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Online database is designed to bring e-commerce closer

From Daily Press
September 1, 1999

By Peter Dujardin

So you're a manufacturer looking for a high-tech supplier.

You're a high tech start-up company looking for companies to sell to.

You're a recent college graduate looking for a job.

MatchMaker, a new database developed by the state's Internet Technology Innovation Center, might be of help.

Of an estimated 10,000 high-tech businesses in Virginia, 4,100 are in the database, available on the Web at http://intercom.virginia.edu/matchmaker and searchable by location, products and specialty.

You can even search by annual revenue, number of employees and whether or not the company is minority-owned or woman-owned.

Best of all, it's free.

"The list of companies keeps growing every week," said Alfred Weaver, a professor at the University of Virginia and director of the Internet Technology Innovation Center. "The more we tell people about it, the more it grows. The more it grows, the more powerful a tool it is."

The database, developed by Weaver, is one of the first results of $2 million the state will spend over five years for ITIC, an effort to help Virginia companies take advantage of opportunities on the World Wide Web.

So far ITIC has received $250,000, spread out among four state universities.

Christopher Newport University's Virginia Electronic Commerce Technology Center, or VECTEC, is considered the e-commerce hub. George Mason is the multimedia hub. Virginia Tech is the wireless hub. And the University of Virginia is the database hub.

Aside from the increasingly popular database, ITIC also has other developments in the works:

"This will be pure e-commerce," said Bill Muir, who works for VECTEC, the group at CNU that's working with the yard. "If the shipyard needs batteries, they will be able to put the bid process completely on the Web. Rather than send out the request for a quote in the mail, this will save time, and be more efficient."

Yard spokesman Jerri Fuller Dickseski said WEB BID will save suppliers money because they won't need traditional - and expensive - electronic commerce software.

The yard and VECTEC are testing the system now and hope it will be ready in the next few months.

"That might be a partial solution to the high-tech worker shortage in Virginia," Weaver said.

Original Article | Local Copy


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