Writers, designers find new customers while companies gain new talent through crowdSPRING
BY SANDRA GUY firstname.lastname@example.org
Innovations can spring from bad experiences of everyday business. That's how crowdSPRING, the world's largest marketplace for creative services just in its fourth year of existence, got its start.
Mike Samson was looking to acquire a video post-production company and outsource the work to India, while Ross Kimbarovsky, an attorney, was turned off by a top vendor's response to his request for a website redesign.
The two men realized that businesses need to cast a wide net in order to find talented designers, marketers, packaging experts, and now writers, and that the creative workers are always on the hunt for new clients.
CrowdSPRING started with 25 designers in 2007 and has grown into a community of more than 75,000 creative talents in more than 150 countries worldwide. The creatives have submitted more than 1 million entries, in total, for projects for clients.
"We are now working with more major ad agencies and brands than all of our competitors combined," said Kimbarovsky. "These companies, including those on the Fortune 500, have realized the cost and time efficiencies of crowdsourcing design and written content."
Indeed, the crowdSPRING founders played off the term "crowdsourcing" -- outsourcing work through an open call to a large group -- when they named the company.
The company has benefitted from tremendous growth overseas, which has led to freelancers finding work in China, France and Australia.
"It's a great way to level the playing field for both sides (free-lancers and the businesses who pay for their services)," Kimbarovsky said.
CrowdSPRING is registering more than 900 users each week and averages posting about 230 open projects at any given time. The company intends to introduce more sophisticated services for businesses, especially for start-ups and small companies that lack access to global talent and feedback.
Samson, who grew up in Chicago's South Shore and Rogers Park neighborhoods, said the Chicago Innovation Award is especially meaningful because crowdSPRING aims to be a constant presence on the local area's tech and business start-up scene.
Company headquarters: Chicago's West Loop
Number of employees: 14
Year established: 2007