CARROT

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.

Where Gaming Meets Health

"You've got to make it fun."

That's what preventative medicine professor Timothy Church said about tracking your fitness in a recent USA Today article. The Louisiana State University researcher made this declaration while defending the value that fitness trackers have in the marketplace.

The fun is lacking, and therefore, so are the results. It's shown with all of the top wearable fitness trackers. It's not shown, however, with the CARROT Wellness app.

So where was this theory proven that combining fitness and fun can be successful? Pokemon Go. It was an app that asked its users to get out of the house and be active in order to compete, and the results were outstanding. That is, for about six weeks. But how can this wellness effort be sustained?

"We've seen a disconnect," said Michael Antaran, CEO of CARROT Wellness. "The data has been telling us that the solutions out there just don't work.

"Before we developed CARROT, we were primarily a gaming company. We were contributing to the sedentary lifestyles out there, and we decided we wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. So we took our gaming mentality and ‘gamified’ health and wellness."

CARROT is a wellness program that, frankly, doesn’t seem like a wellness program. People compete as individuals and as teams. They challenge others, and they challenge themselves. Games are intertwined with other games and, almost as if by accident, users find themselves creating a new healthy habit of movement.

CARROT’s ‘gamified’ approach is different than anything in the marketplace.

"We created currencies that can only be earned by walking and meeting personalized activity goals," continued Antaran. "Meet your goal and earn a coin. Take one step and earn a point. Earn a certain amount, and you can cash them in for contest entries, prizes and incentives."

According to USA Today, there are three main criteria on which to focus for long-term wellness: understanding your current activity, setting achievable personal goals, and receiving support from friends and family. Maybe it's just coincidence, but while large fitness tracking companies scramble to incorporate this recipe for success into their devices, CARROT Wellness already offers it.

First, while tapping into your phone's health data, CARROT automatically generates an individualized goal for you based on your personal activity history and updates each day. CARROT meets you where you are and leads you, slowly and incrementally, to create a new “normal” for activity.

The fact that five-out-of-six CARROT Wellness users begin with a daily goal of less than 4,500 steps demonstrates the program’s ability to appeal to those who would not typically participate in fitness initiatives. CARROT, with its roots in mobile gamification, is effective because it works for EVERYONE.

The larger pool of participants leads to greater social support and makes the program more fun for everyone. It becomes an organization's favorite "water cooler" topic. Participants like that they can compete with and against friends. The app even incentivizes users to share CARROT with their co-workers, adding to the viral nature of the program.

Given that 85% of CARROT Wellness participants open the app at least once a day – many of them opening the app four or five times daily – the program boasts engagement levels that traditional programs can only envy.

Perhaps there’s something to this ‘gamification’ stuff.

"Playing games on mobile devices is fun," said Antaran. "We figured getting healthy should be, too."

Crain’s Honors Michael Antaran (Again!)

Congratulations to our own Michael Antaran on receiving another great accolade! Michael was recently honored by Crain’s Detroit Business on its “50 Names to Know in Information Technology” list. The Founder and CEO of Marvel Apps (parent company of CARROT), Michael was also spotlighted in Crain’s for winning its “Healthy@Work” competition in November.

“It is a very interesting 50,” wrote Tom Henderson of Crain’s,  “a diverse group that ranges in age from 31 to 65, a mix of women and men, of races and heritages and scientific and informational interests, of people at small startups hoping to create a niche and at huge global institutions hoping to keep theirs.”

Michael’s inclusion on this prestigious list speaks volumes about the impact Marvel Apps and CARROT are having in Detroit’s mobile technology space.  Congrats, Mike!

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/awards/names_to_know/information_technology/2016/3432514/michael-antaran

CARROT Named Most Innovative Healthcare Solution for Millennials: CARROT Wellness Captures Top Prize at the 2016 Crain’s Detroit Business Healthcare Leadership Summit

CARROT Health & Wellness was named winner of the first “Healthy @ Work Innovation Challenge” at the 2016 Crain's Detroit Business Health Care Leadership Summit. Founder & CEO Michael Antaran made CARROT's five-minute presentation and accepted the award at the event which was held November 17 at the Detroit Troy Marriott.


