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Ann Arbor Spark

March 2, 2021

From Automotive to Stray Animals — ProjectSynergy’s Data Platform Pivots during Pandemic

Ann Arbor-based ProjectSynergy pivots its automotive pre-production management platform to help find stray animals in Turkey who needed help.

When ProjectSynergy co-founder Osman Korkmaz heard about an initiative in his native Turkey to help stray animals facing starvation due to COVID-19, he knew he had to help. Fortunately, he and his wife Sue Barker – ProjectSynergy co-founder – had already developed the perfect platform to support the efforts of BirCan Life, the Turkish animal advocacy group leading the effort.

The idea to care for the strays in Turkey was developed by Figen Can and Irmak Yolcu at Coronathon Turkey, a hackathon designed to produce innovative solutions to the problems created by the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the pandemic, thousands of stray animals have been left without any care, and BirCan wanted to help the animals and organize their volunteers.

Once Korkmaz and Barker heard about the initiative, they knew that ProjectSynergy, a cloud-based solution designed to enable the largest automotive supplier network to effectively manage all aspects of automotive prototype builds and pre-production operations, could play a role.

“Our dynamic data-sharing platform helps automotive suppliers share prototype data with their customers as well as within their own organizations, and we thought we could use the same platform to help BirCan and its organization of animal lovers,” Korkmaz said.

ProjectSynergy worked with BirCan to create a collaborative platform that brings together volunteers, NGOs, municipalities, veterinarians, and pet owners to care for stray animals. The platform maps and tracks feeding stations, coding which areas have enough food and water, and which are in need.

“It was a no-brainer for us to jump in and help locate, organize, and track the stray animals so BirCan and its volunteers could provide them with food, water, and whatever they needed to survive,” Korkmaz said. “Our platform is built to address the dynamic and ever-changing prototype and pre-production automotive processes so we knew it could help.”

The volunteers can track their feeding location through Google Maps before they go out to help the animals. An app allows the volunteers to communicate with each other, keep track of missing animals, and flag animal feeding stations that need food to be delivered.

“Together with volunteers this turned into a beautiful project,” said Can. “We’re just at the beginning of the road. With animal-loving volunteers, we will overcome all the challenges and hope for thousands of lives with A Life.”

ProjectSynergy has been an Ann Arbor SPARK client since 2019 and will be participating in its 2021 Entrepreneur Boot Camp.