Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on the Small Business Administration's website.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in conjunction with the White House’s Presidential Innovation Fellows, today launched a “beta” (pilot) version of RFP-EZ, a new online marketplace that streamlines the government contracting process, making it simpler for small businesses to find and bid on low-dollar contracts from federal agencies.
The new program allows the government to source low-cost, high-impact solutions from innovative tech companies. A limited number of low-dollar contracts through RFP-EZ are now available at http://rfpez.sba.gov . If successful, the pilot will be expanded to include more contracts for a more diverse group of innovative startups.
“The federal government gets access to the most innovative startups, helping us lower costs and get more bang for the dollars we spend,” said Sean Greene, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation. “The small businesses get access to the largest customer in the world. It’s a win-win.”
The government procurement process can be complicated and intimidating. RFP-EZ represents a unique opportunity for innovative startups to easily access the federal government marketplace and, in turn, help fuel job growth throughout the country. RFP-EZ also will enable the federal government to secure better and less expensive products and services, saving taxpayer dollars and improving results delivered.
The streamlined process helps save significant amounts of time for all types of business, especially high-growth startups. 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.
The Presidential Innovation Fellows program launched in August 2012, pairs top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, and academia with top innovators in government to collaborate on solutions that aim to deliver significant results. RFP-EZ is the first of five high-impact projects assigned to the fellows aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and the economy, while significantly improving how the Federal Government serves the American people.
The fellows who were picked to work with SBA and BusinessUSA to develop RFP-EZ were Clay Johnson, best-selling author, open government technologist and entrepreneur from Washington, DC; Jed Wood, interaction designer, web developer, and entrepreneur from Chicago, IL, and Adam Becker, web developer and co-founder of civic engagement startup GovHub from Oakland, CA.
The other Presidential Innovation Fellow projects included: MyGov, Open Data Initiatives, Blue Button for America and The 20% Initiative. To learn more about the fellowship and the projects, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows .
BusinessUSA is a Presidential initiative designed to make it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to access federal services and other resources. To learn more visit: http://business.usa.gov .