Founder Stories: Kory Payne of Ujoin Makes Advocacy Easy

Meaningful change can happen through effective communication. Grassroots efforts become more powerful when enough people are well-informed and empowered to come together and advocate for good laws. Kory Payne believes the land of policy-making is for all of us and was therefore inspired to create Ujoin, an online campaigning platform that makes it easier to send email newsletters, collect contact info, and track bills. Ujoin is backed by Keyhorse, and we asked Kory a few questions about the origin of his company and what’s on the horizon for Ujoin and policy-making in the short term and long term.


How did you become interested in advocacy and policy-making?

I became interested in policy-making at a very young age.  I always had a keen sense of disliking injustice of any kind. Policy work to me seemed like the place where important things happened. As I became older, I was able to continue working on nonpartisan issue campaigns as a profession, working on things that at the time I felt were important in society.

What inspired you to start Ujoin?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs and always had the itch to start a business. When I couldn't find an advocacy platform that suited my needs as a potential customer, I knew there was an opportunity to build something from the ground up.

"We serve our customers and shareholders, but we also serve our employees, anyone who touches our services, and society as a whole."

Tell us about your team: Who’s on it, and how did you meet?

Although our extended team is constantly growing, the original group of co-founders (Alyssa Reese and Charles Mongillo) was a congruence of serendipitous happenstance. I met Alyssa virtually when I was looking for a design team. Her shop in Boulder, CO had an awesome website which I stumbled upon, so I gave her a call. I met Chuck from a professional acquaintance while in a Baltimore business accelerator.

Where do you see policy-making headed in the near future?

In the near future, policy-making will continue to evolve digitally, but the core tenets will remain the same. Policy decision-makers will continue to have a need and directive to solicit stakeholder feedback to guide their judgments and choices. While digital advocacy is one piece of advocates' larger strategies, it will play an increasingly meaningful one moving forward I believe.

What does success look like to Ujoin in the short term and long term?

Success in the short-term and long-term has never wavered: Make our stakeholders happy and cared for while at the same time increasing effectiveness and profits. We believe that market fundamentalism can be a bit of a dogmatic trap; that the most profitable companies will be the ones that look at the bigger picture. We're willing to sacrifice a quarterly profit goal, for example, if it means that our customers will be better served in the long term when it comes to decision-making. We also take a broad view of whom we serve. We serve our customers and shareholders, but we also serve our employees, anyone who touches our services, and society as a whole.

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