Spotlight on Startups - StartupPlaysAt 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 StartupPlays — an online platform where startups can purchase how-to guides, mentorship, and professional advice to help them achieve success.

What Is StartupPlays?

What Is StartupPlays?

StartupPlays provides a marketplace for step-by-step guides or “plays.” Startup companies use these guides to help them implement very specific tasks or projects that they may need help with. For example, a quick browse of the StartupPlays website reveals a variety of plays — from “How to Market and Launch Your iPhone Application” to “How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads“.

In addition to the guides, StartupPlays offers professional mentorship and feedback from a host of successful entrepreneurs and startup veterans who are partnered with the company. This same team evaluates content from would-be content authors, vetting it to make sure it is of the highest quality and value to startup companies, before it gets accepted for sale on the site.

The revenues generated from the plays are divided among the author, StartupPlays, and its promotional arm; StartupPlays promotes the authors’ content on a number of relevant sites all over the web. Authors are also free to do their own marketing and promotion of their content. Sales generated from an author’s specific channels result in a higher percentage of the revenue going to the author.

StartupPlays launched in February, 2012. It caters to a global startup audience and has already helped over 7,500 startups implement plays, obtain mentorship from the site, and more.

What Needs Does it Address?

What Needs Does It Address?

StartupPlays bills itself as “Steroids for Startups.” Decreasing the time to market can make or break a startup, so StartupPlays’ services are geared toward providing maximum results for its clients as quickly, effectively, and affordably as possible. “We’re not in the education business, we’re in the implementation business,” says Scott Annan, founder of StartupPlays (and a number of other startups and startup accelerators as well).

An as example, Annan says “we don’t want to teach people how to become blogging experts, we want to show them how to get a blog up and running — today.” This focus on actionable tasks and leveraging others’ expertise is StartupPlays’ sweet spot, according to Mr. Annan. Startups need to get their products or services to market sooner rather than later. “Using StartupPlays’ guides, mentors and collaborative cabal of experts can get a startup from point A to point B much more efficiently than if they tried to do everything themselves, from scratch,” says Annan.

Mr. Annan states that most startup founders are really good at what they do — running the startup itself. “They’re not all marketers, or accountants, or SEO experts,” he says. “Our services fill in the gaps in knowledge and expertise so that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they run into something outside their areas of expertise,” adds Annan.

StartupPlays is also an excellent resource for the “serial startup” entrepreneur, says Annan. “These people don’t necessarily need the hands-on mentorship of an incubator,” he says. “They know how to get funding but they still may need help creating an iPhone app. That’s where StartupPlays can add maximum value,” he adds.

How You Can Leverage StartupPlays

How You Can Leverage StartupPlays

If you’re a startup in need of resources that are tailor-made for your needs, there’s probably a play on StartupPlays that’s just what you’ve been looking for. If you’ve moved beyond startup mode, and you just don’t have the time or resources to search the Internet for how-to resources, StartupPlays also has a sister site geared toward the corporate market, called

If you have successfully helmed a startup company or if your business caters to this vertical, you may also qualify to become an author on StartupPlays. Here, you can sell your knowledge and expertise to a very qualified target audience and promote your core business at the same time. You can contact StartupPlays through its website, Facebook Page, or on Twitter.

Know of any other startups that would make a good feature on Spotlight on Startups? Contact us, or let us know in the comments below.

[Image credits: StartupPlays (FB)]