When Akram Al-Otumi first moved to Canada to go to school, he chose to call Halifax home. After a positive university experience, Al-Otumi decided to stay in Halifax permanently and launch his career from there. Since moving to Halifax, Al-Otumi has started three companies: 3D Next, Al-Otumi Consulting and his latest venture which inspires him the most, Spritely Technologies Inc.

Spritely is a platform that connects newcomers and tourists with locals who offer paid settlement and tourism services, helping to make their introduction and transition to a new city more personable, smoother and less stressful. Spritely’s roster of locals, known as City Experts, provide customized assistance to people who are new to Halifax. City Expert settlement services are designed to help newcomers with every step of the settlement process starting with the moment they arrive at the Halifax airport. Whether it is providing airport pickups, finding housing, setting up utilities, furniture shopping or getting to know the city culture through various tours, Spritely City Experts provide top quality, door-to-door service that you won’t find anywhere else.

“City Experts would help newcomers and tourists to feel at home sooner, save money, feel safer and integrate faster,” Al-Otumi says.

When clients sign up and join the Spritely platform, they search, select and book Spritely City Experts that offer the services they’re in need of, at a time that is convenient for them. City Experts, on the other hand, get paid while showing off the best that their city has to offer, helping newcomers and visitors experience the best of their home city, whether they are there for the short or long-term. As well, City Experts set their own schedule and accept bookings based on their availability, giving them a completely flexible, meaningful way to earn cash on the side.

Drawing on his own settlement experience, Al-Otumi realized the importance of clients being able to book a City Expert who can speak clients’ native language, adding that as a key feature to the Spritely client search function. Having a City Expert who speaks both English and clients’ native language would allow clients to practice their English speaking skills with a new friend while, at the same time, giving clients the opportunity to comfortably communicate with someone in their native language, if need be.

“Diversity is important for us, to have city experts from different backgrounds,” Al-Otumi says. “Having this will add value to our clients who also come from different backgrounds, and it will help ease the transition, eliminate barriers of language and create bridges.”

For Al-Otumi, it has always been about connecting people who come from all backgrounds and places all over the world and working together. He is no stranger to founding organizations and groups, as he has founded the Enactus chapter at Dalhousie University as well as the Enactus Alumni Network for Nova Scotia. As an advisor for the Enactus Dalhousie team, he was awarded the Enactus John Dobson Fellow and Enactus Alumnus of the Year Award in 2015. He says he owes so much of his success in the business world to his time with Enactus.

“The unique thing about Enactus is that it gives you a good taste of meaningful entrepreneurial projects,” Al-Otumi says. “It helps you to understand that entrepreneurship is not just about money, but it’s about the impact and helping and supporting people, and creating value for people without necessarily just focusing on profit. I learned about that balance at Enactus.”

Right now, Spritely has around 50 City Experts registered on the platform; but that number continues to grow as word continues to spread about the company. The end goal is to take Spritely from Halifax to the world but to first nourish and grow the startup in its native headquarters in Halifax.

Al-Otumi encourages everyone from the Enactus network who’s currently living in Ontario and Nova Scotia to join the platform and become a Spritely City Expert.

For more information or to sign up, visit www.gospritely.com.