$2,000 and an idea to reinvent government relations
In the city where it matters most, this company is using data to accurately predict the passage of legislation
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC
Tim Hwang and two of his high school friends spent the summer of 2013 the way so many startups do—hunkered down in Silicon Valley or, in their case, a Motel 6 with $2,000 of funding and an idea. They saw an opportunity to leverage data and analytics to redefine the way organizations understand, interact with and, ultimately, predict the work of their governments. Today, FiscalNote supports thousands of organizations working in more than 25 countries, helping them manage the local, federal and international issues that affect them most. Tim, now CEO, has put his company at the forefront of policy and technology while building a culture that infuses Pennsylvania Avenue with savvy Silicon Valley sensibility. As they move into the digital advocacy and issues management spaces, they’ve built a workforce that is focused, collaborative and transparent.
Visit FiscalNote’s headquarters at 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue and you won’t see anyone with their own private office—not even CEO, Tim Hwang. Monuments and storied Washington landmarks can be seen in every direction, but inside the office the 350-person team sits side-by-side with their leaders. Each corner of their space is infused with a culture of focus, teamwork, and ownership. Company mantras are visible throughout the space, a favorite being “own the job.” Together, Tim and his team have created a solid foundation for a company that continues to experience exponential growth.
During the past five years, FiscalNote moved in and out of temporary office space every 12-16 months, moving into three short-term spaces and quickly outgrowing them. About two and a half years ago, JLL’s Bobby Blair started the search to find the company’s ideal headquarters location, and it’s safe to say he found it.
Bobby worked with FiscalNote to conduct an employee transportation analysis and workplace study. The results reinforced Tim’s desire to locate FiscalNote near major highways, Amtrak and all six Metro lines. From a design perspective, they needed a space with an open, collaborative environment and quiet rooms for focused work. Bobby found that at 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue. In addition to contiguous growth options staggered over the life of FiscalNote’s lease, Bobby negotiated a termination option that limited the possibility of outgrowing the building and having to sublease space in the future.
One of the most unique things about FiscalNote’s story is their partnership with the mayor’s office, the first of its kind. Bobby worked with FiscalNote to get the city’s assistance with the securitization and build out of the office space in exchange for providing apprenticeships, internship programs and summer learning opportunities for locals. Just four blocks from the White House, ten blocks from the U.S. Capitol and directly across the street from federal agencies, FiscalNote’s new headquarters provides access to the company’s customers, government entities and top talent across the region. Tim partnered closely with JLL to coordinate all internal stakeholders throughout the process—from the employees, to the customers, the property owner and in this case, the city.
A long way from Silicon Valley, FiscalNote continues to defy the government relations norm, and they have only just begun. In fact, after recently acquiring CQ Roll Call, FiscalNote began the process of expanding their office space to 65,325 square feet –an option they had thanks to Bobby.