For the last Pitch Dingman Competition of the 2013-2014 academic year, we’re bringing in a young and successful entrepreneur to inspire the audience. Jonathan Chen is a current Hinman CEO, UMD senior, and co-founder of a startup with 17 employees with over $1.2 million in funding. Join us in Van Munching Hall this Thursday, May 1 at 5:30 p.m. to hear from Jonathan and watch five finalists compete for $2,500 in funding. Register now.
Jonathan Chen grew up in North Potomac, Maryland where he attended Thomas S. Wootton High School in Montgomery County. His passion for technology began at a young age, so enrolled in four years of computer science classes at Wootton.
Going into the University of Maryland, Jonathan decided to major in computer science. He spent his free time building cool applications and websites that he tried to turn into companies. Unfortunately, none of his ideas panned out. Not knowing too much about entrepreneurship, Jonathan applied and was admitted into the Hinman CEOs entrepreneurship program hoping he could learn more about starting a business. During his first year in the program, Jonathan, along with two high school friends, came up with an idea to aggregate and analyze government legislation with the ability to predict the passage of a bill across all 50 states. They called it FiscalNote. Jonathan entered the idea into the Department of Computer Science’s F.I.S.H. Bowl entrepreneurship competition and placed 2nd. The competition helped validate their idea and push Jonathan and his co-founders to apply to the Plug and Play Startup Camp accelerator in Silicon Valley. They were accepted into the startup camp and spent the summer of 2013 building FiscalNote from the bottom up.
At the start of the summer 2013, Jonathan took advantage of his membership in the Hinman CEOs program and applied for the Citrin Impact Seed Fund from Mtech, receiving $5,000 in funding. Ten weeks later, the FiscalNote team’s hard work and dedication paid off because at the end of August, they were able to raise $1.2 million in seed funding from Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund. At the end of the accelerator program, Jonathan and his team moved their company to Washington D.C. because that is where all three co-founders are originally from and the majority of their clients reside in the nation’s capitol. Using the seed funds, Jonathan has grown FiscalNote to 17 full-time employees, with their office located in the heart of Washington D.C. and their product selling on the market.
Jonathan serves as the Chief Technology Officer at FiscalNote managing eight brilliant engineers. He is currently a senior, graduating in May. Along with Jonathan’s passion for technology, Jonathan has grown to enjoy sharing his entrepreneurial story in order to inspire those with their own ideas to fearlessly pursue them.