FiscalNote Named Coolest College Startup

FiscalNote, a startup company co-founded by University of Maryland student Jonathan Chen, is featured in Inc. Magazine’s annual list of “America’s Coolest College Startups.” 

FiscalNote was selected from a list of nearly 100 college startups from all across America. Inc. Magazine calls their top 16 “the cream of the college entrepreneurship crop” and lauds them for achieving so much so early on in their careers. 

The company’s mission is to “unlock government data and make it useful.” It aggregates government data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Congress. The company uses advanced machine learning and natural language processing algorithms to find useful trends in government data and present it to clients through beautiful visuals. 

Additionally, the company uses its proprietary machine learning and natural language processing algorithms as well as advanced statistical analysis on all past legislative data, which enables it to predict whether new bills will pass into law with roughly 90 percent accuracy. 

FiscalNote raised $1.2 million in seed funding from investors including Mark Cuban, New Enterprise Associates, First Round Capital Dorm Room Fund, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures. 

Chen, a member of UMD's Hinman CEOs Program, credits the program and the school with playing an “integral role in moving FiscalNote forward.” The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) supported the endeavor with a $5,000 grant during the company’s early stages.

Chen co-founded the company in March of 2012 with two high school classmates, Tim Hwang and Gerald Yao. It got its start at the Department of Computer Science's first annual FISH (Fostering Innovation, Ingenuity and Entrepreneurship) Bowl competition. 

FiscalNote is headquartered in Bethesda and is looking to expand by hiring more engineers. 


Published April 30, 2014