"They walked HOW FAR?"

Beaumont Health recently sponsored a “Summer Sweepstakes” contest on CARROT as part of its community health and wellness initiative. The response from users was, quite simply,  off-the-charts:

(1) There were 153,801 entries in Beaumont’s Summer Sweepstakes contest on CARROT – meaning participants redeemed nearly 154-million steps in pursuit of $250 in Amazon Gift Cards!

(2) Participants walked about 70,000 miles to enter the drawing, roughly the equivalent of walking:

2,668 marathons,
31,777 trips from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial,
14,000 trips over the Mackinac Bridge,
11,461 trips around Central Park, or
25 trips from New York City to Los Angeles.

(3) Walking a circuit around Metro Detroit to all eight Beaumont Hospitals would require about 242,000 steps – meaning the participants walked the equivalent of 636 “Beaumont Loops”.

(4) Beaumont’s offer of $250 in prizes resulted in more than 615,000 steps per dollar invested!

(5) CARROT users were attracted to Beaumont’s contest in huge numbers. In the course of purchasing nearly 154,000 entries, users viewed the Beaumont reward about 680,000 times during the month of July.

Antaran Named to OU Advisory Council

It’s commonly called “giving back”.

But for CARROT Founder and CEO Michael Antaran, it’s more like “getting more” – as in “more fulfillment” for having the opportunity to take a very hands-on leadership role with his alma mater.

Antaran has been named to Oakland University’s Graduate Advisory Council.

The Graduate Study Advisory Council's mission is to support OU's graduate education by contributing to the development of its strategic direction and implementation of strategic objectives.

“It really is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to serve OU,” Antaran said. “This university has played an instrumental role in any success I’ve achieved, and I’m just so happy for the chance to work side-by-side with some amazing people on the Board to help OU in any way possible.”

The Graduate Study Advisory Council is an invitation only position facilitated by the Dean of Graduate Education. This position will support the work of Graduate Study and provide mission-based leadership and strategic advocacy. The Dean-Council relationship is a partnership.

This is the third time OU has honored Antaran in recent months. This past February, Oakland University’s School of Health Sciences named Antaran to its new Board of Advocacy and Resource Development (BOARD).  And late last year, he was invited to give the Commencement Address during OU’s December graduation ceremonies.

Where Traditional Wellness Initiatives Fail

You can’t undo a Big Mac with a salad.

You can’t undo five sleepless nights with a weekend in bed.

And, according to the American Heart Association, you can’t undo sitting at a desk for eight hours with vigorous exercise.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with exercise. But as the American Heart Association points out in a recent review, “Regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, prolonged sedentary time could negatively impact the health of your heart and blood vessels.”

Understanding the significance of increased movement – in the form of walking – is critical to making substantive changes in people’s lives.

According to the AHA’s findings: “Interventions focusing solely on reducing sedentary behavior appear to be more effective at reducing sedentary behavior than those that include strategies for both increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors.”

The American Heart Association’s conclusion: “Absence of sufficient data to recommend qualitative guidelines, it is appropriate to promote the advisory, ‘Sit less, move more.’”

In an article in The Atlantic summarizing the AHA’s report, James Hamblin writes, “And by ‘move,’ they mean almost anything that is not sitting or reclining – anything that increases your metabolism to 1.5 times that of being absolutely still. Which is a very low bar. ‘Leisurely walking’ is close to 2.5, while gardening… is closer to four.”

Sit less, move more. It’s a prescription that’s easy for anyone to grasp, and it’s far more likely to resonate among those who lead sedentary lifestyles (a.k.a. the 20-percent accounting for 80-percent of healthcare costs).

Sadly, this strikes at the very heart of why traditional health and wellness initiatives miss the mark. Health club memberships, fitness trackers and 30-day challenges are all very nice – but they don’t connect with the most at-risk members. They do nothing to make something as basic as “increased movement” a healthy habit for those who are sedentary.

Sit less, move more. Any organization looking to make a life-changing impact on the health and wellness of others needs to consider using a program that embraces this very fundamental concept.

Beaumont Sports Medicine Doc: Try CARROT

Just 18 months ago, CARROT won a competition for being the “most innovative solution to engage Millennials with their health care”. Now, a leading sports medicine physician suggests those age 50-and-over would also benefit by using CARROT.

The Oakland Press recently interviewed Beaumont Health orthopedic surgeon James Bicos, M.D., director of the William Beaumont Sports Medicine Fellowship, about the use of smart phone apps to motivate people to live healthier, more active lives. The article was primarily focused on mobile apps helpful to those age 50 and over.

