October 23, 2010
We wrote about Sqoot a few months ago as part of the DreamIt Ventures class of 2010 coverage in Philly. They’re back now – this time in Chicago with a new logo and a refined business model.
Originally positioned as a way to track a list of activities you’d like to do, Sqoot has repositioned itself as a marketplace where you can get personalized offers on activities you want to do while businesses connect with motivated customers. Much of the interface is the same as before – as you enter, you’re asked what you’d like to do and you can keep a list or browse what others have listed. But now Sqoot asks for your location and serves up any available offer that might be associated with what’s on your list. The goal: connect businesses with highly targeted, local consumers who are ready to purchase.
For example, since I’ll be in Chicago in a few days, I entered Chicago as my location, and for my activity I entered: Find healthy food options. Sqoot then tells me they are searching for a special, local offer for me. I haven’t received it yet, but have been assured that this is an ongoing relationship – in other words, they are building a profile about my interests so they can target me with offers later. I’m actually hoping to receive a nice healthy food offer in my mailbox sometime soon.
The Sqoot team has also refined the site’s interface. It’s still social, allowing you to maintain your social “wish list” of things to do and encourage your friends to join in. However, they’ve improved the broadcast ability by assuring me that what I enter will not automatically end up on Twitter without my permission. And I like how you can scan through a public stream of other people’s wishlists of activities, and now see what special offers they may have received. For example, someone posted they wanted to learn Salsa dancing, and I can see that they received a special offer for $25 for 2 dance lessons at a local dance studio. Not bad.
The product is still in beta and focused on the Chicago area in terms of offers. If you’d like to talk with the team and get a live demo, they’ll be on hand as a featured demo at Tech Cocktail Chicago from 6:30 – 9:30 at John Barleycorn Wrigleyville, following our Tech Cocktail Startup Mixology Conference.
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