Kaitlyn Francois

Connect Space, Marketing Associate

Published on June 17, 2020

PMBC's Portal for Personal Protection Equipment

Connect Space Provides Technology for Pure Michigan Business Connect’s New Platform During a Global Pandemic

June 17, 2020

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan founded and incorporated company, Connect Space Inc., is the technology platform that helped Pure Michigan Business Connect, a business unit within Michigan Economic Development Corp., create a portal that allowed state businesses to apply for personal protection equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and fulfill the needs of Michigan companies as they begin the process of reopening.

Connect Space has provided the technology for PMBC to act as a portal where submission from Michigan businesses seeking and providing PPE are collected. Through the portal buyers and suppliers also could connect directly with each other; specifically, the portal has been named as the PMBC COVID-19 Procurement Platform.

“Through the PMBC COVID-19 Procurement Platform we can help employers access the PPE they need to ensure their employees feel safe returning to work, while also supporting Michigan businesses that will be critical to our economic recovery efforts by connecting employer needs with those businesses that have the capacity to manufacture those critical supplies,” said Bobby Chasnis, Director of PMBC at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “It is also building on a proven model that helped to connect health and human service providers in the fight against COVID-19.”

Through this portal, PMBC has been able to gather information within a structured data set to see what companies are buying and selling PPE. Then, initiatives are set in place for buyers and suppliers to convey what they need or can provide. This matchmaking process has saved time, effort, and created more efficient matching criteria for Michigan businesses to know what is available within state lines. To date, nearly 3,450 businesses have utilized the portal to secure PPE and other critical needs related to COVID-19, accessing more than 2,000 suppliers across Michigan also registered through the portal.

In some cases, PMBC has also set up private one-on-one meetings with those who matched. This presents Michigan small businesses with the unique opportunity to connect with larger businesses that otherwise would be difficult to reach.

“This platform is serving as a critical tool in supporting economic recovery efforts of businesses across the state,” Chasnis said.

With Connect Space’s technology platform and PMBC’s industry-leading B2B matchmaking program, the two created a unique program to bring relief to the current situation.

“It has been incredible to see the creativity and passion that Pure Michigan Business Connect has displayed to create such a proactive and important response to the COVID-19 Pandemic for all Michiganders,” said CEO of Connect Space Len Gauger.

Although Connect Space began as an online event management company, it has evolved into creating a private ecosystem in which companies are easily able to access information, tools, and networks. For example, PMBC was able to utilize the connect Space platform for intake and review of the applications for the PMBC COVID-19 Emergency Access and Retooling Grants grant in early April in response to the pandemic. The effectiveness and functionality of the platform allowed the program to build the application, promote it, and review over 300 submissions in just under two weeks, getting $1 million in grants into the hands of 12 small businesses and nonprofits who in turn helped produce 5.5 million units of PPE in Michigan.

Four years ago, Connect Space provided MEDC with the tools for PMBC to host summits. Since then, the technology has grown to the extent that it is now used for complex initiatives like matchmaking for AutoMobili-D at NAIAS.

About Connect Space:

We are learners, explorers, and connectors dedicated to creating opportunities for the great teams that use our tools every day. Our mission is to create software that enables organizations to facilitate valuable business connections between the members and customers they serve. For more information visit us at www.connectspaceinc.com , Keep up with us on: LinkedIn, Instagram @connectspaceinc, and like us on Facebook.

Media Relations:

Kaitlyn Francois