According to the article: “Beaumont Community Health offers a fitness app called Carrot, and Bicos recommends using it. Carrot, a free app, allows users to earn points which they redeem for rewards. The rewards are used to play games, compete in challenges, and redeem gift cards to local businesses. Carrot gives user personalized activity goals that update daily.”

From Millennials to Boomers, CARROT is a great option for anyone looking be more active.

Checking All the Community Health Boxes

“The Affordable Care Act requires hospitals to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify health issues encountered in a hospital’s service area as well as to develop possible strategies to address these issues, adopt an implementation plan at least every three years, and be prepared to monitor and measure its progress.”

Ability to monitor? Check.

Measurable? Check.

Affordable for non-profits of any size? Check.

A mobile tool that allows hospitals to fully implement their plan to address their community’s health needs? Check.

When it comes to community health and wellness, CARROT checks (and thinks outside of) all the boxes!

Find out why.

Today’s CARROT Audience: The World

Accenture hosts weekly Skype meetings to a global audience promoting the latest advances in health care. This week’s topic: CARROT Wellness, featuring a 30-minute presentation by Founder & CEO Michael Antaran.

Participants in Accenture’s meetings hail from Manila, London, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Singapore, among many other cities. For those unfamiliar, Accenture is a global management consulting and professional services firm that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services.

It may be difficult for CARROT to top this week’s audience – but it won’t stop us from trying!

“Beaumont Gets Walking” with CARROT

Beaumont Health is taking a new “gamified” approach to community health, utilizing the CARROT Wellness mobile app as the high-tech centerpiece of its “Beaumont Get Walking” initiative.

Participants in the free program will use CARROT to earn “virtual currencies” for walking and meeting individual activity goals – and they will use those currencies to purchase exclusive rewards including digital gift cards and incentives offered by local businesses. Through CARROT, Beaumont will also promote, and reward community members for participating in, a variety of wellness-related events.

“We’re absolutely honored to be working with Beaumont to support their amazing work in community health,” said Michael Antaran, CARROT Founder & CEO. “Their longtime commitment to the communities they serve is well-established. We firmly believe CARROT will be an effective tool in helping Beaumont reach the entire community, including those who do not typically take part in wellness initiatives.”

Chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity affect work, family and overall quality of life. To address the alarming trend in chronic disease, Beaumont – one of Michigan’s largest health care systems with eight regional hospitals – has partnered with key community stakeholders to improve health one community at a time.

“Our partnership with CARROT gives community members an incentive to get moving,” said Betty Priskorn, Vice President, Community Health Outreach at Beaumont Health. “The program uses individualized goals and instant gratification to motivate. Beaumont is committed to becoming a leader in care that supports the needs of the communities we serve.”

“Beaumont Gets Walking” focuses on the communities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties in Southeast Michigan. As a part of this initiative, CARROT will provide Beaumont with an engaging, measurable, and mobile program that essentially makes a game out of walking.

To participate in the program, Metro Detroit area residents are encouraged to:

     1) Download the free CARROT wellness app from the Apple or Google Play Store. Search “carrot wellness” or go to http://onelink.to/CARROT

     2) Open CARROT and log in. Log in using your phone number (preferred) or Facebook

     3) Swipe left to “BEAUMONT” tab, tap on the “Join the Program” reward item and “purchase” your free entry into the program

Local businesses who would like to support the program by contributing rewards may do so at no cost. Those merchants can get involved by contacting CARROT directly.

Introduced in Metro Detroit in 2016, CARROT Wellness is a free mobile app that uses personalized activity goals and instant gratification to motivate users on an individual level. Its gamified approach to health and wellness has demonstrated results in leading people to make increased movement a new, healthy habit.

CARROT was named the “Most Innovative Solution” to engage millennials with health care during the annual Crain’s Detroit Business Health Care Leadership Summit in November 2016.

The app is a free download on the Apple and Google Play Stores and can be found by searching “carrot wellness”, or by following this link: http://onelink.to/carrot. More information is available at http://carrotwellness.com.

Monday is Deadline for CARROT Offering

The clock is ticking.

CARROT's offering on Netcapital ends this Monday, April 2, at 4pm.  For as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT PASS LLC.

CARROT’s "gamified" approach leads to quick adoption and unrivaled engagement by all users, particularly among those who do not typically participate in health and wellness programs.

