Towards a global political platform

Jon Mark Walls, CEO of the Swiss startup GovFaces, visited Bangalore for 9 days in August 2014 to assess the market potential of GovFaces in India. Read how his stay benefited the business development of his company.

I began working on GovFaces over two years ago with the vision of creating a global online platform for improving communication between citizens and politicians. Considering our product, it is a bold idea given the vast social, political and cultural differences across the countries we seek to work in. My colleagues and I liked the word “global” because it struck good chords with those we talked to and, to be honest, motivated us to reach further and dig deeper with our ideas. We wanted to work on a project where the ceiling and potential was seemingly unlimited; however, as with most startups, we needed to learn a lot and gain first hand insight into the ocean we were jumping into.

The team was therefore very excited by the invitation of swissnex India to speak at a local Bangalore TEDx event and carry out a week of in depth research, analysis, focus groups and interviews exploring the potential for GovFaces to internationalize in India.

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If our long term global vision was to make our product one that in ten years no one could imagine living without, it was going to take tremendous amounts of top level, diverse input to cut to the core of what we sought to offer the world, both at the technical and human levels.

And this is where swissnex stepped in. swissnex provided the first-rate tools, network and local insight that allowed GovFaces to peer into the Indian market and begin steering our work, even in the early stages, towards a product whose value could be delivered in such a broad and deep market. Not only did we benefit from the India-specific business and market expertise, but the lessons and frameworks that the swissnex team and I developed to arrive at our conclusions have strengthened our overall thought processes within the company.

From both a personal and professional standpoint, I could not be more grateful to the swissnex team for their efforts to facilitate what was, in the end, an extremely high quality and well-tailored business development experience.