Can Government Contracting Be Easy?
When we first met GovTribe last year, it was a young startup promising to make government contracting more accessible and transparent. Promises are hard to keep (once Taco Bell started serving breakfast, we had to go back), so we thought we'd see how it's doing.
The Arlington, Va., company’s app lets users find and track government contracts and the contracting officers behind them. It recently moved out of the basement of one of its founders’ homes (sounds like most people in their 20s) into an ÜberOffices co-working space. It also redesigned its iPhone app, launched an iPad app, and started offering in-depth custom reports on various markets within the federal space. The service runs $5/month and has attracted contractors, government employees, small businesses, and nonprofits, academia, and watchdog groups.
Co-founders Marc Vogtman, Nate Nash, and Jay Hariani (back, right) recently hired data mining expert Arnob Alam. The team is working on Web and Android versions. Arnob will be using the historical contract data collected through the product to predict future outcomes of contracts, which could be added to the app. Nate says GovTribe is raising funds and has mostly been able to use revenue to offset costs.
What’s a startup story without a round of foosball? The team says the GovTribe platform is designed with any eye toward user friendliness and speed. It delivers notifications of new gov opportunities and contract awards within 15 minutes. The founders also say they kept the subscription fee low to make it accessible to small businesses and individual contractors. Government contracts are now coming out in lower dollar amounts, making it more attractive to smaller companies.