Small businesses and startups were challenged to provide solutions to engage millennials in their healthcare, and CARROT was selected in a live vote of the conference's 400-plus healthcare executives in attendance. 


“To receive this recognition from this amazing audience is exciting for our entire team,” Antaran said. “We’ve worked hard to create a solution that will drive everyone to be more active, a solution that everyone will find fun and engaging, and we feel we’ve done this with CARROT.”

 
CARROT, introduced on January 2016 by Royal Oak-based Marvel Apps LLC, is an entirely new type of health and wellness program.  Without having to purchase wearable trackers, CARROT gives organizations of all sizes a mobile tool to drive healthy behaviors and reward employees for healthy activities.  CARROT’s proprietary program provides personalized daily goals to individual participants, helping to maximize engagement.

 
“We’ve used a blend of technologies to develop a personalized program that truly motivates and rewards even the most sedentary employee,” Antaran said. “There’s really nothing like it on the market today."

The audience of the Crain’s Health Care Summit picked the winner of the first Healthy@Work Innovation Challenge. Three finalists had a chance to pitch ways for Millennials to get engaged with health care. The winner, pictured second from left, was Michael Antaran, CEO of CARROT Pass LLC. With him are, from left, Ron Watson, Associate Vice President – Human Resources, Oakland University; Krischa Winright, Chief Information Officer, Priority Health; Elaine Coffman, Account Director, Marsh & McLennan Agency; and Daniel Duggan, Crain’s Detroit Business. Photo by Aaron Eckels, Crain’s Detroit Business.

The audience of the Crain’s Health Care Summit picked the winner of the first Healthy@Work Innovation Challenge. Three finalists had a chance to pitch ways for Millennials to get engaged with health care. The winner, pictured second from left, was Michael Antaran, CEO of CARROT Pass LLC. With him are, from left, Ron Watson, Associate Vice President – Human Resources, Oakland University; Krischa Winright, Chief Information Officer, Priority Health; Elaine Coffman, Account Director, Marsh & McLennan Agency; and Daniel Duggan, Crain’s Detroit Business. Photo by Aaron Eckels, Crain’s Detroit Business.

 
CARROT Health & Wellness features a Rewards Center on the app where employers offer exclusive incentives to its employees. At the same time, all CARROT users have the opportunity to claim special rewards provided by local retailers, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses.

 
“The feedback we’ve received has been tremendous. Most people mention that they like our concept of personalized goals and instant gratification, and we are now getting great responses to a couple of our newer features, especially our ‘CARROT Survivor’ challenges, unlockable rewards, and the ability for manual wheelchair users to fully participate in the program.”

 
Henry Ford Health System, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Total Sports Complex, and Macomb County Government are among the first organizations to utilize CARROT’s program.  Thanks in large part to CARROT’s early success, Founder & CEO Michael Antaran was also recently named one of “50 People in I.T. You Need to Know” by Crain’s Detroit Business.


More information about CARROT is available at http://CARROTpass.com.  To find the CARROT Wellness app on the iTunes or Google Play store, follow this link: http://onelink.to/carrot.

CARROT Participates in State Department’s YLAI Program

CARROT was recently invited to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s “Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative”, a special fellowship program which matches young entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean with business leaders in the U.S.  For a period of four weeks, we were pleased to host Ianir Sonis of Argentina. Ianir lent his considerable insights and energy to suggest some great changes to the CARROT program. (We’d like to think that we were able to assist him in his future pursuits as well!) Given his talents, passion and leadership ability, we know that he will be extremely successful. 
 

Ianir, you will always be a great friend to the “ZANAHORIA” team – thank you, and best of luck always!!

Ianir Sonis with CARROT CEO Michael Antaran.

Ianir Sonis with CARROT CEO Michael Antaran.

HAP Uses CARROT for LPGA Walking Challenge

As a sponsor for this year’s LPGA Volvik Championship in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) wanted to encourage spectators to spend just a little more time walking during their visit to Country Club – after all, living healthier lives is exactly what HAP is all about. 
 

