If you're a small local business in Oakland or Berkeley looking to find employees, Localwise might just be the perfect platform for you. Created by Benjamin Hamlin and Maya Tobias, UC Berkeley alumni in 2014, Localwise was not intended to be just another job board.
However, when the initial idea didn't gain traction, Hamlin and Tobias decided to pivot towards the job-board model. Their focus shifted towards helping students find local jobs and local business owners find student talent. Hamlin noted the challenges faced by students when it comes to securing their first job out of college, or even finding part-time employment during their studies.
Nowadays, Localwise has grown into a thriving community of over 519,000 members. The platform enables users to create profiles, submit applications quickly, track application statuses in real-time, connect with employers, and build a trusted network. With a mission to support local companies, careers, and communities, Localwise has facilitated over 50,000 matches between local employers and talent.
Benjamin Hamlin and Maya Tobias
The entrepreneurial duo first crossed paths during their MBA program at UC Berkeley, where they studied social entrepreneurship and collaborated on the Global Social Venture Competition. Building on their shared philosophy about the importance of local businesses, they decided to create a platform that supports local merchants. Originally, Localwise was conceived as a business-to-business recommendation service, similar to Angie's List, where local merchants could rate and review one another.
Hamlin and Tobias are driven by their shared passion for local businesses. They firmly believe that local businesses are agents of positive change within communities. Hamlin, whose upbringing involved assisting his parents, residential architects, in measuring homes, has always had a deep connection to local business. Tobias, on the other hand, spent summers working in her family's local balloon factory and even sold custom jewelry during her high school and college years.