MindMixer Raises $17M To Help Governments Connect With Their Communities

MindMixer, a platform allowing local governments to solicit ideas from their communities, is announcing that it has raised $17 million in Series C funding.

When I first spoke to the company a couple of years ago, co-founder and CEO Nick Bowden said the product isn’t just about submitting and voting on ideas, but also creating a process for actually implementing the best ones.

The company now says that it has been used by 1.6 million participants who have submitted 100,000 new ideas, and that its customers include “most major cities in the United States,” including Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. It’s not just for cities, either — MindMixer says its tools can also be used by consultants, educational organizations, and nonprofit agencies. (You can see a map of some noteworthy MindMixer projects on its website.)

A “Silicon Prairie” startup, MindMixer also consolidated its Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. locations this year into its third office in Kansas City.

Bowden told me last week that one of his main goals moving forward is to help governments connect with a broader swath of their community. After all, he suggested that regular users of an idea submission site like ImproveSF “will be engaged no matter what.”

The challenge is to go beyond those groups, using the everyday interactions we have with the government as funnels towards more information and more engagement. As one sign of how disconnected many of us have become, Bowden noted that “most citizens don’t know who their representatives are” at either a local, state, or federal level.

To illustrate how MindMixer might expand, he suggested that online park listings could start pointing visitors to sites where they can submit ideas for improving those parks. So if someone is searching the web to find the nearest park, that search becomes “a potential avenue into a deeper level of engagement.”

The funding should help MindMixer pursue that broader mission. The new round was led by Omaha-based firm Dundee Venture Capital, with investment from the Govtech Fund and other, undisclosed participants. This brings MindMixer’s total funding to $23.2 million.