Networking Maven Joanne Galin Uses Her ShopLocal.us Grant Award to Fund Operations and Expand Her Company’s Reach

It started with a passion to connect with other professionals and a list, “Joanne’s Hot List”, of about 200 professionals in and around the South Bay. Now, Mixagogo has a thriving list of networking professionals, small businesses, and event organizers who use their platform to connect. For Ms. Galin it’s a dream come true.

Woman on a Networking Mission

You know how it goes; you meet someone at an event, exchange cards, and maybe an email or two. Other than that, there’s no lasting interaction. Joanne Galin took her networking to the next level, “I started networking about 3 ½ years ago. I’d meet someone at an event, exchange emails and invite them to attend another event with me. Next thing I knew people were saying, ‘Add me!’ Two people eventually grew to about 200. It was all very organic,” said Ms. Galin.

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In 2013 one list member, Daniel Quisenberry, convinced Joanne that she could help the wider community if they incorporated more people and businesses. Soon after, the two became four, partnering with Bibi Goldstein and Valerie James to form Mixagogo, the go-to place for networking and finding and posting events. Mixagogo provides a high-visibility platform where local event organizers can post events for free and professionals can browse and search events.

It’s a Side-Gig with Lots of Potential, But It’s Not Easy…

When you’re already a busy entrepreneur running a business on the side can be daunting. Says Ms. Galin, “We (Danny, Bibi, and Valerie) all have jobs, and although we have advertising sponsors, much of the business is personally funded.”

It’s typical for small business owners to use their personal finances to fund their entrepreneurial dreams. Over time however, this can be a drain on the business owners and it can prevent sustainable business growth especially in the formative years of a new business. In fact, 80% of new businesses fail within the first five years.

How ShopLocal.us Grant Money Helped Mixagogo Fund Operations and Grow Their List

Mixagogo was the third place grant winner in the 2014 Small Business Grant Awards. The grant money helped Mixagogo fund their daily operations and get more exposure which has also helped users of the Mixagogo site promote and find even more events, “Winning gave us a lot more exposure. ShopLocal.us is great at promoting small businesses and we definitely had an increase in sign-ups after winning,” says Ms. Galin.

When asked about ShopLocal.us, Ms. Galin says, “I love Heidi, I love what Heidi does for small businesses. I always like to support her and ShopLocal.us only this time supporting her meant supporting us as well. It was a real win-win!”

Why Shop Local?

ShopLocal.us is part of a grassroots effort to inspire more people to buy from local businesses in neighborhoods across America to keep our communities healthy, wealthy, and vibrant. To help local businesses achieve greater visibility and profitability, ShopLocal.us certifies small locally-based and independent businesses.

ShopLocal.us is hosting its 3rd Annual Small Indie Business Grant Awards program for businesses based in the South Bay. This year’s winners will be revealed at the South Bay Business Mavericks Gala & Grant Awards ceremony taking place on Wednesday, October 21st 2015 at the Toyota USA Automobile Museum. Based on last year’s success, they expect over 100 attendees to attend the gala event, including local entrepreneurs, community leaders and small business owners.


When asked why do the grant awards? ShopLocal.us Founder, Heidi Butzine said, “The Grant Awards program is our way of giving back to the South Bay business community. We know it takes a lot to run your own business. It’s the courage, persistence and passion that drives the small business owners to get out there every day and serve our community. We’re proud to host the Small Indie Business Grant program to honor the tremendous contribution small businesses make to the national and local economy.”

To apply for the Shop Local Small Business Grant Awards please visit: http://www.shoplocal.us/grant/

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For tickets or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities please visit: http://www.southbaybusinessmavericks.com

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