Thursday, December 15, 2011

ConnXus Provides Opportunity for Black Technology Entrepeneurs to Connect with Corporate Decision-Makers

BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Clarence Larcarte and I had the pleasure of meeting earlier this month with ConnXus CEO Rod Robinson. Rod participated in the showcase at the CincyTech Annual Meeting last month.

You may recall that this blog expressed concern about the dearth of diversity at the event.  However, one of the pleasant discoveries for us was ConnXus (shown in above photo) ... a Black-owned online service that seeks to revolutionize supplier diversity by making it easy for minority- and woman-owned businesses to connect with corporations looking for diverse suppliers and offering real contract opportunities.

Here’s how it works:
  • Corporations register as buyer members and indicate in which of the more than 100 product or service categories they have purchasing needs.
  • Small, minority- or woman-owned businesses register as supplier members, indicating the product or service categories they provide, as well as creating a company profile highlighting their size, areas of expertise and representative customers.
  • Suppliers request performance ratings from prior customers, and just like many consumer-focused websites, more and better ratings translate into better search results.
  • Buyers can conduct searches for specific suppliers or post contract opportunities for suppliers to submit bids.
ConnXus co-founder Rod Robinson is a Fortune 1000 procurement expert and supplier diversity who created this company out of his own personal frustration trying to match his clients purchasing needs with diverse businesses who could supply them. Knowing all the ways technology is being leveraged in today’s business environment, he just knew there had to be a better way to connect buyers with diverse suppliers. He partnered with Chris Downie, founder and CEO of America’s #1 diet and fitness site SparkPeople, to develop ConnXus.

Since launching in December 2010, corporate buyer members have posted more than $75 million in contract opportunities for diverse supplier members on the site. All the supplier members who have won new business through have said that they never would have known about the opportunities without it. Some have even been invited to bid on additional, larger contracts. Registered ConnXus members number close to 1,000, including small, woman- and minority-owned businesses representing hundreds of categories, along with corporate buyers responsible for more than $20 billion in annual spending.

ConnXus recently announced a partnership with LexisNexis to offer their members a discounted price on sales and marketing information and are in the process of developing other partnerships that will offer value to their members.

My hope is that all BDPA entrepreneurs, BDPA business owners and BDPA corporate sponsors will take a hard look at ConnXus. Now is the time for us to leverage our own networks to build our businesses on a local, regional and national basis. The next step is yours -- visit ConnXus and let us know what you think!

1 comment:

chief gabril said...

Obviously, this approach was apparently successful; as the article points out, the company has very little to make any contracts and business dealings are mostly based on trust, adhere to the ClearPath customers because of its monitoring and market expertise to adapt.

Delaware Valley tech support