Date Awarded
Grant Period
06/23/13 to 06/23/14
Focus Area
Media Innovation
Knight Enterprise Fund, Knight News Challenge

Project Links

Grantee Contact

  • Boston, MA

Featured Media

Launching a public policy simulator that helps people visualize the impact that public policies like health care reform and school budget changes might have on local economies and communities

Outline.com is developing an online public policy simulator that allows citizens and journalists to visualize the impact that particular policies might have on people and their communities.   For instance, with Outline.com, a household can measure how a tax cut or an increase in education spending will affect their income. The project builds on the team’s award-winning app Politify, which simulated the impacts of the Obama and Romney economic plans during the 2012 campaign. The Outline.com simulator uses models developed by a team of economists, backed by open data on American households from the IRS, the Census Bureau and other sources. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has hired Outline.com to develop an official pilot. The team is a part of the accelerator TechStars Boston.

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Project Team

Nikita Bier

Nikita BierNikita Bier, CEO, recently graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with honors and degrees in business administration and political economy. During his college years, he researched higher education finance, receiving recognition for his insights from the president of the university. While a student, he founded Politify.us, an award-winning election application that received national coverage. Before that, he worked in business development at 1000memories, a Greylock and YCombinator-backed startup.

Jeremy BlalockJeremy Blalock, CPO, led design and development for Politify.us. He is currently on leave from UC Berkeley, where he studied electrical engineering and computer science

Erik HazzardErik Hazzard, CTO, is an active member of the data visualization and mapping communities. He was formerly lead developer at Visual.ly. He is the author of OpenLayers 2.10 Beginner’s Guide. He graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in information science.

Ray KluenderRay Kluender graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with majors in economics, mathematics and political science. His extensive research experience includes involvement in developing value-added models of teacher effectiveness for Atlanta, New York City and Los Angeles public schools, election forecasting for Pollster.com and studying optimal health insurance design and government intervention in health care at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He will be starting his Ph.D. in economics at MIT this August.

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