The Startup Caucus Advisory Network is committed to helping our portfolio companies learn about running a successful political business and provides valuable advice, insights, and introductions.
Pete SnyderChairman – Startup Caucus Advisory Network
Pete Snyder is the Chief Executive Officer of Disruptor Capital, an angel capital investment firm focused on funding and growing disruptive technologies, ideas and entrepreneurs. Pete is active in politics in Virginia, where he has served in various leadership roles in the Republican Party over the years and ran for Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth in 2013.
Ginny BadanesDirector, Defending Democracy Program – Microsoft
Ginny is the Director of Strategic Projects for Microsoft’s Defending Democracy program. Her work focuses on countering the growing threat of nation state attacks against vulnerable democratic institutions globally. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2014, Ginny was the VP for Political Accounts at CMDI. Ginny has over 15 years of experience in political technology. She has been recognized as one of Campaigns & Elections “Rising Stars” and has also received the AAPC’s “40 Under 40” award.
Andy BarkettCTO – REX
Andy majored in Political Economy at UC Berkeley, then entered the semiconductor industry as a software engineer. After working at Google in Search Quality and SRE he earned an MBA (UC Davis). His next stop was Facebook where he managed Production Engineering for all major products. In 2013 he become the fist ever CTO of the RNC then lead the tech efforts for Jeb Bush 2016. Currently, Andy is the CTO of real estate industry disruptor REX.
Gary CobyCEO – Opn Sesame
Digital Director for Trump 2020 Campaign. Trump 2016 Director Digital Advertising & Fundraising. Co-Founder of Realtime Media and Opn Sesame. PGC, MD Native.
Chuck DeFeoVice President – i360
Chuck DeFeo is vice president at i360. He has worked on various political, advocacy and business ventures throughout his career. In 2014, he created and led the RNC’s Digital & Data team. He has managed the digital public affairs practice in DC for Edelman. In 2004, he managed the first digital campaign for an incumbent President. He oversaw the data and technology projects for the U.S. Attorney General in 2001. And built up the largest conservative online community and led it to profitability.
Rebecca DonatelliPresident – Campaign Solutions
R. Rebecca “Becki” Donatelli is the president and founder of Campaign Solutions / CDI Ads and Right Country Lists. Celebrating it’s 21st year in the digital space, Becki was the first person to raise political money on the Internet. Virtually every online innovation for over twenty years has come out of her team at Campaign Solutions and CDI Ads.
David FennerVice President – Leadership Institute
David Fenner is Vice President of Programs for the Leadership Institute. He has worked in the Conservative Movement for more than 20 years. He has served as Director of Programs at Council for National Policy, Vice President of CNP Action, Inc., and Treasurer for the Conservative Leadership PAC. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, David received his Bachelors Degree from Emory University and his Law Degree from George Mason University.
Austin JamesHead of Marketing – Smart Home Technology Company
Austin James is a quantitative marketer with a specialty in high-growth environments, including early-stage companies, competitive political campaigns, and global advocacy initiatives. With over 12 years of experience in the fields of digital marketing and product management, coupled with a deep technical background, he’s helped $1B startups, national political campaigns, and global nonprofits grow through an agile and data-informed marketing philosophy.
Garrett JohnsonFounder – Lincoln Network
Garrett Johnson is co-founder of Lincoln Network and previously co-founded SendHub [acq. Cameo Global], a Y Combinator backed startup. Before moving to Silicon Valley, Garrett served as professional staff to the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and read for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, England as a Rhodes Scholar.
Steve JohnstonCOO – FlexPoint Media
As the COO of FlexPoint Media, Steve builds brands, moves public opinion, and uses data to help people make smarter decisions. Prior to FlexPoint and his years as an award-winning sales executive at Google, he co-founded a predictive analytics company backed by Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator startup accelerator and worked for the Majority Leader in Congress. Steve earned an MBA in Marketing and Operations Management from Wharton and an AB in Government from Harvard.
Kristen LuidhardtPresident & Co-Founder – The Prosper Group
Kristen is the creative, enthusiastic and high-achieving President of The Prosper Group, a digital marketing agency she co-founded in 2006. Kristen brings deep expertise in digital communications, persuasion, and effective targeting to her work. Her business acumen and ability to deliver results for clients have won the acclaim of her peers, resulting in dozens of awards, including the 2019 Starkey Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year, AAPC’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2018, and 2017 Republican All Star.
Kurt LuidhardtCo-Founder – The Prosper Group
Kurt is Vice President at The Prosper Group, a digital agency he co-founded in 2006. His unique blend of experience gives him a different perspective on politics and communication. His Midwestern values of hard work and service has led to positive and long term relationships with clients ranging from nonprofits to Republican politicians.
