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EchoRidge, a Concord startup that wants to make it easier for people to hire political lobbyists, came in second at the annual Startup Shindig held by the N.H. Tech Alliance last night in Manchester, and pocketed $100,000. (Union-Leader story here.)

First place and $200,000 went to Performology, a Nashua company that wants to automate the job of rating employee performance, which sounds to me like another step down the road to algorithm-overlord dystopia.

I profiled EchoRidge, which calls itself “Facebook meets Kickstarter meets Upwork, except it’s all politics,” a few months ago.

Founder Jeff Allan, 45, says the idea for the company came to him when he worked for, the firm that brought to New Hampshire the AutoLotto system allowing lottery tickets to be bought through smartphones. As a vice president of strategy in an industry that faces different regulations in every state, he spent a lot of time dealing with politicians.

“It was weird that I could walk into any politician’s office and say, look, this is what we want. … I could gain such an audience with the political elite. I wondered, how come I don’t have this same level of sway with politics as a private citizen?” he said.

You can read that whole profile here.

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