About Supplier Connection


Supplier Connection is an initiative to grow small and diverse businesses and create jobs in the United States.

In 2010, when record-high unemployment rates were plaguing the United States, the White House challenged our founding Buying Members to come up with a solution to boost the economy through job growth.

After working with the Center for Urban Future, we realized that the best opportunity for job growth was by expanding U.S. small or diverse businesses. Because of this, we decided to get more small and diverse businesses in America's corporate supply chains.

In September 2010, Supplier Connection was announced and in February 2011, the portal went live.

Through Supplier Connection, a free, business-to-business, cloud-based community powered by IBM, Fortune 500 corporations, midmarket firms, and other enterprises can search for products and services offered by our registered small or diverse businesses.

Since inception, our initial six corporate Buying Members have grown to over 25 and have spent over $4.9B with the small or diverse businesses that are a part of Supplier Connection.

Because of Supplier Connection, connections are being made, small and diverse businesses are developing and growing, large Buying Members are diversifying their supply base, and the US economy is benefiting as a result.

Quick Facts

Founded in 2010 by IBM, AT&T, Bank of America, Citi, Caterpillar, Pfizer and UPS.
Over 14,000 users have joined Supplier Connection since the portal went live in 2011.
Combined, Supplier Connection Buying Member companies spend over $20 billion dollars on U.S. small and diverse businesses procurement annually.
Last year, over $2 billion was awarded to small and diverse businesses registered in Supplier Connection.
Our Buying Member companies are actively searching for small and diverse businesses to partner with over 500 times per/month.
Tim Coates

Tim Coates

Program Manager,
Economic Development
IBM Corporate Citizenship

Tim Coates is a Program Manager for IBM Citizenship, leading the organization's suite of programs that support entrepreneurs, small and diverse business leaders and economic policy makers. Prior to joining IBM, Tim was Managing Director of CTNEXT, a $25m public-private partnership to support high potential companies. In 2005 he co-founded 21inc, an organization focused on accelerating the impact of Atlantic Canada’s most promising leaders and entrepreneurs under age 35.

Chester karwatowski

Chester Karwatowski

Chief Technology Officer
IBM Senior Technical Staff Member

Chester Karwatowski is an engineer and citizen scientist who works to solve vexing business, environmental & societal problems through great process designs and advanced technologies. He is passionate about supply chain and business transformation and applies his experience in high-tech development, manufacturing, marketing systems and business ecosystems to his role as Supplier Connection CTO.


Pitney Bowes



Services Provided

• Global eCommerce solutions
• Shipping and mailing products
• Location intelligence
• Customer engagement
• Customer information management solutions


Stamford, Connecticut



With assistance from Supplier Connection's data-rich supplier profiles that are easy to find and quick to review, Pitney Bowes requires all diverse companies to register on Supplier Connection to qualify and compete for a bid.

Supplier Connection has allowed Pitney Bowes to streamline their internal supplier database to include companies that have been qualified to compete for RFPs and RFIs. Supplier Connection becomes the first step in their procurement process, where all interested diverse companies register and share their capabilities. Profiles allow Pitney Bowes employees to quickly review a company’s information and save significant time performing due diligence.
More Success Stories


Mosaic Global Transportation


Jan 01, 2002

Services Provided

• Worldwide limousine & ground transportation services


Redwood City, CA 94063



Found by an IBM buyer using Supplier Connection, Mosaic Global Transportation has since pursued business with other Supplier Connection buyers and has won work with seven other corporations participating on Supplier Connection.

Mosaic Global Transportation operates in the San Francisco area, the 7th largest market in the transportation industry. The contracts they won and facilitated through Supplier Connection enabled them to approach lending institutions and secure resources to expand into new markets.
More Success Stories


SDV International


March 8, 2008

Services Provided

• Professional
• Marketing and Technical Services > Temporary / Complementary / Sub Contractor Workforce


Alexandria, VA 22314



After registering on Supplier Connection, this veteran owned health care technology company was asked to participate in a bid with a corporation using Supplier Connection. They won that contract and with their foot in the door, they won another.

SDV International President, Jason Roys, calls Supplier Connection “the super highway for small and diverse businesses” working with large corporations. Before registering with Supplier Connection, SVD International had 15 employees. Now they have 50.
More Success Stories

The success of Supplier Connection can be seen through the recognition we receive, key milestones achieved, and partnerships with new Buying Member companies.

