Even though GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) is a popular point of entry into the federal market, the requirement to demonstrate at least two years of corporate experience kept startups out. In order to give agencies access to innovative new companies on the Schedules, GSA introduced the Startup Springboard program in 2016. Startup Springboard allowed IT companies with less than two years of experience to submit offers using the experience of key personnel in lieu of corporate experience.
GSA recently announced that it would be expanding Startup Springboard from just the IT Category to ALL MAS Special Item Numbers (SIN) in May, 2022. In addition to traditional contractors, this change presents a unique opportunity for mentor-protégé joint ventures (JV) to get an MAS contract. Both small businesses and growing contractors can benefit from the JV approach.
According to Damien Specht, a Partner in the Government Contracts Practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP (MOFO), “Mentor protégé JVs are relatively easy to form. For minimal investment, these structures give firms that are growing out of small business status a chance to transition their incumbent work while maximizing their potential workshare and continuing to benefit from their past performance and qualifications. For small firms, these JVs give them the opportunity compete for larger work, different customers or more complicated efforts.”
Specht continues, “When the Mentor Protégé JV program first expanded, the short duration of these JVs, limited number of potential awards and the substantive requirements for a GSA Schedule proposal made it impractical to get a GSA schedule. This unnecessarily closed off thousands of opportunities and made the Mentor Protégé program less attractive to growing businesses that focus on [GSA Schedule] opportunities.” With the expansion of the Springboard, more contractors will have access to the MAS market – which realized nearly $40 Billion in sales in FY21 alone.
Aronson and MOFO have worked with JVs in the IT sector to get MAS contracts. We understand the complexities of developing offers under the Startup Springboard requirements as part of a larger federal market strategy. For more information on the mentor-protégé program and joint ventures, please contact Damien Specht at email@example.com or 202.791.8585. To learn more about the Startup Springboard program, please contact Jennifer Aubel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301.231.6253.