So they staged a HAP Walking Challenge each day of the tournament, and they used CARROT as the primary tool to reward participants. To participate, contestants had to download the free CARROT PASS app and then connect with CARROT iBeacons positioned around the course. They earned points for walking within 200 feet of those beacons, then returned to HAP’s tent and redeemed those points for great prizes. 
 

Kudos to the staff at HAP for their innovative use of CARROT technology… and for motivating people to be more active!

Is Your Wellness Program Hitting the Mark?

Are the employees in your company truly happy with its wellness program? And is that wellness program easy for the company to manage and deliver?

Unless the answer to each question is “yes”, a new wellness solution is probably needed.

According to a recent article (“Wellness trends raise eyebrows in 2016” by Heather Caspiin) at HealthcareDive.com, many wellness initiatives – despite a greater commitment in resources and financial incentives – fail to hit the mark.

"It isn’t just about driving (or even forcing) more participation, but rather about facilitating smarter interactions that are targeted, timely, relevant, etc. to engage the consumer and influence their behavior,” said Steve Auerbach, CEO of Alegeus, which provides consumer directed healthcare solutions.

From the perspective of a benefits delivery provider, “We see growing complexity as employers use a variety of incentives to include premium variations and different plan designs (deductibles, coinsurance, etc.) for different levels of participation,” Eric Helman, chief strategy officer at Hodges Mace, added. “While we have seen these tactics raise participation, they can also contribute to employee dissatisfaction and administrative complexity when the benefits delivery platform is not up to the task.”

Most wellness programs would love to say that they are designed to be simple and easy-to-use for both the participant and program manager; In reality, CARROT Health & Wellness is one of the few that can make that claim.

The entire program is managed through the CARROT Pass app, giving the employer complete control of incentives which can be created, updated and deleted at any time. For participants, CARROT couldn’t be more convenient – the program in conducted exclusively on the user’s smartphone. Participants can monitor their activity progress on a specially-designed “Activity” tab, and all rewards are redeemed directly on CARROT. Additionally, there are no reporting requirement for participants – aggregated steps and redemption data are shared with the employer seamlessly through the app.

More information about CARROT Health & Wellness is available at www.carrotpass.com/wellness.

To read the article, visit http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/wellness-trends-raise-eyebrows-in-2016/413206/.

FRESHEST CARROT YET!

Our Latest Carrot Version Truly Drives Activity, Healthy Behaviors

When CARROT first launched in December 2014, it was hailed as an innovative tool to help connect shoppers with small businesses. And while that functionality is still very much in place, it has grown into what is now the most unique and dynamic Fitness Rewards program available.

After a series of updates that included the creation of a personalized activity goal for each user, CARROT now boasts features that promise to change the role smartphones play in motivating people to be more active. Most of the new features were created to support the new CARROT Health & Wellness program, including:

Our new Goal Coin. You will want to earn these!

Our new Goal Coin. You will want to earn these!

  • The introduction of a new CARROT currency – “Goal Coins” – which allows companies to reward employees for meeting personalized activity goals. Employees earn one Goal Coin each time they meet their daily steps goal.

  • A company-branded “Rewards Center” where employers participating in a CARROT Health & Wellness can post exclusive incentives for its staff – and this special tab would ONLY be available to the company’s employees. Goal Coins, as well as CARROT Reward Points, may be used to purchase these special rewards which are available directly on the CARROT app.

  • An improved “Activity” area when users can monitor their personalized steps goal and track their daily progress.

  • Thanks to a new “JOIN WELLNESS” button, employees have the ability to link seamlessly with their company’s established CARROT Health & Wellness program.

CARROT also includes a new “Featured” tab where businesses, regardless of location, can advertise special offers to reward all CARROT users. CARROT has also streamlined the process for businesses interested in joining the CARROT Merchant Network or posting an offer.

To learn more about CARROT, please visit www.carrotpass.com or contact the CARROT Team.

