The duo launched a beta version of the RFP-EZ platform yesterday, a system that aims to untangle the usually complex government contracting process for small businesses in web design and related technology.
Designed as an online marketplace, the site posts government contracts as they become available. Small businesses can then toss their hat in the ring by submitting quotes, bids, or proposals for projects well suited to their skills.
"The federal government gets access to the most innovative start-ups, helping us lower costs and get more bang for the dollars we spend," said Sean Greene, SBA's Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation, in a statement to the press. "The small businesses get access to the largest customer in the world. It's a win-win."
The site enables users to create online profiles and receive email alerts for notifications on jobs that match a company’s skill set. And both sides have the opportunity to engage in open communication, as small businesses can message agency points of contact to ask public, on-the-record questions via Twitter and email.
A few projects are already posted on the site, which will initially run through May 1, 2013. If all goes well, more will be added.
The platform has the potential to benefit a number of areas, slimming costs for the federal government, boosting startup growth by giving them access to a wider marketplace (and therefore, theoretically, creating more jobs), and, the Federal Register says, reducing costs for the taxpayer.