Shortly after co-founders Rob Hoehn and Vivek Bhaskaran hatched the company in Seattle, Barack Obama was elected president. On his first day in office, he promised transparency and called for executive agencies to seek input from the public. Within 100 days, more than 20 federal agencies were running campaigns through IdeaScale, whose founders had a connection to the White House. The president’s SAVE Award, for example, asked federal employees to pitch cost-saving suggestions. The White House implemented the winning ideas, such as a tool-lending library for NASA projects.
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