 

CARROT & the American Heart Association: A Natural Fit

First, there was peanut butter & jelly. Then followed Lucy & Ethel, Batman & Robin, thunder & lightning, and green eggs & ham. And now… CARROT & the AHA.

CARROT & the AHA?

Absolutely. CARROT recently received an invitation from the American Heart Association to serve on the Executive Leadership Team for its 2016 Heart Walk event in Metro Detroit. And as far as the CARROT staff is concerned, the relationship is as natural as macaroni & cheese. Or Kenan & Kel.

“Having the opportunity to support an amazing organization such as the American Heart Association reminds us that there is much work to be done when it comes to community health,” said CARROT Pass Founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “The AHA’s mission mirrors our own, and we’re absolutely committed to assisting them in any way we can. We are extremely pleased to be able to help make the upcoming Heart Walk, and other AHA events, the biggest success possible.”

The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to defeating heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Their mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke — the nation’s No.1 and No.5 killers.

The 2016 Metro Detroit Heart Walk will take place on Saturday, May 14. For more information on how you can support this great cause, please visit www.miheartwalk.org.

Long Term Wellness, or just Fit for a Bit?

The City of Huntingburg, Indiana, has committed to a Fitbit-only wellness program for its employees1 – is it a good idea?

Target recently made a bold statement about the importance of wellness by offering Fitbits to its 335,000 employees2 – is the money well spent?

Encouraging your employees to live a healthier lifestyle makes sense on many levels – but if the goal is to cost-effectively engage employees on a long-term basis, is it wise to push a program that uses a single device?

The answer to all three questions: no.

Consider that these Fitbit-only programs require the wearers of other activity trackers to abandon the devices they’ve already purchased, use and trust – and that population is significant. Yes, Fitbit is the industry leader when it comes to activity trackers, but it far from dominates the marketplace. In fact, during Q2 2015, it accounted for just 24% of device sales while Apple iWatch (20%) and Xiaomi (17%) were second and third, respectively.3  With a Fitbit-only program, many people, clearly, will be asked to give up their own preferred devices. Is this the best way to ensure long-term compliance?

Consider also that, even among those who have gone to the expense of purchasing a Fitbit, many give up using them.  According to research by Rock Health, “more than 70% of Fitbit purchasers from the first three quarters of 2014 churned before the end of the year.” 4  Essentially, interest and motivation wanes – and more than two-thirds of Fitbit users give up using what they once believed was beneficial.

Likewise, research by consulting firm Endeavour Partners found that one-third of consumers who own a “modern activity tracker” (which they described as devices similar to Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike, and Misfit) stopped using it within six months.5

Given these statistics, will the allure of a $25 gift card every three months be enough to keep employees engaged? Probably not.

The bottom line: wouldn’t it be better to have a health and wellness program that allows participants to use the device of their choice?  Better yet, wouldn’t it be better to have a program that requires NO ADDITIONAL DEVICE AT ALL – a program that simply uses the participant’s smartphone?

Just such a program was recently developed in Michigan. Because of its unique mix of technologies and program strategies, purchasing additional hardware isn’t required, although data from tracking devices can be used.

In the “CARROT Health & Wellness Program”, participants who download the free app are given a personalized activity goal based on the participant’s own activity history.  This allows the employee to be rewarded, not for achieving an arbitrarily-assigned target (does 10,000 steps sound familiar?), but for meeting their own personalized goal.  

Through a company-branded Rewards Center on the app, employees then receive exclusive rewards for meeting their personalized activity goals. The Rewards Center is only accessible to the company’s employees. All of this takes place on the participant’s phone.

To celebrate accomplishments and encourage continued progress, CARROT sends automated messages directly to the participants’ lock screens. The CARROT program also involves local businesses who are given the opportunity to provide additional discounts and special offers to participants.

Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” program which typically only engages the healthiest members of a population (10,000 steps, remember?), CARROT’s individualized approach incentivizes and benefits all participants.  And it’s all done, solely, on the participant’s phone.

No extra device needed.

The CARROT app is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores (search “CARROT PASS”). Information about CARROT Health & Wellness can be found at http://www.carrotpass.com/wellness.

