“Social Media hasn’t really entered politics,” at least according to the founder of the social media analytics and management startup, TrendPo. The founder, J.D. Chang, was able to correctly predict all 11 of the gubernatorial races and 24 out of 33 Senate wins in the 2012 election season based on his social-media tracking algorithm – including two Senate races that political analyst and statistician, Nate Silver, missed. TrendPo plans to enable campaigns to make social media a central part of their strategy in getting voters to the booths by maximizing the social media influence of politicians. The startup has been hitting highs as it participated in TechCrunch Disrupt, a popular pitch competition, and got backed by Fortify Ventures, DC’s first venture accelerator.
Like many startups, TrendPo comes from humble beginnings. J.D. loved fantasy sports in high school; and his classmate and later professional colleague, Andrew Wilson, had a passion for politics. So, in 2010, they started a fantasy politics Facebook app called Fanitics for predicting elections. The app got hundreds of users in less than a year and they started pitching it at technology events. Over the last four years, the founders have built a determined team of eight driven individuals and progressed from election prediction to including advertising and social media tracking. Now called TrendPo, the startup has seen great success from getting mentioned in popular news outlets like Tech Cocktail and Politico to taking on seven congressional clients from this election season, while also expanding into nonprofits.
This growth has been driven by TrendPo’s three solutions – Headlines, Fundraising and Social Ads Pro– that manage and analyze what message is most effective to social media users in a candidate’s district. The startup offers live account management, daily reports, Facebook and Twitter integrated fundraising, micro-targeting, influencer engagement and many other tools that take a campaign to a higher level. Using the platform, candidates leverage analytics and better social network access to generate more social engagement and raise funds.
When asked about what advice he had for Georgetown student entrepreneurs thinking about their own business ventures, J.D. explained, “[that] the biggest challenge is product market fit – creating a product customers will pay for.” Entrepreneurs need to first understand their customers’ needs in order to create a truly valuable product.
If you are interested in joining the startup and want some exclusive insight into nonprofit and charity marketing, as well as experience in analyzing politics, TrendPo is looking to hire student interns! Contact J.D. Chang at JD@TrendPo.com for more information.