Personal

New Project.

With our official media launch today, I’m ecstatic to finally share what’s been going on behind the scenes…

Late last year I was thrilled to join an amazing group of founding partners to form a new company creation studio called BrandProject.

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We’re taking a design-led approach to building consumer products – actively building, buying and investing in disruptive startups. It’s a model not too dissimilar to BetaWorks or Idealab – two companies I came to admire while I was building Sprouter and BetaKit.

(Sidenote: Idealab founder Bill Gross was one of the pioneers of this type of model – opening his lab in Los Angeles all the way back in 1996! Idealab has created and operated more than 125 companies over the years, with over 40 IPOs and acquisitions. Impressive success that we certainly hope to emulate.)

Our founding team has incredible experience building consumer products and technologies and is really excited to work together.

Andrew Black built Virgin Mobile with Richard Branson, was the President of LEGO and while GM at Nike, introduced their equipment business. He’s a renowned guru in bringing new consumer products to market. I met Andrew when I was toying with the idea of building a new company (after selling Sprouter) and was seeking his advice on supply-chain optimization / channel development. When he shared his vision for BrandProject, and the incredible team he was looking to build, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It seemed like an amazing chance to leverage everything I’ve done up until that point as well as partner with some of the worlds top creative talent.

And creative talent we have in spades.

Stanley Hainsworth was the Chief Creative Officer at both Starbucks and LEGO, as well as Creative Director at Nike. He’s a creative genius who has a ridiculous track record in building compelling brands. (Seriously. He invented the Gatorade bottle and is responsible for the amazingly cool in-store concepts you’ve undoubtedly ogled at both the LEGO store and Niketown. Robert Scoble did a great interview with him recently – watch the video here)

Andrew Bridge has held senior marketing roles at Virgin, Cadbury-Schweppes and Diageo. He is the inventive personality behind that sassy-virgin mobile operator and helped introduce Smirnoff Ice to the world.

Jay Bhatti is a renowned entrepreneur and technologist who built the people search engine Spock.com which was the backend for many prolific web 2.0 platforms like Bebo, Friendster and Hi5. He’s an active advisor and angel investor.

With offices in Toronto and New York City, we’re actively looking to back passionate entrepreneurs who are creating differentiated products for large markets.

We’ve been quietly working behind the scenes on a variety of different initiatives – including investing and helping build innovative new brands like Awake Caffeinated Chocolate (which I am completely addicted to), BRIKA, Rumble Supershake, SurfEasy, The Coveteur and Hello Products.

We have raised over $12 Million and are actively working on some exciting new concepts behind the scenes (stay tuned for more announcements on that front).

As Co-Founder / Managing Partner, I’ll be largely focused on external investments.  I’m looking forward to getting back out into the startup community and partnering with some of the incredibly talented founders I’ve been privileged to meet over the past several years.

Please drop me a note and let me know what you’re up to – I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at sarah@brandproject.com

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Personal

Stepping Away

 

I am stepping away from my role at Sprouter.

It’s been over a year since we were acquired by Postmedia and I look forward to seeing the community grow under their leadership.

It’s hard not to be nostalgic as this chapter closes, as the past few years have been an incredible journey.

I’ve been privileged to travel to many far-flung places, meet incredibly talented people and forge friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

I’ve learned so much that it seems trivial to try to put it into words… From building products to growing brands… from determining strategy to leading teams… from idea to execution, through triumph and failure.

It has been the most terrible, humbling, amazing, stressful, fantastic, exciting, maddening, wonderful, horrible, exhilarating experience one could ever have – and the most amazing education one could ever hope for.

My perception, philosophy and person are forever changed.

My time as a founder has brought forward an acute sense of self-awareness and resilience that I am immensely grateful to have discovered. It has also revealed to me the single greatest asset of any organization: the people.

I have had the distinct privilege of working alongside an amazing group of individuals. People I’ve come to respect, admire and appreciate deeply. It has been outrageously humbling to have such talented people believe in my vision and work tirelessly to bring it to fruition.  Our shared battle scars are representative of the unfathomable bond that comes from toiling together in the trenches.

As I step away from Sprouter to move forward with a new idea, I’d like to sincerely thank those who have given so much of their time, effort and support to get us to where we are today. I am truly indebted for your unrelenting dedication, passion and loyalty. Thank you for bravely defying the odds, ignoring the critics and always believing in the possibility behind “what if”…

And finally – thank you to the entire Sprouter community. Thank you for rallying behind us, for sharing in our vision and letting us be a part of your own startup journeys. I wish you all continued success and know that the team at Postmedia will endeavor to serve you well.

I am looking forward to re-joining the startup ranks, rolling up my sleeves and starting the cycle all over again…

Here’s to the next adventure.

 

Sarah Prevette

Founder, Sprouter

 

 

 

 

 

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