October 9, 2010

Sprouter – The Social Network to Boost Your Startup

Sprouter is an application that promises to help any startup company grow and flourish. By connecting new business owners with experienced entrepreneurs, Sprouter provides a simple way to ask questions and get real-time feedback from experts in nearly every industry under the sun. The application also offers a way for people to learn about startup-focused events happening in their local area. In doing so, Sprouter has created a one-stop shop for anyone looking for advice on how to run a fledgling business.

Getting started on Sprouter is easy. Log in with a Facebook or Twitter account, or create a new account from scratch to begin using the site. Sprouter encourages new users to connect with friends they already know, or invite other entrepreneurs they admire to join the site. Once you’ve connected with friends and filled out your profile with all the relevant information, you can go ahead and let everyone know what you’re working on in 140 characters or less. Your status update will instantly be sent out to everybody who follows you on the site, which makes it a great way to solicit feedback and opinions on new ideas and concepts for your company. In addition to including messages and links, Sprouter lets you add tags to your status updates. Updates that are created with tags will be seen by other entrepreneurs who’ve chosen to follow that certain topic, allowing your query to not only be seen by your own followers, but other entrepreneurs working in similar fields as well.

When you come across a question posted by another user that you’d like to answer, just click Reply and enter your response. You can also elect to follow certain topics that interest you, such as SEO, Ruby on Rails, or Entrepreneurship, for example. Following topics is a great way to find other users worth connecting with in your industry. Sprouter is a great application that brings together business owners with all levels of experience and facilitates collaborative discussions that can’t be found anywhere else.

Practical Uses:

  • Find a mentor in your business field
  • Participate in discussions about your particular industry
  • Get advice and ideas on how to grow your business
  • Meet new people and connect with old friends

Insider Tips:

  • Log in with Facebook or Twitter to use Sprouter without creating a new account
  • Questions can be posted anonymously in the “Ask” section of the site
  • Send private messages to users who you’ve connected with
  • Create a new “topic” and start tracking conversations about whatever it is you’re interested in

What we liked:

  • Questions posted on the site get answered almost immediately
  • The “expert” users who answer queries on Sprouter are successful entrepreneurs with years of business experience
  • Users can follow specific topics or tags, in addition to other interesting users
  • Search feature makes it easy to determine whether a specific question has already been asked

What we didn’t like:

  • Because the site is still new, there aren’t as many people to connect with as we would have liked


Company Info:

  • Launched: November 2009 (Public Beta)
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Toronto, Canada
  • Founded by: Sarah Prevette
  • Web site:


  • Free

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