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Civic Action Startup Pitch for Startup Weekend Bangalore
Civic Action Startup
that never… started.
A lack of convenient and accessible space
for citizens to feel engaged and empowered
by their government
The [initial] pitch:
A mobile app to inform citizens about
government-related information and make
it easy for them to be “active citizens”
1. Informative resources for civilians
Upcoming elections & party platforms
Constitutional rights & duties
Public support services
2. Political action features
Contacting your MP
Participating in campaigns
What we did:
• Began to research relevant statistics and
information to be used in info resources
• Began to survey Indian civilians on how
they identify with their government
• Created draft wire frames to show the
flow of app and SMS features
Roadblock 1: The Political Scientist
“Constitutional rights mean nothing to
someone who does not experience them on
a daily basis.”
Solution 1: Recruit him!
To establish a relationship between citizens
and their government via their MP, and
engage citizens in discussions together
through use of an online portal
1. Online social media platform
Posting of concerns: problems, questions and
Categorization of posting by topic, MP
Commenting & upvoting
2. Curation and optimisation
Contextualising concerns with information & updates
Repacking concerns and sending to MP
Updating user on resulting political activity
What we did:
• Began to research MPs to contact for their
support and feedback
• Created draft wireframes of website, app
and SMS features
• Began to research related initiatives:
found none the same! But why...
Roadblock 2: Mentor Problems
“Why should MPs care?”
Solution 2: or lack of…
We realized the sad truth:
Politicians would only care if their power
The likelihood of our platform just being
another “trend” then fall dormant
(NOT what we wanted)
[still] Unanswered Questions
Q: How can we engage with MPs sustainably?
– in establishing relationships with them?
– in getting them to listen? And act?
Q: How can we get citizens to engage together?
– in getting them to become informed?
– in getting them to reflect and debate upon their own
& THEN: How can we translate these methods in
the mobile and online forms?
Some of our positive learnings:
• It is not about what you know or don’t know
but about the ideas you bring forward
• That we can learn a lot from each other
and each other’s cultures and knowledge
• To not expect to get it right the first time
or the second... or the third...
• If you want to go after a big problem...
you must truly understand it first
and from ALL angles
To Keep in Mind:
Not to start with the solution
(what you can do)
But with the problem
(what you can’t)
“If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come
out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.”
Question for You:
What did you learn from your fellow
entrepreneurs this weekend?
Special Thank You’s
(but NOT Syed)