Published November 20, 2007
Volume 15, Number 11

Tri-Valley Business Council’s Innovators Website Matches Emerging Businesses with Service Providers

Did you know that the Tri-Valley is home to numerous emerging businesses that are some of the most innovative in the country? According to the Tri-Valley Business Council (TVBC), patent filings in the region during 2003 were three times the rate of filings elsewhere in California, and five times the rate in the U.S. In a 2006-2007 focus group of local entrepreneurs, the council also learned that 80 percent of emerging companies were small homegrown businesses with five or fewer employees, yet accounted for 35 percent of the revenue in the Tri-Valley. This trend in new business growth was something the TVBC wanted to be sure continued, to help these emerging companies grow, thrive, and remain in the area.

But many entrepreneurs expressed a need for a “network of innovators” to help them to connect with other business and suppliers in the area, much like existing industry networks in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. To meet this need, the TVBC developed the Innovators website, an interactive database where new businesses can connect with local service providers.

“It’s like a Match.com for emerging businesses and services,” explains Toby Brink, President and CEO of TVBC. “It’s a tool where users and providers can check each other out, have anonymous email conversations and then choose the provider that fits their needs.”

TVBC’s website acts as a clearinghouse for connecting businesses and service providers in the Tri-Valley, encouraging partnerships between businesses to enhance the economic vitality of the region.”

“The cities in the Tri-Valley recognize the importance of directing emerging local businesses to service providers in the region. This recognition and their partnership have been critical to the successful development of this website,” adds Brink.

The Innovators website at www.bizdata.us/tvbc, allows Tri-Valley service providers to complete a profile and get into the database. Then businesses or “users” can sign on to the website and search the database for a particular type of service provider, review provider profiles and send an email to those providers the user wants to know more about. Brink explains, “Let’s say a new business needs a patent attorney. The user goes to the website and does a search for patent attorneys, views profiles and then sends an anonymous email, via the website, to the attorney they want to know more about. The user then can accept or reject that attorney, but only until a user accepts, is the attorney’s name revealed so that they can make contact.”

Brink acknowledged that there are many online referral services already available, but many send out a business’ name to a multitude of suppliers, causing a business to be inundated by spammed emails. “This site keeps that under control through the anonymous emailing process and connecting only local businesses and suppliers.”

Service providers can complete a profile free of charge if they sign up before the end of the year. There is no charge to users who search the site.

The Tri-Valley Business Council is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for the business sector on regional issues to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life of the Tri-Valley. Its members are representative of business, city and community leaders from the cities of Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville and Sunol.

For more information about the Tri-Valley Business Council and how to become a member, contact Toby Brink at (925) 227-1824 or visit www.trivalley.org.


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