TRAVERSE CITY – Two Traverse City companies are working together to offer drive-through COVID-19 testing centers that would include the tent to house staff and the software that would facilitate testing and samples that would be sent to laboratories to determine if the person tested has coronavirus.

Russell Schindler, CEO of SampleServe, has spent more than a decade developing a digital environmental sampling app that includes a Bluetooth label printer, barcoded and QR coded labels to track all the sample details.

Eliminating the paperwork normally associated with lab sample data login reduces processing from about 30 – 45 minutes to just seven seconds, with no typos, Schindler said.

“We’re not just collecting data, we’re facilitating sampling and printing labels via Bluetooth,” he said. “We have separate lab app designed for the lab to receive these sample and data. We have the mobile field app to collect the data and label the bottles and a separate lab app to receive the bottles and data upon arrival at the lab. Our apps combined create a digital chain-of-custody.”

Schindler said the finishing touches on pivoting from an environmental testing kit to a healthcare testing kit should be concluded within a week or so, depending on demand. Then he wants to sell the software services for just $3 per patient or lower to help healthcare and government officials determine exactly how many people in their jurisdictions have contracted COVID-19.

To make the process even faster, and to shield healthcare workers from exposure, SampleServe is working with TentCraft to offer drive-up temporary testing facilities. TentCraft has been making event tents for decades, said CEO Matt Bulloch. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing events to cancel or postpone, the event business has dried up, he said.

“It’s a big pivot for us,” Bulloch said. “Russell reached out to us last weekend and now the two companies are coming together to help build this business together.”

TentCraft’s 13-foot by 26-foot tent – that can be purchased with printed sides that can identify the facility as Red Cross, or County Health Department – fetch $5000 each. TentCraft has the materials to build 1000 right away but lacks the manpower to fulfill such a huge order.

“Assembling remains the bottle neck,” Bulloch said. “But with all the high school kids out of school, and many other people in Traverse City, we could staff up in a few days.”

All TentCraft and Sample Serve need now are contracts.

If you want to reach either company, email Russell Schindler at [email protected]

And Matt Bulloch at [email protected]

To view a video of how the Sample Service COVID19 sampling works, click on