THE Surf Coast chapter of Localised is officially open, holding its first Meetup last week in Torquay.
Localised brings together local suppliers and local buyers from across a particular region onto a digital platform to network, connect and build meaningful business relationships.
Last week’s Meetup event at Peppers The Sands Resort, attended by representatives from about 200 businesses, also marked the end of the Geelong Small Business Festival.
Localised founder and chief executive officer James Baird said Localised Meetups were all about breaking down the barriers and connecting with other businesses.
“We like to say ‘bring an unapologetically commercial mindset into the room, be here to meet other businesses, be here to learn about what other people do and look for opportunities’.
“It’s only an hour in the day – break down all the taboo, just get out there and try to make some new relationships.”
The Meetup also featured a “lightning pitch”, where businesses were given the opportunity to spruik themselves in front of the crowd for no more than 30 seconds.
Surf Coast Localised was launched in partnership with the Surf Coast Shire.
Cr Margot Smith said having more local businesses work together was a key objective of the shire’s Council Plan.
“We do see great potential in this model, and we think the local businesses will actually find it a great platform to be able to use.
“It will assist them with the visibility challenges and make it easier to make connections – if you’re in a small business, you might not get the opportunity to get out and about all that much, but this is something for you to get out and talk to everyone.”
The shire sent out more than 7,000 invites to join Localised, and more than 100 businesses had signed up ahead of the Meetup.
As well as the G21 region, there are Localised networks in Central Victoria and Gippsland. The Great South Coast Localised will launch this month.
For more information on Surf Coast Localised, head to surfcoast.localised.com.au.