Human Resources, Small Business & Startups, and Technology

Employee recognition company acquires startup

December 4, 2013
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Employee-recognition company acquires startup
The MeritShare social employee recognition platform allows users to recognize their co-workers. Photo via

A local employee recognition company has acquired a Seattle-based startup.

Grand Rapids-based Terryberry said today that is has acquired MeritShare, which developed a social employee-recognition platform that allows users to publish and distribute awards online and via mobile devices.

Terryberry described the acquisition as a strategic move designed to help the company continue its efforts to advance its human resources-based initiatives and product lines, which address employee satisfaction and engagement.


MeritShare was founded in July 2012 by entrepreneurs Travis Pearl and Kevin Nakao and gained media publicity.

MeritShare was also one of the first companies to come out of the 9Mile Labs enterprise accelerator program started by former Microsoft, HP, Adobe and Gartner executives.

"We started MeritShare, because recognition is one of the most underutilized, but powerful tools anyone can use to motivate people," Nakao said.

The platform creates a record of all accomplishments by entity or individual.

The awards are aggregated into a single profile page, showing awards from various companies, organizations and peers and creating a professional brand online.

The profiles are searchable and help validate someone’s professional reputation.

Additionally, MeritShare can be integrated with social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

"In a short amount of time since their launch, MeritShare has succeeded in making strides to advance the concept of social media-style recognition," explained Mike Byam, managing partner at Terryberry. "MeritShare's mission of providing recognition in an innovative and fun way really complements Terryberry's business."


MeritShare's customers will now have access to upgrade to Terryberry's Give a WOW platform, which provides many additional features and benefits like a branded interface, single sign on, integrated service awards and more award options.

The acquisition will also provide MeritShare's customers with access to Terryberry's offerings: employee recognition programs, global support system, local customer service and an expanded selection of employee recognition products. 

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