By Marcella McCarthy
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the dearth of information surrounding politics, new bills, causes, and what politicians stand for? Sometimes it feels like you’d have to have a degree in Political Science just to figure out today’s landscape. But a new startup based in Miami is aiming to bring it all to one place.
Moxy - a play off the word democracy - is a non-partisan app that aims to centralize political information and increase civic engagement. It operates like a virtual ecosystem with a social component similar to that of Facebook.
You can create your own profile, curate your political news feed, and select your local and state officials to follow (yep, they’re on there too). Curious about what’s happening to a bill that interests you? You can check its status right in the app. And for elections - there are so many of them - Moxy’s handy calendar has the dates all right there for you.
“All this information is out there, but it’s so difficult to access,” said Cesar M. Melgoza, the founder and CEO of Moxy. Melgoza (pictured at top of post) said he uses APIs from publicly available sources to pull in the information.
As a two-sided platform, Moxy (moxy.live) has been working to get civilians and politicians to sign-up and create profiles. If a politician you’re interested in isn’t active yet, you can click “ask to join” on their profile and they’ll get an invitation. Donna Shalala and Francis Suarez are already on Moxy, among others.
“We have several thousand [civilian] users,” said Melgoza. And with the presidential election around the corner, he’s gearing up to add many more.
Melgoza is a serial entrepreneur, having started and sold Geoscape - a multicultural intelligence and data analytics company - to Goldman Sachs and The Carlyle Group in 2018. He declined to disclose the sale price. He ran Geoscape for 24 years.
His parents are Mexican and he grew up in the U.S. during the civil rights area, which he said prompted his interest in civic engagement. He later earned his master’s degree in public affairs and political economy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
The Moxy app, available for Apple and Android, is currently free. Melgoza plans to roll out a few premium versions soon that will include monthly subscription rates and more features. The app has been privately funded with the addition of a $100,000 friends and family round at the onset. They are currently hiring.