Sprouter Provides A Collaboration Community For Entrepreneurs - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
9/18/2009
07:15 PM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
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Sprouter Provides A Collaboration Community For Entrepreneurs

Toronto-based Sprouter provides a networking and collaboration community for entrepreneurs. This morning I met with Sprouter founder and CEO Sarah Prevette to learn more about the service.

Toronto-based Sprouter provides a networking and collaboration community for entrepreneurs. This morning I met with Sprouter founder and CEO Sarah Prevette to learn more about the service.The Sprouter service is described as enabling collaboration and networking between entrepreneurs around the world. Sprouter launched in private beta in August 2009 and has over 6,000 members to-date. The goal is to help entrepreneurs support each other as they grow and strengthen their businesses.

After creating an account on Sprouter, several active entrepreneurs are suggested to help get you started with the service. You can search for topics and/or locations to find other Sprouter users who are interested in the same topics and locations.

Sprouter uses short messages (up to 140 characters) and the updates should answer the question, "what are you working on?" The service provides updates in a real-time stream format similar to social media service Twitter. After connecting to other entrepreneurs, their updates will appear on your main Sprouter page so you can see what they are working on and potentially provide answers to their questions. Hash tags (e.g. #newyork, #google) are used to allow Sprouter users to follow specific topics of discussion they are interested in.

Sprouter will offer both free and paid plans using the freemium business model. The paid plans include the ability to create and manage topics and events.

Sarah shared a variety of new features that are launching soon. They include an updated recommendation engine including the ability to be notified of new events in your local area, an alerts feature to notify you when someone has replied to one of your topics and a new iPhone application.

As I mentioned to Sarah, Sprouter seems like today's version of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) which is a group of former executives that help mentor and provide assistance to new businesses. I left Sarah with the suggestion to add more content to the site which will help strengthen the overall value of Sprouter to entrepreneurs.

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