FiscalNote, a startup that promises to help businesses track and predict state and local legislation, is announcing that it has brought on two prominent advisors — Chris Lu, former White House Cabinet Secretary for Barack Obama, and Youngsuk “Y.S.” Chi, chairman of publishing company Elsevier.
The startup was founded by Tim Hwang, former president of the 750,000-member youth lobbying group called the National Youth Association. Hwang said that many businesses need to follow state and local laws and regulations that may affect them, as well as things like court cases and speeches. Most of the information is online, somewhere, but to actually track everything, “they need to hire different interns hitting refresh on all 50 states to find updated legislation in their specific verticals.”
So FiscalNote pulls this data from public sources and gathers it all in one place. For pending legislation, it even analyzes bills based on past voting history to predict the likelihood that they’ll actually pass.
By bringing on Lu and Chi, Hwang now has some validation from big names with government and publishing experience. (Hwang suggested that he has already been talking to publishers and news organizations, and that this could also be seen as a more efficient approach to the work of a local government reporter — a comparison that both impresses and pains me, since that’s how I started my career.)
Hwang provided email statements from his new advisors, with Lu describing FiscalNote as “an exciting project that has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses and advocacy groups learn about state and local policy” and Chi saying that the company’s “vision for the government information market is both compelling and needed.”
FiscalNote is currently looking for a few beta testers now, with plans for a full launch in September, Hwang said. The company is backed by the Plug and Play Startup Camp.