SBA site strives to streamline low-cost tech contracts

    By Adrienne Burke | Small Business

    The Small Business Administration has launched an online marketplace designed to simplify the way small tech businesses find and bid on small contracts with federal agencies. Innovative technology companies are invited to use RFP-EZ to create a company profile and bid on low-cost, high-impact jobs.

    According to SBA: “By simply creating a company profile on the beta site, each small business can search and bid for contracts relevant to its skill set. A small business can easily search for an opportunity, see a statement of work, and bid all within the RFP-EZ web interface.”

    At present, the site features four available contracts, all commissioned by the Small Business Administration with deadlines of February 4. The jobs are in database enhancement, database integration, web-based communications, and automated email communications.

    If the pilot phase of RFP-EZ proves successful, SBA says the program will be expanded to include more contracts for a more diverse group of innovative startups. Sean Greene, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation, calls the new program a “win-win” for the federal government, which expects to reduce costs and improve outcomes, and small businesses, which should get better access to contract opportunities.

    The program is the first of five “high-impact projects” to come out of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which was launched in August 2012 to bring private sector and government innovators together to create programs that “improve the lives of the American people, save taxpayer money, and fuel job creation.” Having concluded that “many of the best tech companies view the process for selling to the government as too long and too complicated” the fellows program leveraged BusinessUSA to build the RFP-EZ prototype process.

    Other Presidential Innovation Fellow projects include: MyGov, Open Data Initiatives, Blue Button for America, and The 20% Initiative. Get Twitter updates from the RFP-EZ program by following @ProjectRFPEZ.

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