Matt Crowell and Jamela Van Steinburg are the duo behind Kelowna-based startup Get in The Loop. The company has been growing by leaps and bounds as they expand into new markets, and Matt sat down with us to share what's next.
First off, what is Get In The Loop?
Get in the Loop is a membership community offering locals access to exclusive discounts at the most desirable businesses in their area. In addition to giving customers discounts at their favourite local businesses, it allows these businesses to manage and push their own discounts to their local members.
What lead you to create a discount service in a crowded field, and how do you distinguish yourself from competitors?
I thought there was a need to give businesses the ability to connect with targeted customers on a regular basis and I established a service that has shown to benefit both the customer and the business.
The deal-of-the day business model is not sustainable for the participating businesses. Our competitor’s compensation structure leaves the businesses stuck taking losses, and we have purposefully chosen a different model with a long term marketing approach in mind.
Our Members have the option to opt in to specific "deal groups" (loops) specifically tailored to their interests. The common group-buy model featured offers that appeal to a very diverse range of interests, but results in plenty of offers that you or I would have no interest in. We're going the other direction knowing that our model will boost every business's bottom line by helping to market their service/product to a core group of locals, and allowing them to keep all revenue from the sale.
You're currently running full speed in Kelowna. Do you have plans to expand into other markets?
Get in the Loop is operating in Kelowna offering 3 discount Loops – Restaurant, Golf and Staycation. We are also now fully operational in Belgium, offering a Relax Loop which focuses on high end saunas / wellness facilities, B&Bs, salons and day spas. We plan to enter into six other cities in Western Canada over the next 9 months, beginning with Edmonton and Victoria.
Belgium seems like an unusual choice for your first expansion. What made you choose that market?
I did my masters in Antwerp, and with the connections I had made with business owners I knew the Belgian market was primed for a service like ours. We launched with 22 businesses participating, and the response has been fantastic so far.
What has the response been from the business community, both locally and in markets you're looking to break in to?
We could not be happier with the response from the businesses we've worked with so far. Their feedback has been highly encouraging, and it has allowed us to gain significant traction in a relatively short period of time.
We have the green light from our major brands to enter other markets as well as testimonials recommending us to other regions. Our business model is something we are very proud of, it has allowed us to work with the likes of Moxies, Cabana, Sparkling Hill, Gallagher's Canyon, Boston Pizza, Eveline Charles and we have more partnerships with great well-known national brands in the pipeline.
Why did you choose Kelowna to start and grow your business?
Kelowna is where I call home. It's a great place where people want to experience life, be social, and active. I believe our service helps our Members enjoy all of the finer things in Kelowna, while saving them money.
Beyond that, Kelowna is a thriving tech hub that I think will bode well for our company. As a startup, I recognize the importance of having someone with tech business experience to turn to for advice, and Kelowna has a deep talent pool of tech experts whom I am looking forward to learning from.
To learn more about Get In The Loop, visit their website here: www.getintheloop.ca
As a member of the Venture Acceleration Program, Get In The Loop has access to coaching, mentorship, services and networking designed specifically to help startup and early stage technology companies accelerate their growth and maximize their opportunity. Learn more about VAP here.
Photos courtesy Rhys Albrecht/Accelerate Okanagan.