Startup Spotlight: SB Connect founder has passion for small businesses

July 9, 2019

Billy Grill is a self-proclaimed “small business geek” — and he’s hoping his new platform, SB Connect, can connect the dots for fellow entrepreneurs navigating the confusing world of small business service providers and acronyms.

Billy runs Rebel Martech, a small marketing firm in Dayton. Over the years, he has also served as a small business advisor. He recently pitched his new platform at our June 2019 edition of Dayton Tech Guide’s Early Risers.

“This started as a job in my 20s, then it became a career and now it has developed into a passion,” he said.

When people are looking for resources, the first thing they do is search Google, he said. But the results often return an “alphabet soup” that the business owners must then navigate.

The goal of SB Connect is to cut through those extra steps, he said.

“You’re basically going to have a one-stop shop where you can go and connect with these entities in a single platform,” Billy explained.

The small biz owners will also be able to ask questions — what do I need to do start my business, what’s the most important to get a loan package?

“They’re things that should be answered pretty easily by the correct person, but finding that person is often a needle in a haystack,” he said.

Billy wants to start local, and link up with the country’s 50 state-based Small Business Development Center hubs in their more than 1K locations. Then he’d like to move national — there are more than 15M small business nationally. Dayton proper boasts more than 33K small businesses, he added.

The platform will have necessary security features built in to make it useable by government entities that work with small businesses as well, he said.

Billy is looking for connections to organizations that work with small businesses, technical expertise to continue developing the platform, and feedback.

“Small business is the backbone of America. That’s really where your city sees the most growth & community impact,” Billy said. “A strong small business foundation leads to all kinds of great things.”

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