  • June Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Marquette University joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Foodbuy joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Purdue Pharma L.P. joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Nestle joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Orrick joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Frontier Communications joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Marquette University joins Supplier Connection
  • Nov United Rentals joins Supplier Connection
  • Nov Draexlmaier joins Supplier Connection
  • Oct Con Ed joins Supplier Connection
  • Oct UIL Holdings Corporate joins Supplier Connection
  • Oct Supplier Connection expands to include Regional Growth Partners
  • Oct The Business Council of Fairfield County joins Supplier Connection as 1st Regional Growth Partner
  • Aug Marist College joins Supplier Connection
  • Jul Sage joins Supplier Connection
  • Apr The Coca-Cola Company joins Supplier Connection
  • Dec $2.0B spent with Supplier Connection suppliers in 2014
  • Oct Guggenheim Partners joins Supplier Connection
  • July Recognized by White House as leading private Small and Diverse Businesses initiative; Participation in American Supplier Initiative
  • Apr Sanofi joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Amgen joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar 30th Agile release of Supplier-Connection.net delivered
  • Feb Takeda Pharmaceuticals joins Supplier Connection
  • Feb Pitney Bowes joins Supplier Connection
  • Dec $1.5B spent with Supplier Connection suppliers in 2013
  • Dec Finalist for IBM CIO's "Design and Consumability" Award
  • Dec Siemens joins Supplier Connection
  • Nov 10,000th user registers
  • Oct Lockheed Martin joins Supplier Connection
  • Jun Graphic Packaging International joins Supplier Connection
  • Jun ManpowerGroup joins Supplier Connection
  • Apr Cummins joins Supplier Connection
  • Feb Finalist for the "Transformation Award" from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM)
  • Feb 20th Agile release of Supplier-Connection.net delivered
  • Dec $750M spent with Supplier Connection suppliers in 2012
  • Dec Published in the IBM journal of Research and Development
  • Nov Named "Best Collaboration" by the North America Supplier Chain Distinction Awards
  • Oct ZeroChaos joins Supplier Connection
  • Aug 5,000th user registers
  • Jun Led plenary session at Clinton-Global Initiative
  • Jun Merck joins Supplier Connection
  • May Facebook joins Supplier Connection
  • Apr 300th user from a Buying Member company registers
  • Mar Wells Fargo joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Amylin Pharmaceuticals joins Supplier Connection *no longer a Buying Member
  • Mar Formally launched Supplier Connection via the Small Business Administration (SBA) and moved out of Beta
  • Feb JP Morgan Chase joins Supplier Connection
  • Jan Johns Hopkins University joins Supplier Connection
  • Jan DuPont joins Supplier Connection
  • Nov John Deere joins Supplier Connection
  • Nov Kellogg's joins Supplier Connection
  • Nov Office Depot joins Supplier Connection
  • Oct 1,000th user registers
  • Sep 100th user from a Buying Member company registers
  • Jul Dell joins Supplier Connection
  • Jun AMD joins Supplier Connection
  • Mar Center for Urban Future Study follow-up study
  • Feb Supplier-Connection.net goes live in Beta mode
  • Sep UPS joins Supplier Connection
  • Sep Pfizer joins Supplier Connection
  • Sep Caterpillar joins Supplier Connection
  • Sep Citi joins Supplier Connection
  • Sep Bank of America joins Supplier Connection *no longer a Buying Member
  • Sep AT&T joins Supplier Connection
  • Sep IBM joins Supplier Connection
  • Sep Center for Urban Future Study confirms Small Businesses as key to economic recovery
  • Sept 14 IBM announces intention to create Supplier Connection along with AT&T, Bank of America, Caterpillar, Citi, Pfizer, and UPS.

Read about Supplier Connection in recent press releases, news articles and blog posts.

  • Nov Helping Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Grow and Thrive
    Citzen IBM
  • Nov Supplier Connection, On a Mission for Job Creation
  • Oct 15 4 Tips for Pursuing Government Contracts
  • Aug 7 IBM Corporate Responsibility Report
    IBM Community
  • Jul 15 Supplier Connection and Supplier Pay Help Strengthen Small and Diverse Businesses
    Citizen IBM
  • Jun 27 Inside the Edge Talkshow
  • Jan 23 Siemens Industry, Inc. Joins Supplier Connection to Further Boost Small and Diverse Business Opportunities in Siemens’ U.S. Supply Chain
    Siemens USA Newsroom
  • Jan 9 Small and Diverse businesses thrive through connections with big corporations
    Greenville News