Sprout Insight LLC

Cincinnati, OH

Lisa Mills of Sprout Insight

How did you start your business?    
My co-founder, Kathy Burklow, and I made the decision to cross over from non-profit into the for-profit world. After speaking with several colleagues, we learned that we could readily translate our years of experience managing a non-profit into starting up a business.    

How did you come up the idea for your business?
We have more than 40 years combined of research experience in understanding how people’s perceptions, attitudes and values impact their behavior and the decisions they make in their lives. We believe very strongly that consumers, particularly women and ethnic/racial minorities have critical information to share when given an opportunity to do so.    

Therefore, with our research experience and experience collaborating with women and minorities, we decided to establish a company that helps other businesses to reach racially and ethnically diverse consumers so they can better understand the needs of these segments.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
The Hamilton County Business Center has been a very valuable resource for us. HCBC is a business incubator that helps start-up companies launch and build successful businesses. It offers much support including networking forums and mentoring programming. We have a wonderful coach, Mary Myers, who is a staunch advocate and cheerleader for us.    

What inspires you?
Bridging gaps! Gaps in knowledge, communication, understanding. Everybody brings unique perspectives and they are all valid. Everybody, whether they are from a different, race, ethnicity, gender or economic standing, deserves to be heard and understood. Isn’t that what we all want -- to feel heard and understood?

What’s next for you and your company?    
We are working to grow, grow, grow! Because we have been very fortunate with the wonderful networks and relationships that we have in the community, we’ve been able to gain traction very quickly. We’d like to see our business double over the next year.

Interview by Robin Donovan