Despite efforts to simplify the contracting process, it could be a while before startups flock to federal buyers and leave the commercial market behind, experts say.
Last week, the General Services Administration (GSA), which handles buying for other federal agencies, unveiled new programs meant to expedite the process by which new companies are added to the pre-vetted list of IT suppliers known as Schedule 70.
One, called “FASt Lane,” cuts the time it takes to get onto the schedule from 110 to 45 days. Another, called the “Startup Springboard,” would let some startups bypass a 2-year experience requirement, which had precluded newer companies from securing approval.
Dubbed “Making It Easier,” these programs are part of a broader federal effort to entice technology startups, into selling cutting-edge products to the government. In the past year, for instance, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has repeatedly asked startups, mostly in Silicon Valley, to consider working with the Pentagon.
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