Startup South Bend – Elkhart Pre-Accelerator Cohort Two Graduate, Kelley Rich and Lisa Vetne

Cohort Two Graduates: Kelley Rich and Lisa Vetne, Co-Founders
Company: Purple Nation
Contact Purple Nation: Via Email

Describe your company: “It all started when my family and I (Kelley) were sitting down for a nice dinner when before I knew it, the discussion turned political. The next thing I knew, my husband was yelling, and my daughter was crying, and then would not speak to me or my husband for three days! I thought, we need to be able to discuss politics without damaging relationships so that we can understand each other’s thinking. Unfortunately, this example is not uncommon. It is disheartening to see how divided Americans have become in recent years and how toxic the communication is between those on opposite ends of the political spectrum. This division, fueled by social media and fake news, has resulted in hurtful social media arguments, families torn apart, and friendships demolished all because of differing political views and the inability to communicate in an empathetic and respectful way. We started Purple Nation to heal the political divide by bringing people closer together in hopes of a more united America.”

What have you learned from the Pre-Accelerator Program? “The biggest learning experience is how powerful a network can be. Through the pre-accelerator program we were connected to a Notre Dame PhD student studying the polarization of families (who joined Purple Nation as our Chief Social Scientist) and the CTO of Real Clear politics (who joined Purple Nation as an advisor). Their contributions to our startup have been extremely valuable.”