KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Saturday, March 9, 2013, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mark Warner (D-VA) embraced startup technology created by Kansas City-based Phone2Action to make a pitch for public support of Startup Act 3.0, legislation they are co-sponsoring.
Senator Moran encouraged attendees at the technology and public policy panel to take action to support Startup Act 3.0 by texting "JOBS" to 52886. Phone2Action's technology makes it easy for people to let their elected officials know about their support of a bill or policy. Phone2Action was founded by Ximena Hartsock and Jeb Ory.
"The Internet has proven to be a powerful tool to raise awareness and influence legislation. Technology like Phone2Action empowers citizens to directly engage in public policy, enables more effective advocacy, and helps to reduce barriers that limit public influence in policymaking," Senator Moran said. "As folks at SXSW utilize Phone2Action to voice their support for Startup Act 3.0, we see form and content converging in an exciting way. By passing smarter laws that facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship, more startup companies like Phone2Action can emerge and bring new ideas to market."
After someone texts "JOBS", they will receive a text message reply that contains a link to Phone2Action's Take Action mobile app. The individual is then prompted to enter his or her street address and zip code, which Phone2Action uses to look up elected officials in the area. After adding their name and email address, the individual can customize the email that Phone2Action delivers.
"We created Phone2Action to elevate the voices of real people and to give legislators the chance to hear directly from their constituents," said co-founder Ximena Harstock. "Phone2Action removes the barriers that exist in the current advocacy practice and amplifies individual voices because every voice matters."
Event attendees felt empowered by having the opportunity to immediately take action using the Phone2Action technology.
"I texted JOBS to 52886 because I wanted to let my elected officials know that I support Startup Act 3.0. Their platform makes it easy to take meaningful action," said Mike McGeary, Co-founder of Engine Advocacy.
Phone2Action also won the prestigious SXSW Accelerator in the News Technology category, as judged by industry heavyweights Bob Metcalfe (founder, 3Com) and Alberto Ibragüen (CEO of Knight Foundation). Phone2Action helps organizations and candidates activate and engage their supporters.
Phone2Action attended as part of the Kansas and Missouri startup contingent.
In addition to its involvement in the SXSW Accelerator, Phone2Action was accepted in the Think Big Partners accelerator program in the fall of 2012. Think Big Partners is an early-stage startup accelerator and mentorship-based collaborative network located in Kansas City, Missouri. The accelerator invested $24,000 in Phone2Action earlier this year.
"We are proud to be involved with Phone2Action and to watch this startup succeed in its market," said Herb Sih, co-founder of Think Big Partners. "The Think Big Partners Accelerator program is unique in that it finds companies that solve problems in the market. Phone2Action does exactly that. Startups like Phone2Action and entrepreneurs like Jeb are the types of opportunities we gravitate toward."
"We have been excited about how the Missouri and Kansas communities have been so supportive of our work," co-founder Jeb Ory said. "We hope that our experiences at SXSW shine more light on the innovation coming out of the greater Kansas City metro area."
Phone2Action helps advocacy groups, trade associations and municipal agencies engage supports in-the-moment they are ready to act. To learn more, text "JOIN" to 52886 or visit www.phone2action.com.
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