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A visit from Russia boosts Rotherham Business

A new business based in Rotherham hosted a Russian entrepreneur recently in the same industry to exchange ideas and experiences which could help both companies to grow and expand internationally.

 spotamo_russia_visit

Spotamo Ltd., based at Century Business Centre, has developed a free smartphone application that offers users discounts at local shops.  The company took advantage of support through RiDO’s Soft Landing Zone, after its Project Manager Amanda Parris visited Moscow recently and established a relationship between RiDO and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

 

Whilst on her visit to Moscow, Amanda met Georgi Mahmurov, a Russian entrepreneur and co-founder of AlmaCard.ru, who was running a business similar to Spotamo, offering a no-hassle loyalty card for Moscow students.

 

Amanda Parris, Project Manager for RiDO’s Soft Landing Zone, said: “Spotamo have had great success with their product on a local level and they are now looking for ways to expand nationally and, in the long-term, internationally.  We developed a relationship with MGIMO to provide local businesses, like Spotamo, with the opportunity to collaborate with businesses in Russia to help them find new ways to grow.  The exchange gave Spotamo the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge and develop their long-term plans for international expansion.”

 

Chris Cooper and Edward Millen of Spotamo were given the opportunity to learn from the Russian entrepreneur’s experiences of working with major retail brands who have signed up to his student discount programme, which now has over 3,000 members.

 

Spotamo has developed a social smartphone app which allows users to save money at local shops by sharing offers and discounts with their friends.  Fifty independent businesses in South Yorkshire have already joined the discount programme and the company is now looking to expand by working with major retailers across the UK, with long-term plans to expand internationally.

 

Chris Cooper, Managing Director of Spotamo Ltd, said: “Working with Georgi has really benefitted our businesses and within minutes of meeting him, we started to share new ideas and discuss our current challenges.  We have had a lot of support from RiDO’s Soft Landing Zone in setting up our business and this exchange visit has really helped us to develop our plan to grow the business throughout the UK.” 

 

Georgi also benefitted from an insight into smartphone technology and the opportunity to discuss with Spotamo how this technology could help to expand AlmaCard in Russia, as well as reducing the cost of producing membership cards.

 

Georgi Mahmurov of AlmaCard.ru said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to visit the UK and meet with Chris and Edward at Spotamo to exchange ideas and learn from their experiences.  It has been invaluable to see first hand how they have embraced smartphone technology and social media to enhance their service, which is quite similar to the service I offer in Russia.  It has inspired me to develop my product and I am really looking forward to working with Spotamo in the future.”

 

Spotamo decided to locate to Rotherham as it meant they were eligible for mentoring support through the ERDF-funded Soft Landing Zone project, through which the exchange visit was arranged.

 

The Growth and Prosperity in Rotherham (Soft Landing Zone) project aims to assist Rotherham companies in accessing international markets and also helps foreign inward investors who choose to locate to RiDO’s business centres.   The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £842k investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13.

 

For more details about the Soft Landing Zone project, which is run by RiDO, visit the website www.ridobusinesscentres.co.uk.  For more details about Spotamo visit the website www.spotamo.com or call 01709 242032.

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