iZOCA.COM Launches First Community-Based Social Networking Website To Cities and Towns Across The U.S.

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Website Helps Businesses and Non-Profits Promote Themselves In a Targeted Way To Their Region

iZoca.com will soon be the first community-based website built on a social networking platform offering businesses and non-profit organizations a more targeted way to promote themselves.

iZoca, which is currently a website for groups, is now designing "community pages" which will allow those groups to promote themselves directly to their geographic regions. iZoca.com CEO Jeff Goronkin sees this as an effective way for groups to market events and discussions, for no cost, to a targeted audience.

Goronkin says, " While I believe our platform currently does an excellent job providing groups a place to communicate in a private setting, my vision is that they will soon be able to promote themselves to their community. We want to offer businesses an option to better connect with their local audience."

The social networking website, which will soon have a newly designed look, has landed a media partnership with CBS 6 Albany, a Freedom Communications owned station, who has agreed to promote the platform on the news in exchange for delivering news, weather and sports to the local community page.

The website which will be marketed to chambers of commerce in strategic communities is strongly supported by the Albany Regional Chamber of Commerce. President and CEO Mark Egan says, "I commend iZoca for branching out to create community pages, as it will provide iZoca with limitless potential in the social media world. This new application will enable more individuals and organizations to tap into the true power and reach of iZoca's technology. I see how the community pages will help the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber and other businesses and organizations effectively and efficiently reach both mass markets, as well as targeted audiences."

Goronkin has spent the last several years working to address issues current mainstream social networks are having a difficult time addressing. One of those areas includes allowing organizations to share information as they do in the real world. A current iZoca group who believes the website addresses their life issues is the Military Courtesy Room located at the Albany International Airport. The group needed a social networking platform with excellent organizational tools and control of information to coordinate over 100 volunteers. Organizer Janet Moran says, " We looked at various other social networking websites that really did not address the needs of our group. iZoca.com allows us to create schedules for our large volunteer base and communicate in a private setting about possibly sensitive issues. We are excited about their community pages which will allow us to promote our events."

Goronkin says, " We would like to reduce the heavy lift that organizations can sometimes face connecting to their community."

Goronkin also has spent efforts aiming to address issues behind information retrieval. According to the CEO other social networking platforms do not create a simple way for members to easily obtain past information. The iZoca.com platform compartmentalizes effectively allowing users to quickly access important information from the groups to which they belong.

The company plans to generate revenue in a few specific ways. They will provide hyper-local advertising opportunities for businesses and organizations on their community pages based upon zip code. In the future other types of demographic information including personal schedules, industry, age..etc. will be included. The website is also developing a concept where organizations can pay a small monthly subscription fee to enhance their group page with extra tools including maps, information and a listing in the iZoca.com directory. Goronkin has raised nearly $800,000 dollars from angel investors.

Goronkin, previously vice-president of life sciences at Evident Technologies, left his position to pursue his vision. He came up with the concept on an extended airport layover. The group portion of the website was launched in a beta phase in 2009.

Goronkin and Chief Marketing Officer Susan Bardack are currently working on aquiring strong strategic media and retail partnerships to market the website within key communities and to appropriate demographics. Bardack says, "We believe strategic partnerships, such as our one with CBS 6, will help us to more effectively reach our target audience in communities across our country. We look forward to connecting with communities in unique ways that create buzz and educating organizations about how they can streamline and improve current communication."

The website has one patent application filed. There are plans for a second patent application.

The team plans to launch community pages by December, 2010.

The name iZoca is derived from a location in Mexico City called a "zocalo", which is a square or plaza where people congregate. iZoca was founded in September, 2007 and is located in New York's Tech Valley region.


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Jeff Goronkin

Susan Bardack