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Kiwi-made noticeboard makes hyper-local connection

Greg Elisara’s idea for a virtual noticeboard has been brewing since mid 2012, but the latest twist in direction could be the path to success for the venture.

Elisara took the HerePin concept to the Auckland Startup Weekend that year, winning the Catapult prize for a month at the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco.

It launched as a website that let people pin messages for others in their community, but is now focused on offering individuals and businesses a new channel for existing social media content of interest to locals.

“Previously we were focusing on people who would be pinning stuff to get information to people around them,” says Elisara. “We’ve decided another approach is to get content and trying to find an easy way for them to cross-publish without putting an extra effort in.”

The team has also added new functionality for content to be automatically re-published on HerePin and Twitter using #herepin. It’s currently focused on central Auckland suburbs and is letting organisations in the region that have Twitter accounts know it’s available as a new content channel.

Local sharing services are capturing increasing interest globally, says Elisara, with US-based neighbourhood social network Nextdoor.com having raised $60 million last year.

Elisara, head of digital at creative agency Barnes, Catmur and Friends, has been developing the site on evenings and weekends with co-founders Brani Mead and Srinivasa Rao Munagala. His co-founders both worked for mobile marketing company the Hyperfactory before it was sold.

Friends have funded HerePin to the tune of about $30,000.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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