 

Sources:  1  http://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/fit-by-bit-activity-trackers-cut-citys-healthcare-costs/;  2 http://blog.wellable.co/2015/09/21/target-offers-fitbits-to-335000-employees-ignores-byod/; 3 http://blog.wellable.co/2015/08/31/q2-wearable-shipments-fitbit-24-apple-20-and-xiaomi-17-lead-pack/; 4 http://rockhealth.com/deconstructing-fitbit-s-1/ ;  5 http://mobihealthnews.com/31697/survey-one-third-of-wearable-device-owners-stopped-using-them-within-six-months/

 

 

FORE!!! Look for CARROT on the Links!

CARROT iBeacons can be found in any number of places at the Cattails Golf Club in South Lyon, Michigan.

CARROT iBeacons can be found in any number of places at the Cattails Golf Club in South Lyon, Michigan.

Late this past summer, Cattails Golf Club in South Lyon became the first golf course to utilize CARROT as a tool to reward customer loyalty and generate increased business.

“Most new golf course apps use GPS which really drains battery life,” said CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran. “CARROT’s use of low-energy Bluetooth combined with its other technologies gives golfers a better and more-reliable experience – and you won’t have to worry about recharging your phone at the turn!”

CARROT Beacons are placed strategically throughout the grounds, allowing Cattails to provide golfers with a digital course book, discounts at the pro shop and grille, loyalty rewards, and the ability to streamline food and beverage purchases on the course. Additionally, new features will be added before play begins in 2016 to give Cattails customers the best experience possible – all because they downloaded the free CARROT app!

CARROT in the Big Apple

Michael Antaran, CEO of Marvel Apps and Carrot Pass LLC, is pictured here with Lloyd Blackfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Mike Murray, VP of Marketing & Communications for CARROT pass; and Michael Bloomberg in New York City.

Michael Antaran, CEO of Marvel Apps and Carrot Pass LLC, is pictured here with Lloyd Blackfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Mike Murray, VP of Marketing & Communications for CARROT pass; and Michael Bloomberg in New York City.

CARROT was one of just 16 U.S. businesses invited to participate in a special Coaching Session hosted jointly by Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg this past July.  “The direction, feedback and support we received from the teams at Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs was tremendous and extremely helpful,” said CARROT Founder Michael Antaran. “We were definitely headed in the right direction before the trip to New York, but we now have a more clearly-defined road map for where CARROT should go in the marketplace.”

Bloomberg Coaching Session Feature

This past July Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg hosted a professional coaching session in New York for select alumni of their 10,000 Small Businesses program. CARROT was just one of 16 U.S. business invited to participate in the session, which included discussions and mentoring on IT, marketing, finance, and more. 

 At CARROT,  we seize every opportunity we get to grow, and the networking and mentorship provided by the coaching session allowed us to do just that. Watch the video above to see Goldman Sachs' feature on the session.

For more information on the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses program, you can follow their official twitter page or visit their website

 

Where Most Wellness Programs Fail

Employee Benefit News has posted a very interesting article about employee wellness and why company-sponsored initiatives often fail. Perhaps most interesting are the all-too-often complaints about programs that only motivate the healthiest employees, do little to incentivize the unhealthiest staff members, miss the mark on true engagement, and make it nearly impossible to measure success.

When we developed the CARROT Health & Wellness Program, we addressed each one of these issues – they were the driving force behind our mission to get people to live healthier and more active lives.

Check out EBN’s feature and let us know what you think.

http://ebn.benefitnews.com/blog/ebviews/employee-wellness-is-failing-employees-2747733-1.html

Want the Best Michigan State Fair Experience? Use CARROT!

Attendees voted for their favorite performers, such as 2015 winner Carly Bins, during the State Fair Superstar competition.

Attendees voted for their favorite performers, such as 2015 winner Carly Bins, during the State Fair Superstar competition.

CARROT was named the official Technology Partner and Mobile App for the 2015 Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair. Using CARROT, fairgoers were able to purchase admission tickets, received notifications about select events, and even vote for their favorite contestants during the State Fair Superstar competition Presented by Pepsi!