Small Biz Hookup

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

These days, there’s a social network for almost everything. Two local entrepreneurs are hoping small business owners will have room to bookmark one more.

Partners David Hunegnaw and Brooke Paul designed AboutOurWork, an online B2B site, to reinvent small business networking. “Those connections are a rarity on [existing] social networks,” says Hunegnaw. “We think the sweet spot for AboutOurWork is the small business owner with 10 or fewer employees.”

So far, the site has attracted nearly 25,000 members. Users can create profiles and enroll in MatchUp, a propriety recommendation engine. Both are free. Profiles provide mobile and search engine optimization. Users can use their AboutOurWork URL as their corporate website for a $10 monthly fee.

AboutOurWork, which is headquartered at 65 E. Gay St. in downtown Columbus, has several full-time employees and plans to hire more. For now, Hunegnaw and Paul are bankrolling the venture, with additional seed funding from the Founders Factory, their startup business accelerator near Ohio State University. Their goal is to scale the business using channel partnerships with chambers of commerce and business associations.

Hunegnaw and Paul partnered with the Columbus Chamber, which helped to build the MatchUp database and connection service and is promoting the site to small business members. “We could have launched anywhere but … the relationships, the network we have here in Columbus, Brooke and I both thought were ideal for us,” Hunegnaw says.

Reprinted from the January 2013 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.