Innovation That Matters

Twitter for entrepreneurs

Work & Lifestyle

We’ve already seen the Twitter model applied to organizational employees via Yammer, which encourages coworkers to share and collaborate by frequently answering—in 140 characters or less—the question, “What are you working on?” Now Canadian startup Sprouter invites entrepreneurs to do the same thing as an opening for discussion, support and collaboration. Toronto-based Sprouter is an online community that allows small business owners and entrepreneurs to share links, ask questions and share expertise with their peers. Whereas most social networks focus on connecting users with people they already know, the premise behind Sprouter is that it’s often the people one hasn’t yet connected with—but who share common goals and interests—that can be the most valuable resources. Accordingly, the site’s search function can help members find not just entrepreneurs in their area or industry, but also those who are discussing a topic of common interest—funding, for example. Members of the site can create profiles and start real-time discussions around any concept, company, association or event. Sarah Prevette, Sprouter’s founder and CEO, explains: “The power of social networking by individuals has been made more than evident, and Sprouter is striving to create that same sense of community and sharing for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs face struggles on a daily basis—from how to get funding to the best business tools to use. Sprouter can provide the forum for real-time networking and collaboration so everyone can benefit from mistakes and successes.” Sprouter is free for users, and hopes to generate income through partnerships with venture funding agencies and small business associations, Prevette told the Financial Post. Launched to the public just this week, Sprouter also hosts monthly events to bring local entrepreneurs together for in-person networking. The site’s community currently includes members from all over the world, including India, Australia, Europe and North America. One to try out for your own entrepreneurial edification…?



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