Startup Feature: Sprout Rewards Inc.

Sprout Rewards is a participating startup in Batch #2 of The Accelerator, providing business owners with an instantaneous loyalty platform that rewards customers for referrals, donations and purchases.

An interview with George Visan, CEO at Sprout Rewards

Sprout Rewards is a simple set-up loyalty program that any business owner can create. The platform rewards customers for shopping in person and online, and gives them an extra bonus when they ‘pay it forward’. Users can buy gifts for friends through local businesses and get rewarded for their generosity with extra Sprout points. Gifts sent through Sprout credit the recipient’s account so that they can redeem their gift in-store or online.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Sprout Rewards came to be.

I was born in Constanta, Romania and moved here when I was just a year old. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so I was often on the receiving end from selfless people.

I realized that people are innately good and love to give, so I reverse engineered this ideology into a product that rewards people for being kind.

What problem does Sprout Rewards solve?

Sprout solves the problem of low retention and acquisition rates for businesses whose customers are overwhelmed with options. Loyalty programs are also complicated to set up and can’t be done without help from external IT support, or the company behind the program. We provide a simple set-up method that adds value to the small business and its customers, without the time commitment.

How do you solve that problem?

We combine onboarding with an algorithm that pulls data from a business' website to create a loyalty program in under 10-minutes. To solve retention and acquisition, we deepen the B2C relationship by rewarding consumers for all purchases, referrals, and donations. Consumers can interact with each other through these local businesses and are incentivized to give back by making gift-giving quick, easy and rewarding.   

How has your experience been at The Accelerator?

It’s been good enough that I’m considering moving to Calgary from Edmonton! The connections I’ve made so far have been groundbreaking. It really is an awesome opportunity, and an amazing wake-up-call that startups don’t need to be on their own. In fact, it would be stupid not to take advantage of programs such as these.

Tell us about some of your major accomplishments in 2017.

We built two basic apps to validate our hypotheses about Sprout: Are people willing to pay it forward for points, and are businesses willing to use a smartphone as a code scanner?

Both of these were validated with a positive response on both sides of the market, so we’re now building a functional and scalable product. A huge accomplishment was being accepted into The Accelerator and getting access to networking and mentorship that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.

What's next for Sprout Rewards? 

Our goal is to have 1M users and 1000 merchants by 2018.

Support Sprout Rewards and other local tech startups at The Accelerator Demo Day: Batch #2

Demo Day will showcase local tech companies in front of accredited investors and celebrate all they have accomplished during the 5-month program at The Accelerator. Early bird tickets on sale for $25.