UVA Darden Alum’s Startup Offers Demystified Public Policy Expertise for Hire

By Dave Hendrick

Christine Davies (MBA ’09) came to the University of Virginia Darden School of Business with the intent of adding business acumen to her experience in the realm of economic development and public policy. With the recent launch of her company Poligage, which serves as a marketplace for experts in government affairs and public policy, Davies says she’s finally fully married her twin interests.

It was in a Darden elective on two-sided online marketplaces that the seed for Poligage took root. That’s when Davies connected the dots between her strengths in problem-solving and systems thinking to the government affairs consulting world.

“I knew there and then that the government affairs industry was kind of archaic. I thought, wow, maybe this is a way to bring more efficiency and order to government affairs consulting.”

For years, government affairs has operated on a high-dollar retainer basis. This can be a murky and, for some business clients, unworkable arrangement, Davies says.

“Government affairs is often a critical business function, just as important as marketing and finance. But many companies don’t understand how it works,” she says. “They don’t understand what they’re paying for. They don’t know if they’re getting value. Some have strong feelings about the government. They often don’t engage until the proverbial house is on fire. Or they are priced out of advisory services altogether.”

Rather than competing with traditional models, Poligage opens a door to new opportunities in the sector, Davies says.

Read the full profile on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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