At Sprout Insights, we comb the web to bring you the most up-to-date and actionable resources on how to use social media to grow your business.

To that end, we’re pleased to present the Sprout Insights series Spotlight on Startups. We’ll find the most innovative, useful startup companies out there, get the inside track on what they’re doing, and tell you how you can leverage their products and services for your own business.

This week we’re pleased to cast the spotlight on Infinite Monkeys — a web-based, DIY, mobile-app creation platform, with virtual offices and staff all over the globe.

What Is Infinite Monkeys?

Infinite Monkeys positions itself as “one of the largest producers of niche community social networking mobile apps.” Its name is a cheeky reference to the Infinite Monkeys Theorem which, according to co-founder and CEO, Jay Shapiro, “proves that with enough monkeys you really can accomplish anything.”

This tongue-in-cheek approach to business belies a very powerful and useful service that Infinite Monkeys launched in February, 2012 — a do-it-yourself, app creation platform for small and medium-sized businesses. Anyone can use the Infinite Monkeys platform to create and distribute free (ad-supported) mobile apps with a variety of customizable content. Or, you can pay a scalable fee ($49 or $499) to add even more bells and whistles and additional distribution options for your mobile app.

What Needs Does it Address?

Spotlight on Startups - Infinite Monkeys Machine

With a background in web development spanning more than 20 years, Mr. Shapiro recalls the early days of the “World Wide Web” when there was a gold rush, of sorts, for business websites. “Back then, businesses had to pay a developer thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, to build a static website,” he says. “Today, when more people are accessing the web through mobile apps than through websites, I saw this same bubble happening all over again — but this time for mobile apps,” says Shapiro.

“Mobile app development is expensive, often inflexible, and relatively slow to market,” Shapiro says. “So, we built a free, web-based, do-it-yourself, mobile app creation platform. It’s an affordable, user-friendly alternative for small and medium-sized businesses,” he says.

Using what the site refers to as “The Machine“, a typical app on Infinite Monkeys “can be built in under an hour,” says Shapiro, “because everything is based on filling in fields or drag-and-drop.”

After you hit the publish button on your app, Infinite Monkeys provides you with a variety of features and options, including HTML5 and Android or iPhone native versions of your app. You can choose to distribute the app yourself, host it on the Infinite Monkeys “Monkey Market“, or with the paid versions, you can host your app on the most popular third-party app marketplaces like the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon, and more.

How You Can Leverage Infinite Monkeys

How You Can Leverage Infinite Monkeys

If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a mobile app for your business, but don’t know where to start or don’t have a large budget, then Infinite Monkeys may be the solution for you.

“Most of our customers start by building a free app,” says Shapiro, “just to get a feel for how to do it.” Once people discover how easy it is to create their own apps — with content like Twitter or blog feeds, YouTube videos, Facebook updates and more — that’s when they get hooked on the concept, Shapiro says.

“Our apps are nimble and adapt with you,” says Shapiro. Through the web-based interface, “you can easily make changes or updates to your app — with no compiling or coding whatsoever,” he adds.

If you want to offer mobile app creation as an option to your clients, Infinite Monkeys also has a white label branding option available. “You can brand the service any way that suits the needs of you and your clients,” says Shapiro. He’s also looking into other partnership opportunities like affiliate marketing and a “few other options, based on where the market goes over the next couple of years,” he says. You can contact Infinite Monkeys through its website or through its account on Twitter.

What do you think about creating your own mobile app? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image credits: Infinite Monkeys]