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How One Pint Sparked the Idea that’s Forging Innovation in the Federal Government

How One Pint Sparked the Idea that’s Forging Innovation in the Federal Government

It all started along the Potomac.

Last summer, I met my future business partner (and friend) Andrew Chang for a brew on the river. Although we originally met to discuss an entirely different matter, we sidetracked. We discussed our former military backgrounds and how they shaped our current professional roles. Andrew is an Army veteran-turned-cyber security consultant. I am a Marine Corps veteran-turned-advisory firm manager.

We discussed tech startup life in the D.C. area and were quick to discover we shared the belief that new ideas and technology have the potential to solve our country’s toughest challenges.

We agreed many potentially game-changing ideas are never found because of the complexity and slow pace of the federal procurement process. Andrew and I swapped stories of our own roadblocks and those encountered by friends when attempting to do business with the government. Time and again, the protracted process, lack of connections and crippling administrative burdens turned entrepreneurs away from doing business with Uncle Sam, or prohibited Uncle Sam from finding new solutions.

Then, we had an idea. What if there was one place where entrepreneurs, large and small primes, and federal agencies could meet?

And so it began. We started mapping out a timeline for launching a first of its kind marketplace where tech startups, small businesses, professional service providers, and primes and agencies could convene to exchange ideas and do business. Eastern Foundry was born.

Eastern Foundry’s Crystal City location opened in December 2014 and today is home to 52 member companies. It provides the infrastructure small businesses and startups need (including physical work space), a community Marketplace for connecting and receiving professional services and an Academy for learning contracting best practices – all tailored for those seeking to be involved with federal procurement and win contracts.

We are a collaborative community that is challenging the federal procurement status quo, and it’s working. Our members are getting the relationships they need and winning deals.

Eastern Foundry’s future vision is to expand the marketplace, to improve the process for federal procurement and help connect innovative technologies to buyers in government.

We invite you to join us as government game changers.

geoff_circle Geoff Orazem is co-founder and managing partner of Eastern Foundry.