They launched their new web application last month and they already convinced ten state parliamentarians and several city councilors to connect with electors through their platform. We talk with its co-founder and CEO Matías Nso, who thinks politics is one of the sectors where ICT technologies have the amplest room for growth.

 #quote campuzano eng

How does Kuorum.org works?

Kuorum.org proposes a new way of doing politics, in which elected officials involve the citizenry in the decision making processes. In our website politicians from around the world open their projects to debate with their electorate. Citizens and organizations can make proposals to improve those projects. And finally elected officials support the most relevant proposals. This is how accountable commitments in Kuorum.org turn into victories for the whole community.

What is your value proposition for citizens and politicians?

Paying attention at every political decision that may affect your life is a tough and demanding task. Therefore in Kuorum.org you can choose the areas of interest that really matter to you. Those where you think you have something to put in: education, agriculture, economy, etc. And we notify it to you when a politician of your region opens a debate on any of those issues. You can easily configure the kind of notifications you want to receive and you can participate by voting, publishing your own proposals or promoting other’s.

For elected officials and candidates it is very important to know the public opinion and to effectively communicate their political projects. Kuorum.org gives them the opportunity to connect with their constituents without an intermediary.

What is the business model of the company?

Elected officials and candidates pay a monthly fee for their accounts at Kuorum.org. We segment our users by region and areas of interest, so that our clients can connect directly with the most active electorate and with the people who is really interested in the issues the care about. We like to think of politicians as a kind of ‘serial activists’. And Kuorum.org is the tool that allow them to lead social change.

#quote carmena eng

Why entering the political communication sector precisely now?

We are living a global paradigm shift in the way of doing politics. Transparency is now in the agenda of many governments. But transparency by itself leads only to a feeling of frustration among constituents, who know more every day about the way their institutions work but still don’t have the opportunity to participate in the decision making processes.

Many politicians have noticed this loophole, and they show very grateful when they see they finally have a way to connect with their constituents directly. Politics is one of the sectors where ICT technologies have the amplest room for growth. We have identified this trend in the US, but also in many countries of Europe and Latin America.

Why did you choose to start a social business?

We didn’t consciously decide to set up as a social business. But soon we discovered this was the only coherent way to go. If our mission is to promote a more efficient democracy, we must be accessible to everyone. And this will only be true to the extent that we are able to reduce the digital divide. Therefore we must invest in training for people in risk of exclusion and with low digital literacy in those countries where we operate.

But unfortunately, in Europe the definition of ‘social business’ is still very vague. There are no specific laws to define what a social company is. And many people mix up the mission of an organization with its legal form. In my opinion, at the end of the day, every business should be social. An economy that rewards those entities damaging the society or the environment makes no sense at all.

#quote jorge eng

What did Area31 brought to your entrepreneurial trip?

IE Business School is a world leader in entrepreneurship and innovation. And you can feel that from the moment you step into Area31. They saw in Kuorum.org an interesting opportunity and they invited us to the incubator when everybody else was still skeptical about a business related to politics. Now we are closing deals with our first big clients in Spain and overseas. And several investors showed some interest in working with us. None of this would have been possible without the advice and support of the professors of IE Business School and the people involved in the community of Area31.

What is the main challenge Kuorum.org is facing today

We are currently working on two lines: boosting sales in Spain and expanding the business to other countries. In Spain we need to coordinate the acquisition of new clients with growth in users. And therefore we are offering a private investment opportunity to consolidate the sales team and optimize our digital marketing strategy. For the international expansion we are looking for partners that can replicate the model. We want to grow faster and we are open to collaboration with other political communication organizations that have experience on the ground.

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