Investors on Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform, can purchase stock from promising companies such as CARROT.  Entering its final week, CARROT has already raised about four times more in investment dollars than its minimum Netcapital target.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Final Two Weeks of ICO (Initial CARROT Offering!)

There are just two weeks left to grab that ownership stake in CARROT.

The opportunity to purchase shares of common stock in CARROT through Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform, ends April 2.  CARROT has already raised about four times more in investment dollars than its minimum Netcapital target.

For as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT.

“We’re excited about the response we’ve gotten,” said CARROT founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “Going through this process has really put us on the map and has started some great conversations with people who recognize our potential. It's very exciting.”

CARROT’s patent-pending, “set-it-and-forget-it” program uses personalized goals and instant gratification to motivate employees on an individual basis, making CARROT an attractive corporate wellness program for companies of all sizes. CARROT leverages the viral advantages of mobile technology to quickly onboard small employers while offering a cost-effective, scalable solution for the world’s largest corporations.

With a few clicks, investors on Netcapital can purchase stock from promising companies, such as CARROT Pass LLC, for as little as $4.90.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Clarkston Chooses CARROT to Support Community Health Initiative

To generate interest and excitement in its fifth annual “Body, Mind, Green Community Expo”, the Clarkston (MI) Area Chamber of Commerce is using CARROT to engage the community.

The effort, sponsored by Health Alliance Plan (HAP) of Michigan, allows those who live, work and play in the Clarkston area to participate in a community walking challenge free of charge. The Clarkston Chamber will also promote the expo and its sponsors on the free CARROT Wellness mobile app.

 “CARROT is known as a fun, engaging corporate wellness program, but it can also be effective as a community engagement tool,” said CARROT CEO Michael Antaran. “The City of Royal Oak used CARROT to support a similar program last year, and now we’re extremely happy that Clarkston has taken it to another level.”

“In the days ahead, we’ll have an exciting announcement about an even larger community engagement initiative that will benefit thousands,” Antaran said.

The “Body, Mind, Green Community Expo” will take place Thursday, April 19 at Clarkston High School. The Clarkston Health Challenge, as the walking contest is called, begins March 19.

Participants in the Clarkston Health Challenge will have the opportunity to compete for prizes by meeting their daily CARROT activity goal. Users will be able to follow their progress on an in-app leaderboard. In exchange for the Reward Points earned for walking (one step equals one Reward Point), participants can also enter drawings for prizes on the CARROT Wellness app. Contestants must be present at the expo to win.

More info is available at https://www.clarkston.org/.

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CARROT Founder Named to New OU Health Sciences Board

Oakland University’s School of Health Sciences has named CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran to its new Board of Advocacy and Resource Development (BOARD). BOARD was formed to help support academic, research and community engagement programs in interdisciplinary health sciences, clinical and diagnostic sciences, public and environmental wellness, and human movement science.

“Our BOARD membership provides an impressive array of experience and connectivity reaching across Southeast Michigan,” said Dr. Kevin Ball, who serves as dean and professor for the School of Health Sciences.

“This is a great honor,” said Antaran. “The other members are among the very top of their fields, and each brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the School of Health Sciences. I’m excited and looking forward to contributing as best I can to the group and university.”

Antaran is one of 14 members of the Board of Advocacy and Resource Development. Other BOARD members include:

  • Reyna Colombo, director of rehabilitation at Beaumont Troy;
  • Kathy Forzley, director of the Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Arthur Griggs, retired from a 30-year career at Oakland University as assistant vice president of Academic Affairs;
  • Darryl Hill, senior vice president of safety at FirstGroup of America;
  • Dr. Robert Jarski, professor emeritus, lecturer and research advisor at OU students;
  • Greg Jordan, director of University of Recreation and Well-Being at Oakland University;
  • Ewa Matuszewski, CEO and a co-founder of MedNetOne Health Solutions and a champion of innovative primary care and chronic care initiatives;
  • Telva McGruder, director of Global Facilities Engineering and Manufacturing Operations for General Motors;
  • Moon J. Pak, a medical physician and the founder of OU’s health and medical programs;
  • Tom Spring, director of Wellness and Community Programs for the Health Alliance Plan of Michigan;
  • Teresa Stayer, vice president at Spectra Med Inc.;
  • Rheanne Suszek, executive director of the North Oakland Family YMCA; and
  • John Waugh, system vice president for the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine product line in the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

“The members of our Board of Advocacy and Resource Development are each committed in their own careers to help bring about positive change in community health and well-being, and collaboratively, we will now accelerate the ability to provide exceptional experiential learning opportunities for our students,” Ball added.

