Author: Julian Dobre
Date: February 18 - 2023

We’ve come a long way since our inception in 2020.

Polity started as a business plan I wrote for my MBA capstone project at the Haskayne School of Business. I had the option to join an existing start-up and provide them a business solution, or I could write a business plan for a new company. A lot of Polity’s ideas had been swimming around in my head for months at that point, but I had never written them down. By making it a school project, I was able to dedicate the time and consideration the plan deserved, knowing that I had a business prof scrutinizing my every word.

Twenty months following my graduation from Haskayne, we have deployed our prototype (“v0.5”) in two elections: the Calgary 2021 Municipal Election and the 2022 UCP Leadership Race. During these elections, we were more concerned with testing our business plan than commercial viability. We wanted to measure our core assumptions and make an informed decision on whether we could achieve our mission: to build a massive community of engaged voters, while enhancing the electability of candidates.

I can confidently say that we have achieved half of our mission: we have demonstrated that we can bring a lot of voters to the platform around election time.

The version of Polity you see at the time of publishing (“v1”) is the release of our first commercial product, deployed for the first time in the Alberta 2023 Provincial Election. We have refined our previous design, enhanced our functionality, and invested in new technologies including Artificial Intelligence. Following our first funding round, our budget is 10x and our product is 10x what it was. We are hopeful that the voter response will be 10x as well. The missing piece of the pie is commercial viability: can we provide value to the candidates, and are they willing to pay for it?

Julian Dobre is the founder of Polity and a technology & media lawyer at Donna Purcell QC Law. He has degrees in sociology, law, and business from the University of Calgary.

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