Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sprouter takes root

Sprouter is a global community for startups and young-at-heart entrepreneurs, based out of Toronto. When I first met founder Sarah Prevette about two years ago,  she was one of many people I was meeting around that time who was determined to set up an online forum for entrepreneurs.

Most of those projects never happened. A few launched lamely and were quickly ignored. Sprouter however, seems to be working, and growing. It passed 15,000 members six months ago. And this month Prevette was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of "Top 30 Under 30" entrepreneurs, which is pretty good for a Canadian entrepreneur!

Click here for a profile of Prevette and Sprouter. Learn all about all the Top 30 entrepreneurs here. And click here to read about the big trend among the Top 30 this year: growing their companies by building communities.

Sadly, Inc.'s profile of Prevette shies away from the big question: Is Sprouter making any money? It says "Prevette plans to make money by selling ad space in its e-newsletter, Sprouter Weekly, and by making introductions between investors and start-ups." But no word on how successful they've been so far..

Sprouter itself offers online forums, sharing of best practices, lots of profiles of entrepreneurs from all over the globe, and actual events in which human beings actually meet each oher IRL (in real life). And coming soon, you'll be able to ask questions of a panel of business experts and get a personal answer.

Registration is free for entrepreneurs. I signed up a long time ago, but have not been an active member of the community. I think I'll get more involved. The entrepreneur scene needs flagship online communities with a critical mass of  members to make it effective and useful: maybe Sprouter is it.

At any rate, it's Canadian. So check it out, eh?

1 comment:

Janice Chan said...

The site doesn't make any money. I have a feeling Sprouter won't be around for that much longer given their business model. They need to start focusing on revenue.