The Most Startup-Minded, Tech & Data-Driven Political Campaign…Ever

TUE, OCT 8, 2019 (1:24:33)

Presidential campaigns are some of the fastest growing startup cultures in existence - doing more with less and scaling faster than ever both with talent, technology, and digital efforts.

Deepfakes, foreign election meddling, and other incidents have highlighted how cutting-edge technology might be harming our democratic process…but it’s also helping. Political campaigns on both sides are extraordinarily digitally savvy, using all means of technology available to learn about and reach voters, but also scaling to grow to an ever-changing daily campaign grind.

Four talented Democrat and Republican operatives who are deeply involved in the 2020 election cycle at the highest level will discuss how a startup mentality influences a campaign, the current state of data-driven campaigning, and new tools they are using in 2020 for the first time.

Image by Gerd Altmann on

+ BIO: Mike Shields

CNN Political Commentator Mike Shields has over 20 years of strategic experience at the highest levels of campaigns, Capitol Hill and influential outside groups. Shields served as Chief of Staff to the Republican National Committee in 2013-2014, overseeing the reform and build-out of a $175 million data and ground operation that led to the historic victory in 2016. Most recently Shields served as the President of Congressional Leadership Fund – a 527 “SuperPAC” – that focuses on electing Republicans to Congress. In 2016 CLF raised a record $50 million and went 29-3 in the 32 house races it played in.

+ BIO: John Hagner

John Hagner is a Partner at Clarity Campaign Labs, where he gets to work with some of the best clients in progressive politics, helping solve some of their biggest challenges. John joined Clarity after serving as the National Field Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2012 and the Director of Targeting for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2010. He was the field director for Sherrod Brown’s first campaign for the US Senate in Ohio in 2006 and served as the Deputy Executive Director at the Ohio Democratic Party in the 2008 cycle.

At Clarity, John has worked with dozens of Gubernatorial, Senatorial, and Congressional candidates, and directly with the DGA, DSCC, and DCCC. He’s worked with national groups like EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, House Majority PAC, and the Equality Federation, among others, and on ballot initiatives including the 2018 Florida Rights Restoration campaign and LGBTQ non-discrimation campaigns across the country.

+ BIO: Ellen Bredenkoetter

Ellen Bredenkoetter serves as the RNC’s Data Director for the 2020 presidential cycle after serving in the same role during the 2018 midterm cycle. Previously, Ellen served as Chief Data officer for Data Trust, a data platform which provides political data to conservative organizations.

Follow Ellen Bredenkoetter on Twitter.

+ BIO: Tom Serres

Tom Serres is a seasoned entrepreneur, public speaker, and technology executive. He is Co-Founder of Animal Ventures, a venture studio and consultancy focused on building startups, educating executives, and designing comprehensive strategies to help large companies, governments, and SMEs take advantage some of the most advanced technology companies coming into the market. Animal Ventures focuses on tech companies operating in verticals such as Blockchain, Digital Media, Artificial and Augmented Intelligence, and Internet of Things.

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