January 4, 2017
Tech Startups Struggle to Tap $82 Billion in Federal Contracts
Source: Bloomberg Technology, Nafeesa Syeed, December 8, 2016
U.S. government’s tech budget is eight times that of Apple
Cumbersome requirements keeps newcomers from getting foothold
Jason Wagner’s cyber startup sells a digital platform federal agencies need. But lacking the heft or connections of a major defense contractor, it would be more trouble than it’s worth for him to seek a coveted federal contract. And he’s not alone.
During 15 years as a contract employee for intelligence agencies, Wagner saw cybersecurity analysts waste time transferring data for their investigations across multiple computer applications. So last year he started Tensor Wrench, which makes such information-sharing easier.
Now with a team of six, his customers include General Dynamics Corp.’s Mission Systems division, which helps run communications systems used on satellites, and by law enforcement. But he still hasn’t put the biggest potential buyer — the federal government, which spent $82 billion this year on information technology, about eight times Apple Inc.’s research and development budget — on his list of prospective clients.
“The government is a big juicy target,” Wagner, 38, said in an interview. “It’s tempting, but you got to figure out how much time you want to invest and whether you can afford that. When we added everything up, the answer came back: not now.” READ MORE….
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For help with Government Contracting: contact your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded through Cooperative Agreements between the U.S. Department of Defense and state and local governments/institutions, PTACs provide free and low-cost assistance in virtually all areas of government contracting.