Joseph NelsonFounder, Principal Data Scientist – ROC AUC
Joseph is a data scientist and entrepreneur. He currently runs ROC AUC, a consultancy that builds machine learning products in search, sports, education, and more. Joseph previously co-founded Represently, a civic technology company improving constituent communication that joined Fireside21 in 2018. Joseph is a member of General Assembly’s Distinguished Faculty and formerly taught with George Washington University; he has built and taught over 2000 hours of data science curricula. Joseph previously worked on a presidential campaign, Facebook, and the US Senate.
Tom NewhouseVP, Digital Marketing – Convergence Media
Tom Newhouse joins Convergence Media after two successful cycles at the NRCC as Digital Political Director and Digital Director. In those roles, Tom managed one of the largest digital teams in Republican politics. As VP at Convergence Media, Tom manages and directs the growing digital team, helping clients create and grow results-driven and sustainable online fundraising programs, and direct holistic and effective marketing campaigns.
Matt OczkowskiPresident – Data Propria
Matt Oczkowski is the President of Data Propria and Co-Founder of Campaign Inbox. Throughout his career, he has worked at the intersection of where product development meets data science to forecast, strategize, and analyze commercial markets and American elections. Using tactics from the worlds of behavioral science, data science, market research, and sentiment analysis, Oczkowski has successfully helped organizations better navigate their business intelligence needs.
Gary started his career in CA politics then moved to DC and worked at the NRSC, for a U.S. Senator, and as a social media consultant. From there he served in the Army Reserve, then in Federal IT consulting for five years before moving into banking. During that time he also launched two startups and was a fellow/co-lead for the Startup Leadership Program in Washington D.C.
Thomas PetersFounder & CEO – uCampaign/RumbleUp
Founder and CEO of two companies dedicated to scalable, mobile grassroots engagement. uCampaign has built the official app of Ted Cruz for President, Brexit, Donald Trump for President, the NRA as well as the UK, Canadian and Australian conservative parties in addition to 50 other clients. RumbleUp is an advanced peer-to-peer (P2P) texting platform with over 250 clients who have sent tens of millions of texts and the winner of the AAPC’s People’s Choice Award for Best Use of Phones, Gold Pollie Best Use of P2P Texting and Gold Pollie Best Use of New Technology – Field (2019).
Erik RapprichPresident – Engage
Erik Rapprich is a grassroots activist turned technology entrepreneur. As President, he is responsible for the company’s operations, finances, production, and process development. Prior to joining Engage, Erik was the Web Director at the Republican Governors Association after running his own firm, Ethos Digital, for 6 years. In 2012, he co-founded Citizinvestor, a crowdfunding & civic engagement platform for local government projects, leaving a mark on the social impact space.
Samantha Osborne ReynoldsSenior Director of Strategy – Advoc8
Samantha Osborne Reynolds serves as Senior Director of Strategy at Advoc8. Previously, she served as Chief Digital Officer of the Republican National Committee and Digital Director for the 2016 Republican National Convention. Samantha’s extensive experience in the political and digital space, from both the business and the client side, gives her a unique perspective for how to define a strategy across verticals, integrate a digital operation and build an operating infrastructure for success.
Patrick RuffiniPartner & Co-Founder – Echelon Insights
Patrick Ruffini began his career as one of the country’s first political-digital practitioners, starting at the Republican National Committee in 2002. He managed grassroots technology and outreach for President George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign, and returned to the RNC to run digital strategy in 2006. Ruffini founded Engage, a right-of-center digital agency and most recently co-founded Echelon Insights to evolve the traditional ways that organizations collect information to drive strategy.
Drew RyunFounder & CEO – Campaign Sidekick
Drew Ryun is the founder and CEO of CampaignSidekick, a full stack application for voter contact and data management. A preferred vendor for the Republican National Committee, CampaignSidekick had among its 2018 clients Brian Kemp for Governor in Georgia and helped run the largest voter ID and turnout program in the nation to help elect Ron DeSantis as Governor in Florida.
Nicole SchlingerPresident – CampaignHQ
Nicole Schlinger is the President of CampaignHQ, the best conservative call center in America. Since 1999, CampaignHQ has delivered millions of effective P2P text messages, voter ID, persuasion, advocacy, patch through, and GOTV calls for winning campaigns and conservative organizations. Our mission is to make sure your message is not just delivered … it is truly heard!
Scott TranterCEO – Øptimus
Scott Tranter is the former Director of Data Science for Marco Rubio for President and co-founder in Øptimus a data and technology company based in Washington D.C. Scott has made several investments in various companies in and around politics, data and esports.
Please note: All titles and affiliations are for identification purposes only and do not imply the endorsement of any organization or corporation.