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Oct 14, 2022 Drew Franklin

HData Wins Best Startup Pitch at This Year's State of GovTech Summit

CivStart hosted its annual in-person State of GovTech Summit in Arlington, VA last week. The network of government and tech leaders gathered for professional development and startup pitch competition.

Luke Ashton, HData’s regulatory economist, was able to participate in the event and obtained the best startup pitch presentation in his cohort.

“Regulatory reporting is changing. Regulatory agencies used to collect forms and filings using documents, be they PDF, Word docs, or surprisingly still in the 21st century, paper,” said Luke Ashton, during the presentation. “Increasingly, they are replacing documents with data. Whenever a regulatory agency stops using PDFs and starts using XML instead, that creates a golden opportunity to automate compliance and business intelligence.”

This transformation is exactly what is happening in the energy industry. We at HData have been working on getting this started even before HData was born.

The origin story begins with our Founder and CEO, Hudson Hollister, in 2015 when he testified before Congress as the CEO of the Data Coalition, Hudson introduced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to this new way of collecting regulatory information. He has been working with the FERC to digitize its forms ever since.

The results speak for themselves.

“The pitch competition was an excellent example of the diversity and impact that govtech is having across the country right now," said Anthony Jamison, CEO, CivStart. "All of the startups were impressive, and these six really stood out as impactful technologies that we hope to see the scale to even more state and local governments.” 

In 2021, the FERC required every energy company to stop filing their annual and quarterly reports in PDF and start reporting in XML data instead. At the same time, they retroactively converted decades worth of filings from PDF into searchable data. This transformation enabled HData to bring our RegTech platform to the energy industry for the first time–and not only to energy companies, but also to the regulatory agencies on the state and federal levels.

Before, if you wanted to extract business intelligence from these forms, you had to download the PDF documents, hunt for the numbers you wanted, and manually create spreadsheets. Now every number, from every schedule, from every FERC form, is its own data field, individually searchable. This means regulatory compliance becomes automatic and ubiquitous across the energy industry, federal regulators, and state regulators. 

Our HData Platform is a multi-faceted data repository that rests between energy companies and regulatory agencies.

Energy companies use our solutions to manage, understand, and submit their regulatory information. Energy regulators use our platform to collect that information and better understand the companies they regulate. I’ll give you a verbal timeline of how our platform has grown.

Eleven months ago, we became the first company ever to use the FERC’s new data for business intelligence, and we released HData Explorer.

“At a time when citizens expect more from their governments and a new generation of government leaders are searching for fresh ideas, these startups embody innovative uses of technology to solve some of the most complex public sector challenges,” said Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer, e.Republic

HData Explorer brings any number from any schedule from any FERC form into interactive charts, graphs, and custom reports that change whenever the underlying numbers do.

HData Explorer is now used by fifteen leading energy companies and three state utility regulators in Nevada, North Dakota, and Georgia. 

Nine months ago, we raised our oversubscribed $3 million dollar seed round, and we built three more solutions into the platform.

Three months ago, we added the HData Library. This is the fastest, easiest, and FREE way to search and access any FERC form filed since 2011. If you Googled a FERC form recently, you saw HData Library at the top of the results.

Two months ago, in partnership with Alabama Power and Southern Company, we released the next generation of regulatory business intelligence, called HData Insights. Insights is built around your questions, rather than around the structure of the forms.

HData Insights is now in use at multiple energy companies.

Last month, we released HData Compliance. If the other solutions I mentioned are like Bloomberg, HData Compliance is like TurboTax.

HData Compliance uploads our customers’ spreadsheets and automatically turns them into the FERC forms. We have already signed over 25 pipelines and utilities to use it.

Finally, our platform is repeatable beyond the energy industry. This summer the House of Representatives passed the Financial Transparency Act, which will require all federal financial regulators to do the same thing the FERC did. Our CEO Hudson wrote that bill when he was a Congressional staffer twelve years ago.

Our RegTech platform is going to grow from energy forms and filings to financial services. This means when we’re finished with the energy industry, we’re coming for the banks.

Interested to talk about how our platform can help you manage and understand regulatory data without the headache?

Schedule a quick call with Luke to learn how HData solutions can turbocharge your specific workflow. 

Published by Drew Franklin October 14, 2022
Drew Franklin