In 2004, while webmaster for Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s run for the presidential nomination, Mele invented the landscape for integrating technology and social media into political communications. He went on to found Echo Ditto, through which he works with Fortune 500 companies and non-profits around the globe developing effective web strategies.
Open innovation and crowdsourcing have become part of Mele’s DNA. He co-founded Genius Rocket, an advertising agency that pioneered the framework that joins hundreds of well- respected creative professionals by crowdsourcing. The marriage of the open innovation and crowdsourcing models has proven to leverage top talent while delivering affordability and speed to market for clients.
I was excited to catch up with Mele at the Vermont Digital Future Conference held at Champlain College. He graciously shared his unique blend of thinking in explaining why social collaboration continues to grow as a viable resource for innovation, and how he believes funding sources like KickStarter are opening doors previously padlocked to many start-ups.