Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce
Mindstorm’s Role in Development
The SACC saw the need to provide assistance to small, minority-owned businesses who wanted to connect with larger corporations and government agencies, specifically to find business opportunities by accessing contract preferences offered via these entities’ supplier diversity programs.
A Supplier Diversity Council, which consisted of major corporate donors to the project and government agencies, was assembled to advise the project development. This Council was also included in the approvals process for site design and functionality.
Due to the expense and complexity of the desired website, the development process was broken into two phases. Phase 1 included development of the website look and feel as well as the business registration process and profiles. Phase 2, which is scheduled to begin in 2010, will include additional functionality including training videos and RFP posting and response capabilities.
Mindstorm created and launched a unique website that will revolutionize the way government agencies and corporations find, qualify, and contract with small, diverse businesses and suppliers.
The goal of this project was simple – create an online community where businesses could: earn contracts, expand their vendor pool, and obtain training and technical assistance.
Businesses that register for free at www.youconnecthere.com have the ability to utilize the many dynamic features that the site has to offer. The site has a short introduction video produced by Mindstorm That explains the program. Visitors to the site then have the ability to create their own business profile where they can post information about their company, create an online portfolio, upload images, and provide contact information. Members also have the ability of completing a comprehensive search for a new business or corporation. Other helpful tools on the site include an extensive resource page with a supplier diversity overview, a list of certifications, types of contracts, financing, insurance, bid opportunities and more.
Furthermore, the site has it’s own custom content management system which provides the Sacramento Asian Chamber with the ability to make changes or update pages as needed. They have full control of the site!
Pat Fong Kushida, the president of the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce, recently commented on the website:
“This tough business climate is the most difficult for small, diverse or disadvantaged businesses. Connect-here.org will foster economic growth within the minority business community, and bring more minority and women entrepreneurs into the mainstream American free enterprise system. Right now, we are not aware of any other chamber in the United States with this type of web-based resource."