5 Questions with Yemi Adewunmi, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Civic Eagle

Aug 25, 2022

Yemi Adewunmi is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Civic Eagle (Techstars Anywhere 2019), which is a tech company that builds an innovative software tool for public policy management and collaboration.

She was previously a policy analyst at the New York State Legislature before transitioning into the tech industry. She became a product designer for growth-scale startups, including Jopwell and Andela, while incubating Civic Eagle. Yemi has a bachelor’s degree in Politics & Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh; a Masters degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University of Albany; and is self-taught in product management, user interface and user experience design, and digital marketing. In her spare time she loves designing products and services that help entrepreneurs be more productive.

01. What does your company do?

Civic Eagle is a data technology company that builds software to discover, understand and collaborate on public policy. Companies and organizations buy our software to keep track of fast-moving state and federal legislation, and to save them time and money in doing their work. You can consider us to be the future of work solution for public policy professionals.

02. I saw recently that Civic Eagle completed a $10M raise that included participation from Colin Kaepernick. Could you speak about some of your company’s plans for the future? 

We’re excited about our latest round of funding. It allows us to strategically grow our team — with the right people in the right roles on the team, we’ll be able to really propel the company forward. As we continue to scale, we’re also focused on running more experiments in business development and marketing, as well as digging further into new public policy data sets and data insights.

03. How important is it to build a solid network in a startup's early journey? 

It’s been critical. Relationships really matter in any industry; but particularly as a startup founder, building something innovative out of an idea is really hard to do alone. Without the people we’ve met along the way, my co-founders and I would not have learned new skills in the areas where we were inexperienced. Our network has connected us to customers, investors, employees, mentors, programs, and genuine fellowship and friendship. Becoming a part of a startup community early can be invaluable because you never know where the connections you build will take you and your company in the future.

04. As a company that got into a Techstars accelerator, what are some helpful tips you would give about the application process?  

What I appreciated about our application process into Techstars was its emphasis on founder-market fit. Our managing director spent a lot of time digging into why my co-founders and I are uniquely qualified to tackle the problem we are solving. I would recommend highlighting any traction and momentum your company has; but I would also highlight why you are so passionate about building a solution for the market you’re addressing. 

05. What was the most exciting thing about your Techstars accelerator experience? 

I really enjoyed our workshops. There were so many opportunities to learn the different areas of building a business — financing, sales and marketing, PR, branding, team development, and more. I also loved the sessions we had where we got to hear from other founders and their stories of how they built and scaled their companies. Being able to connect with fellow founders was always so inspiring and motivational.