JNO Update: Local-Ventures + Google

JNO Award-winning Local-Ventures, the brainchild of Ann Johnston, teamed up with Google for a night of learning and growing in Raleigh. Ann shared the press release below.


For Immediate Release

Sept. 21, 2012


Google and Local-Ventures welcomed 300 small businesses to free seminar on Google+

RALEIGH, N.C.— More than 300 Triangle small businesses and entrepreneurs got a leg up on social media marketing Thursday, thanks to Google experts and Local-Ventures, a new Triangle-based company that helps businesses connect and grow.

On Sept. 20, 2012, Google representative Devin Buell facilitated a how-to seminar on using Google+ to grow business through social and search features. Business owners from Raleigh to Durham heard from several local Google+ “power users” who have used the social media tool to successfully reach customers and achieve goals. Pictures of the event can be found on Picasa.

“Social media isn’t used just for keeping up with friends anymore,” said Buell. “Businesses, large and small, are connecting and engaging target audiences in a meaningful way through social platforms.”

Eighty-five percent of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure, according to a 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

Brandon Ives, managing partner for Brasco Design and Marketing, said the seminar was helpful to show him new ways to use Google+ to increase his market share. Ives said being visible and building a network, or “circle” of people with common interests, fits nicely into a bigger marketing picture.

“I have been using Google+ since it first came out, and stay fairly active, but this event taught me that there are so many other ways to leverage Google+ for my clients, my business and my personal hobbies,” said Ives. “It fuses together the benefits of other social networks with the unmet needs that exist – making new, valuable connections that are real.”

The Sept. 20 seminar, open to any Triangle-area small business, was held at 6 p.m. at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh. Local-Ventures organized the event with help from Google, Irregardless Cafe and Marbles Museum.

Local-Ventures organized the seminar as a pre-launch event for their new online service, which aims to create sustainable business communities. The organization is a University of North Carolina Minor in Entrepreneurship-funded venture that facilitates local business-to-business purchasing.

“We wanted to do something that brought local organizations together while promoting and growing our business community,” said Ann Johnston, CEO of Local-Ventures. “Devin’s presentation will help drive small business success by empowering Triangle companies to use some of the most valuable tools available.”

JNO Award-winning 

CONTACT: Local-Ventures at

About Google Inc.

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit

About Local-Ventures

Local-Ventures provides an online service that helps small businesses find quality and innovative solutions from vendors in their local community. Upon founding in April 2012, the company received the JNO Award for Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina. They plan to launch their service in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina in the fall of 2012. For more information, visit