Elizabeth Edwards of CrowdSpark

CrowdSpark is a web platform that allows business owners to create customizable online contests. The simple service goes for a fraction of the cost that is typically required to hire web developers to start from scratch, which is why founder Elizabeth Edwards believes it's ideal for smaller businesses with tighter budgets.

How did you come up with the idea for CrowdSpark?
I run an annual contest here in Cincinnati called Cincinnati Innovates. When we started, I was looking for any possible way to save—basically pull off a huge contest on a small budget. I was surprised that an out-of-the-box online contest software wasn't available like other software as a service product—something like SurveyMonkey, EventBrite or MailChimp. So I took what I learned in building a contest site from scratch to create CrowdSpark, which is an application that allows anyone to create an online contest in minutes.

What local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
UpTech (the business accelerator partnered with the NKU College of Informatics) was hugely helpful.

What would you do differently if you started your business again?
I would have a developer as a co-founder.

What’s next for you and your company?
Definitely more contests.

Interview by Sean M. Peters