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Meet the 2015 Merrick Momentum Award Finalists: Sprout Social

Q: Tell us about what your company does.

A: Sprout Social offers social media engagement, advocacy and analytics solutions for leading agencies and brands including Anthropologie, GrubHub, Hyatt, Spotify and Zipcar. Our software powers open communication between brands, communities and individuals. As a team, we are relentless about solving hard problems for our customers and are committed to both customer and team success.

Q: How long has your company been around and how did it get its start?

A: Sprout Social was founded in April 2010 right here in Chicago. Before starting Sprout, founder and CEO Justyn Howard worked at an enterprise software company and was searching for a tool that would help him use social media to connect with customers. The tools available were more consumer-focused than brand-focused, so he decided to build a solution with co-founders Aaron Rankin (CTO), Gil Lara (Creative Director) and Peter Soung (Director of Web and Mobile Engineering).

Q: Why is your company located in Chicago? What makes the city a great place to build a business?

A: We were founded in Chicago because it’s a great place to live, work and innovate. Additionally, when it comes to building a business, the financial barrier to entry is lower in Chicago than on the coasts, which is a key consideration when getting started.

Q: How does your company stay connected to Chicago’s entrepreneurial community?

A: Staying involved in Chicago’s business and tech community is a priority for our team. Members of Team Sprout are involved with many of the organizations that keep this community strong, from Dev Bootcamp to Illinois Technology Association to Girl Develop It, and they share their talents as speakers, teachers and mentors. At Sprout HQ, we host events ranging from meetups to student site visits, and we often partner with other Chicago-based businesses to provide additional value through panels and networking opportunities.

Topics: Insights

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