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Bringing the community heat 🔥

Spontivly

How many platforms do you use to gather metrics about your community?

Are you looking for an innovative one-stop community solution to save you time and money? 

Spontivly is a startup in the Ascent stage of North Forge’s 4-stage Founders Program that has created a community management system that integrates with a company’s suite of community tools to allow for greater insights and efficiencies. 

“Instead of having to go to 10 different programs to gather analytics then create a report yourself, we’ve developed a platform that encompasses all your community analytics in one location. You can create your event, send out your social media messaging, and then analyze the information from each channel all in one tool,” explains Marissa Huggins, Co-Founder & Head of Community at Spontivly. 

“One of the most significant pain points that our customers deal with is that their community is scattered across many different platforms like: Slack, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, for example. Currently, community managers have no way of gaining any insights or analytics on their community. They can’t tell who is interacting with their brand or how they could improve their customer experience because they simply don’t have the insights they need. 

North Forge’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) have helped guide Spontivly to set achievable startup growth goals. “They helped us with getting a clear sense of direction to where we were going and how we were going to get there.”

In addition, North Forge was very helpful in giving us the necessary resources we needed to achieve our goals,” Marissa said. 

The exclusive investment resource that the Founders Program startups in the Ascent and North Star stages have access to is the North Forge Angel Network, launched in February 2021. Spontivly participated in the first deal screening and had very positive results. 

Marissa Huggins, Co-Founder and Head of Community with Spontivly

“What I can share is that we have had a lot of investor interest. The deal screening helped us in the early stages of building vital connections,” Marissa mentioned. 

Building connections in the investment community is essential for entrepreneurs. Marissa reassures founders to “always keep that doorway open. Continue to give them updates on your product because they may have said no right now, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a ‘no’ forever.” 

Marissa shares some tips on keeping investors up-to-date with the progress and successes of your business. “I ask them if I can add them to my mailing list then continue to demonstrate our product, customer, and growth updates because you never know when the investor is going to reopen that door.

No may not mean no forever, especially in the fundraising world,” Marissa shared. 

Approaching investor conversations as an opportunity to get valuable feedback on the business is another great way to build relationships. Marissa explained, “talk to an investor and ask, ‘Do you have any recommendations?’. They will often share their advice on what has worked with companies in their portfolio, or their own startups. 

North Forge Founders are set up for success when heading into deal screenings. “We had an enjoyable deal screening experience because we practiced a lot. In addition, we spent a lot of time refining our deck. 

Marissa Huggins, Co-Founder and Head of Community with SpontivlyI absolutely love North Forge’s EIR expertise because they made us pitch to the North Forge team before we went into the live deal screening,” beamed Marissa. 

“North Forge also provided pitching experts who gave us valuable feedback and insights allowing us to have an excellent overall experience. Once we got into the deal screening, we knew what to expect. North Forge did such an excellent job of preparing us for pitching at the Deal Screening.”

Marissa is one of North Forge’s Founders who recently graduated from the Asper School of Business with honours. However, she discovered something unexpected when deciding whether or not to become an entrepreneur. 

“Being a founder doesn’t have a template. You don’t need to have certain cookie-cutter traits to be a founder. That was one thing that really surprised me when I first joined our team. It’s easy to take yourself out of the running early on because you think you may not fit the characteristics of a typical founder. 

In the end, it’s about having a team that supplements and complements you.  

You can find other founders whose strengths might be areas of the business that you don’t love doing. That means that you have room to focus your strengths in a different area. 

As long as you find a team that complements each other well, your business will thrive with determination to make it work 

No two founders are going to look the same; there’s no template,” emphasized Marissa. “You don’t have to follow in somebody else’s footsteps, you can make your own path.” 

Are you thinking about entrepreneurship and are not sure where to start? 

Do you have a business idea but need help with the details of how to start a business? 

North Forge may be able to help you find your path into entrepreneurship. Tell us about your idea (don’t worry if you don’t have the answers to all the questions yet), and Krista Kowaluk, North Forge’s Program and Communications Manager, will contact you to set up a meeting to chat about it.

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