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Business

BizHawk: GroupGets Launches Crowd-Buying Platform for Existing Products

Santa Barbara Art Foundry abruptly closes, OsteoStrong opens in Santa Barbara and Nurse Next Door senior care now available in Goleta

GroupGets CTO Kurt Kiefer, left, CEO Ron Justin and Sashi Ono of special projects are part of the Santa Barbara-based company offering crowd-funding opportunities for companies with existing products.
GroupGets CTO Kurt Kiefer, left, CEO Ron Justin and Sashi Ono of special projects are part of the Santa Barbara-based company offering crowd-funding opportunities for companies with existing products. (All Stages Marketing photo)

[BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing [email protected].]

There’s a new crowd-sourcing tool in town, and it caters exclusively to individuals or manufacturers who want to buy existing products.

Unlike crowd-funding platforms Indiegogo or Kickstarter, Santa Barbara-based GroupGets allows crowd-purchasing options for people who want to buy items that typically are only sold in large quantities. Think design or electrical parts for projects.

GroupGets CEO Ron Justin launched the online tool with co-founder and fellow electrical and computer engineering friend Kurt Kiefer last fall, helping to facilitate more than 800 individual purchases valued at more than $250,000 since.

Local and overseas companies have already embraced GroupGets, the first of which was Goleta-based FLIR Systems Inc.

“I know how crowd-funding worked, and I know people were really comfortable with it,” Justin told Noozhawk. “It is unique in that GroupGets can only be used for products that already exist, and it optionally allows for private invite-only campaigns. We provide the security. We made it accessible to everybody in the world.”

GroupGets and its team of engineering-minded employees hope to expand the platform to purchase products outside the industry, staying true to its slogan of “crowd purchase anything in any quantity.”

Justin said the company is searching for a physical Santa Barbara space to call home.

Santa Barbara Art Foundry Closes

The Funk Zone’s Santa Barbara Art Foundry has abruptly closed, and its owners are reportedly going through bankruptcy court.

The art foundry at 120 Santa Barbara St., which last month changed its name to Warehouse 120 as an event venue, has shuttered for good after less than two years in business.

A local who booked the now-closed venue for a summer wedding was told the owner had let town with his deposits. He wished to remain anonymous pending future litigation.

Building owners reportedly told those who had already reserved the venue that another event space called Aperture Collective would soon move into its place.

The property managers would not share future building plans with Noozhawk, and requests for comment from foundry owners went unanswered.

Fox Wine Co., the family-owned winery inside the same art display space, continues to operate.

OsteoStrong Opens

OsteoStrong, part of a national and soon to be international franchise, has opened in Santa Barbara to serve people concerned about having osteoporosis and those who want stronger bones, healthier joints and better balance and agility.

Founder and CEO Kyle Zagrodsky developed the franchise in response to a national report that showed fall-related injuries for people over the age of 65 caused one-third of all fatalities.

OsteoStrong is located at 2277 Las Positas Rd. in Santa Barbara in the Las Positas Center.

Nurse Next Door Opens in Goleta

A new Nurse Next Door home care services location in Goleta hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week at 5266 Hollister Ave.

Nurse Next Door serves seniors in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and has more than 90 locations across North America.

Nurse Next Door Home Care is billed as an affordable and caring solution for loved ones, offering a full spectrum of home care for seniors ranging from three-hours-per-week of friendly companionship and light housekeeping to around-the-clock care.

Rabobank Hires New Vice President

Rabobank has named Ricardo Calderon as vice president and wealth advisor for its Wealth Management Division. In his new role, Calderon will work with investors to identify and pursue financial goals, providing personalized wealth management solutions.

Calderon, who has 15 years of experience in financial and investment management, joins Todd McGinley and Paul Tozzi in covering Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Prior to joining Rabobank, he served as managing director and wealth advisor for First Republic Investment Management in Santa Barbara and held related positions at Montecito Bank & Trust and Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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