Antaran Among Business Leaders at DC Summit

The largest-ever gathering of small business owners in the U.S. took place in Washington DC this past week – and CARROT was there.

More than 2,200 business owners participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit to network, share best practices, and carry their message about the importance of supporting small businesses to their legislators.

CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran, who completed the GS10kSB program in Detroit in 2014, took advantage of the opportunity to meet with Senator Gary Peters and Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan.

“This was a great program, and it was a tremendous opportunity to share our story with other business owners and leaders in Washington,” Antaran said.

 U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) with CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) with CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran.

 CARROT's Michael Antaran meets with Congressman Sander Levin of Michigan.

CARROT's Michael Antaran meets with Congressman Sander Levin of Michigan.

Need a Great Community Walking Program? We've Got One!

CARROT, it turns out, is much more than an innovative corporate wellness program.

Last year, the City of Royal Oak (MI) used CARROT to support its “50 Miles in 50 Days” walking challenge for its citizens. And more recently, CARROT completed a 30-day “Survivor” community walking challenge pilot – with the results exceeding anything we’ve witnessed to date.

With no promotion of the challenge (except for its posting on the CARROT Wellness app), 109 people registered to participate. The participants were challenged to make their personalized CARROT activity goal each day for 30 consecutive days.

Among the results:

  • Fully 42% of participants successfully completed the challenge, making their personal activity goals every day for 30 straight days. (That is NOT an easy feat to accomplish!)
  • Getting off to a good start equated to success: those who were successful the first two days of the challenge survived, on average, 25 days.
  • By the end of the challenge, those participants increased their personal steps by an average of 22.2%! (This excludes those who began with the maximum goal of 10,000 steps.)
  • Daily engagement was about 92% overall, and the vast majority of those participants opened the CARROT app at least three times per day.

CARROT's community program allows local businesses, at no cost, to offer incentives and rewards to program participants. The program sponsor has the ability to recognize and promote all supporters on the CARROT app.

In the weeks ahead, we will be announcing expanded community walking opportunities using the CARROT Wellness app.

If your organization is looking for a fun, creative and cost-effective way to motivate your community to be more active, contact CARROT today.

Awesome-Sauce: CARROT Races Past Netcapital Minimum!

Just one week ago, we introduced CARROT’s offer on Netcapital. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that CARROT has already surpassed its $10,000 minimum raise – and is now one of the fastest startups to reach the $30,000 investment mark on the crowdfunding platform!

“We’re ecstatic with the response we’ve already received,” said CARROT founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “Almost all of the initial investors are current CARROT users or customers. These are the people who know CARROT best, and I think that sends a very loud message about their belief in our future.”

For as little as $4.90, you can now purchase common stock and have an equity stake in CARROT through Netcapital. Details can be found at https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Please consider this special opportunity to invest in CARROT today.

CARROT Launches Public Offering on Netcapital

Most high-tech investment opportunities require a significant financial commitment – but for as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT.

For a limited time, you can purchase shares of common stock in CARROT through Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform.

“There’s nothing like CARROT in the marketplace today.  We’re a mobile gaming company, and we’ve used that experience and expertise to create a ‘gamified’ program that truly motivates even the most sedentary employee,” said CARROT founder and CEO Michael Antaran.

CARROT has raised money through traditional funding channels, but Antaran wanted to be sure that everyone had a chance to share in the success of the company. This desire led to the decision to offer stock on the Netcapital platform. With a few clicks, investors on Netcapital can purchase stock from promising companies such as CARROT Pass LLC.

“We’re viewed as disruptive in the industry,” Antaran said. “But when your wellness program allows you to earn gift cards instantly for meeting personalized goals, while at the same time activity challenges and contests like fantasy football, I suppose ‘disruptive’ is an appropriate label – and it’s one we embrace.”

Introduced in January 2016, CARROT is already generating revenue with more than 15 clients including Henry Ford Health System, Oakland University, the United Auto Workers International, Macomb County Government and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Those customers currently offer the CARROT Wellness program to 60,000-plus paid participants in the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, and several other countries.

CARROT’s patent-pending, “set-it-and-forget-it” program uses personalized goals and instant gratification to motivate employees on an individual basis, making CARROT an attractive corporate wellness program for companies of all sizes. CARROT leverages the viral advantages of mobile technology to quickly onboard small employers while offering an affordable, scalable solution for the world’s largest corporations.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Leadership OU Pays Visit to CARROT

CARROT received a special visit this week from the participants of Leadership OU, a student-alumni program at Oakland University.

CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran, who received his Master’s Degree in Engineering from OU, spent two hours with the students, recounting his professional journey from the auto industry to the world of high tech and sharing his “lessons learned” – along with a few tips for making successful mobile apps.

Leadership OU provides leadership, mentoring, and networking opportunities for undergraduate students by connecting them to successful Oakland University alumni. Participants are part of a cohort experience spanning an eight-month period from September to April.

“It was an honor to be asked to host this group,” said Antaran. “And it’s easy to see why these students were admitted into this prestigious program. Each was very impressive, asking great, insightful questions.

“I have no doubt they’ll be extremely successful in their chosen fields.”

 CARROT CEO Michael Antaran addresses some of the students from Leadership OU.

CARROT CEO Michael Antaran addresses some of the students from Leadership OU.

Congrats to Macomb County's Winning Team!

Macomb County Government made the most of its first year in the CARROT program. In addition to participating in Survivor Challenges and other CARROT-sponsored contests, MCG had a spirited year-long competition on its "CARROT Leaderboard". 

The leaderboard tracks, in real time, monthly activity progress for all departments/teams in the CARROT program. One team - Corporate Counsel (pictured here) - led for exactly half the year, finishing as the monthly leader six times. The members of that team made their personal activity goals an incredible 86% of the time during the year, far outdistancing second-place Information Technology (66%) and third-place Juvenile Court (63%).

Overall, the number of Macomb County Government participants with a personal goal of 10,000 steps per day MORE THAN DOUBLED during the past 12 months. While only little more than 10% of participants began the program averaging 10k+ steps per day, approximately 25% finished the year with a personal daily goal of 10,000 steps!

Congratulations to Corporate Counsel and everyone at Macomb County Government!

Ignite2Disrupt: CARROT Honored by TiECon Detroit

Recognized for its disruptive approach to health and wellness, CARROT was honored with TiE Detroit’s “Award of Excellence” during TiECon Detroit Ignite2Disrupt 2017, Michigan’s largest entrepreneurial conference.

According to TiE Detroit, more than 500 organizations were nominated for the “Award of Excellence”, but only 20 groups were selected as recipients of the prestigious honor, including CARROT.

“This is a great honor for us. It speaks volumes that TiE Detroit would recognize our unique approach in using technology to drive healthier behaviors,” said Founder and CEO Michael Antaran who accepted the award on behalf of the CARROT Team.

“They were impressed with our gamified approach to wellness, but they were probably more impressed when they saw the data. They saw that we get results – that CARROT motivates people over both the short and long term to make increased movement a new, healthy habit.”

Founded in Silicon Valley in 1992, TiE is a global nonprofit organization focused on fostering and enabling entrepreneurship through mentoring, educating, networking, funding, and incubating. TiE has a network of over 61 chapters in 18 countries with a worldwide membership comprising charter members, successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Detroit conference provided an array of opportunities to exchange ideas, explore new businesses, discuss emerging technologies, share growth strategies, and obtain insight from global business leaders, community leaders and worldwide experts.

 CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran accepted the "Award of Excellence" at TiECon Detroit 2017 at the Detroit Marriott at the GM Renaissance Center.

CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran accepted the "Award of Excellence" at TiECon Detroit 2017 at the Detroit Marriott at the GM Renaissance Center.

Soil is Fertile for Growing CARROT

It begins by weeding out the web portals, passwords and self-reporting (which is hard to do, because they seem to be everywhere!) Then once you plant them, the CARROTs do all the rest. By design, they need very little tending - and take root quickly.

CARROT's organic growth has been spectacular since the program launched in January 2016. We say "organic" because the majority of programs have been launched thanks primarily to referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. Once CARROT completes its current round of raising investment capital, growth will be highly accelerated, to say the least. 

Global growth began in January 2017 when Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals launched a CARROT program for many of its European employees. Today, people in more than a dozen countries actively participate in a CARROT program, and that figure is expected to increase greatly over the next 12 months.

“We came across CARROT while looking for an app that is simple to use. From installation, to daily usage, to evaluating results, CARROT has proven to be a great choice," said Selim Cevik, a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and Consultant to Takeda Pharmaceuticals International.

"This is not only a great program, but a great team too, that has gone out of their way to make our corporate challenge fun, engaging and successful.”

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If you're tired of programs that never quite take hold, join the rest of the world... and check out CARROT today.